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Impeachment Now: It is imperative

It's about our future, our society’s mental health, our respect for our fellow citizens and for the rule of law

The psychological health of our nation demands that congress start the impeachment process now.

When lawless acts are openly committed by an authority figure – a parent, a boss, the president of the United States – it sends a disturbing message to those whom they lead: lawlessness is now acceptable. The leader, as the arbiter and definer of responsible behavior, has given himself and his followers explicit permission to break previously agreed upon laws.
In a healthy society, we obey most laws voluntarily – don’t litter, follow posted traffic signs – without close supervision. But when the leader feels free to run red lights, many of us will too. The founding fathers knew that effective leadership requires checks and balances, so they insisted the Constitution mandate three, co-equal branches of government. They did so because they wanted their vision of American democracy to survive, no matter who occupied the presidency.
Impeachment is necessary because an absence of clear laws and codes of behavior undermines confidence in our system of government. Symbols of authority are no longer symbols; they become equations – the White House is the President, the President is the nation, the legislative branch and the Supreme Court are subordinate to the unchecked executive.
At another psychological level, a function of presidential leadership is to help Americans feel safe and confident that resources are available if they need help. The psychological term for this function is “containment,” a process starting in infancy when parents helps their child manage its fears, anxieties and basic needs for food and comfort. As we grow up, we develop the capacity to contain others – but we continue to seek the good feeling of containment in our family life, at school and work. We look out for our neighbors. We expect our elected leaders to serve our collective best interests. We’re proud to be Americans.
This containing function has always been an important presidential duty. The idea that the American president is the leader of all the people has been absent from Trump’s presidency. Simply put, his concern for our collective well-being is limited to those Americans who unwaveringly support his agenda. Instead of fostering our shared values and national pride, he sows division and uncertainty.
Ultimately, impeachment is about our future, our society’s mental health, our respect for our fellow citizens and for the rule of law. It also can help manage anxiety about feeling un-contained by making it clear that at least one branch of government – the legislative Congress – is doing its job. In my passionate concern about this presidency, I sometimes I fear I sound like a maniac shouting from a street corner, and maybe I am. But at least I’m a well-trained one. I am confident that this president is a danger to others and must be stopped in his tracks.
Many Americans are both anxious and frustrated. Without the rule of law, frustration invariably leads to violence. Legislative action is required to restore reason and protect our democracy. One civil war was enough for our nation.

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