Each day during the impeachment “trial” without witnesses or documents — in which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was “in total coordination with White House counsel’s office” — I sent the following thoughts to Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis the day after they voted to o acquit:

As a U.S. Army veteran, I have often been thanked for my service and told that my efforts and the efforts of my brothers in arms were in defense of our American values and institutions. Indeed, my enlistment oath was to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Your oath of office was likewise to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Although it has been decades since I was on active duty, I still take my oath seriously. To defend our values, institutions and the Constitution, I have expressed to you the need for finding this lawless president guilty of gross misdeeds. A guilty verdict would have been a first step toward restoring a sense of morality, trustworthiness, dignity, ethical behavior and respect for the law to the executive branch.

Yes, I still take my oath seriously — apparently more seriously than you do. I suspect that few will thank you for your service and no one will thank you for your efforts to defend American values and institutions and to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Among the consequences of your votes to acquit Trump are the undermining of our system of checks and balances so crucial to maintaining good governance, the crushing of public faith in our system of justice and in the credibility of our electoral process, and the further diminishment of the standing of the United States among world powers.

Your consequential votes have done much damage to our country. Please remember this every time you place that American flag pin on your lapels.

The writer lives in Greensboro.

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