Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

Uncle Sam needs twenty courageous Republican senators


November 8, 2019

When America entered the Great World War in 1917, it commissioned an artist by the name of James Montgomery Flagg to create a recruitment poster to encourage Americans to enlist in the Army.

The poster Mr. Flagg designed pictured a stern Uncle Sam making direct eye contact with and pointing a parental finger at the viewer. The combined image was a very personalized message as to whom it was intended. To remove any ambiguity the caption under the image was, “I Want You for the US Army.” That iconic poster has endured and was used as a recruitment tool to build up the armed forces of the United States in World War II as well.

In a special edition of Time Magazine published on April 6, 2017, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, the original recruitment poster was reproduced over the caption, ‘Uncle Sam’ points an accusing finger of moral responsibility in a recruitment poster for the American forces during World War I.”

While each of those two world wars presented a grave danger and threat to American democracy from afar, the current grave danger and threat to American democracy is playing out in our own nation’s capital.

In each instance of the former, American military power and resolve neutralized the danger and removed the threat. In the present circumstance it is going to require fidelity to the Constitution and moral responsibility from all members of congress, regardless of party or position on the political spectrum, to preserve the integrity of the Constitution and our precious form of government.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, despite the circus atmosphere, is gathering evidence to determine if there is probable cause to file Articles of Impeachment against the president for a number of alleged violations of the Constitution and serious abuse of presidential power; while the Republican-controlled Senate, waits to sit as a jury to determine whether the president of the United States is guilty of the charges, and should be removed from office.

Because many Congressional Democrats have sought impeachment of the president even before he took office, a lopsided democrat majority vote in favor of issuing Articles of Impeachment will be suspect of having been cast for political purposes, and not based on the facts presented as required by the Constitution.

If any member of the House of either party votes only along party lines and fails to fully consider whether the evidence supports the bringing of Articles of Impeachment, that member will have failed in his/her fidelity to the Constitution and in the moral responsibility owed to the American people.

Unlike the House vote, which requires a simple majority of members present, the vote to convict in the Senate requires a two-thirds majority of senators present. The ethical and legal burden to show fidelity to the Constitution and the moral responsibility placed on each senator is even greater by the requirement under Article I, Section 3 that before sitting as jurors each senator is required to take an oath or affirmation that he or she will consider only the evidence presented before casting a vote, without any political consideration whatsoever.

This burden of fidelity to the Constitution and moral responsibility under oath or affirmation weighs heavier on the Republican senators because conviction cannot occur without 20 Republican votes (assuming all 47 Democrat senators vote for conviction); and it will take tremendous political courage for any Republican to vote for conviction.

The president is not the only one entitled to a fair trial in the Senate; so too are the American people.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.


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