I have never seen our democracy under as much threat as it is now. 

It is clear that a foreign power sought to disrupt and interfere with the 2016 election through the use of disinformation. It is clear that the Republican party has sought to stall and suppress this country’s ability to protect itself from further, imminent threats. The Republican party has willfully abdicated its duty to protect the country. Sadly, both Republicans and the president appear unable to separate the difference between the Russian threat and any questions regarding the legitimacy of the presidential victory. 

It is clear that President Donald Trump lies in a flagrant and repeated manner. At the same time, he often bemoans factual reporting as “fake news." The examples are many. The most recent and appalling is his use (and subsequent denial) of obscenity in referring to Haiti and African countries. Republican sycophants also lied for him, even pretending that whether or not his obscenity was attached to the term “hole” or “house” mattered. There are three points here. 1) Our president’s word can not be trusted. 2) The president repeatedly attempts to denigrate the First Amendment and the established free press, which at least constantly attempts to verify and vet their stories before they publish. 3) Republicans do nothing to stop this denigration.

Trump Infrastructure New Orleans

Workers fix a sewer main below the sidewalk in Mid City New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The city of New Orleans is perhaps one of the best examples of what President Donald Trump calls the country’s “crumbling infrastructure.” City officials say New Orleans needs more than $11 billion to update key parts of its infrastructure. The city has about $2 billion in hand, but it’s not clear that Trump’s bold plan will help make up the gap. New Orleans’ mayor says Trump’s proposal puts the onus on cities and states to raise taxes and fees to pay for the improvements. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Republicans in Congress have attempted and are attempting to block and cast aspersions upon the FBI and the Mueller investigation. There is little reason to believe that a Congress controlled by this current set would be able to grow a spine and react if any impending constitutional crisis arose as President Trump reacts to an ever-growing investigation into his behavior.

What we can do is:

Let our representatives know that we expect them to defend constitutional norms and the separation of powers.

Letters: Pratt column on Kennedy disappointing

Let our representatives know that they should immediately pass legislation to protect the FBI and the Justice Department from interference with Mueller’s investigation by the executive branch.

Let our representatives know that the American public deserves a prompt, thorough, bipartisan investigation into foreign interference and the use of disinformation in our last election as well as a plan for how to protect fair and free elections in the future.

Let our representatives know that we expect them to demand appropriate public access to Trump’s tax forms (and to make what was a tradition mandatory for all future presidential candidates) so that any possible violation of the emoluments clause can be monitored.

Let our representatives know that they should immediately use their full powers to ensure that the executive branch complies with the implementation of Russia sanctions passed through Congress with an overwhelming majority over six months ago.

Ed Ruzicka

occupational therapist

Baton Rouge