Last month my wife and I went to the mall in Barboursville. We noticed lots of stores closed down. The mall employs a lot of people. We need a Tri-State mall.

People are so lazy. They have their groceries delivered — pet supplies, just about anything. I know there are exceptions. The more technology we get, the lazier we get. Get out of that recliner!

Lonnie Bledsoe

Huntington

Impeachment trial set precedents

U.S. senators asked numerous questions of the House managers and the president’s lawyers at the impeachment trial. Senator internal dialogue on the topic of witnesses required soul searching and reflection. Two topics of consequence were (1) foreign interference in elections and (2) preserving, protecting, and defending the U.S. Constitution.

I hope that senators weighed the words of Martin Luther King Jr. (1967): “And we must know on some positions, cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there are times when you must take a stand that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but must do it because it is right.”

Each senator took a position regarding both witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial. Each constituency deserves to know how the questions of safety, politics, popularity or truth impacted their senator’s vote.

This truth or consequences issue will resurface at the ballot box this fall. The electorate will act as the jury of public opinion on the U.S. Senate’s decision. Their decision strengthens the executive branch while abdicating legislative oversight and impeachment powers. Perhaps the constituency desires this power shift, but framers of the U.S. Constitution didn’t intend a failure of constitutional checks and balance.

George Washington’s farewell address (1796) warns, “However (political parties) may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

A sober warning from the past. The future will judge wisdom of setting precedents of trials without relevant witnesses and documents.

Roger Combs

Ona

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