David Perdue, one of Georgia’s two U.S. Senators has along with almost all Republican senators excused and coddled Donald Trump. Among other travesties, that includes refusal to protect America from Trump’s ruthless shutdown and the Mueller investigation from a possible Trump frenzy. To my knowledge, Perdue has never bucked Senator Mitch McConnell’s almost dictatorial control about what bills senators will be allowed to vote on. McConnell has insisted on the Senate’s indulging Trump repeatedly. Still, every senator is responsible for his or her own behavior, though bucking the leadership can be politically costly. The following were my remarks to Senator Perdue earlier today.
Dear Senator Perdue:
I grew up in the south, served in the U.S. Air Force, voted both Republican and Democrat, and have been acquainted with senators, representatives, and governors of both parties—in some cases in actual working relationships. Having returned to the south, I’ve been a Georgian again for a quarter century. I’m aware of your years of corporate leadership and salute you for assuming the personal costs and strains of political life.
This letter is to convey my disappointment and distress over the character and actions of our president. Let me make clear I am not speaking of partisan matters, but ones central to the function of the republic, such as the rule of law, judicial independence, Constitutional roles, and freedom of the press. Mr. Trump has taken the Republican party and, more importantly, the presidency, to depths of disgrace and indignity I could never have imagined in any of my 80 years. Worse, he has bullied much of America including his expecting the Senate and House to forfeit their important joint role as an independent branch of government. Our country—my pride in and out of uniform—has deteriorated, sacrificing international leadership and trust among allies and rivals alike.
I abhor the damage the president has done and continues to do to our reputation on the world stage, to our basic institutions of government, and to our commitment to facts and authenticity. In short, his lack of integrity besmirches the integrity of you, the Senate, and America. I need not list the string of adjectives used to characterize his incompetence and unfit character. You are fully aware of them. I would wager you have yourself used some of them in private.
I do not believe your character matches the repugnance of Trump’s. But in your position of trust for Georgia and the United States, I do believe you have for two years, along with other Republican Senators and Representatives, failed to protect the country from an Executive Branch gone awry. (The mid-20th century term “fellow traveler” comes to mind with respect to otherwise responsible Republicans’ fealty to Trump.) Along with your colleagues, you have enabled the behavior of a dangerous, unethical, mendacious man as if you have no accountability in the matter.
Senator, you have allowed partisan loyalty—not unacceptable in itself—to outweigh duty and patriotism. I wonder when on some sweet day—when America and the world have recovered from Trump’s madness and Republicans’ impotence—how you will find words to account.
John Carver, Atlanta