Serious Questions - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1566437

Serious Questions

As an independent voter, I’m struggling to sift through the daily deluge of news reports and sort fact from fiction. Some things seem clear to me at this point. Did the various intelligence agencies have ample evidence of massive Russian tampering to launch an investigation about the 2016 election? Yes! Did the candidate and president Donald Trump show way too much willingness to deny this reality and avoid discouraging them from doing it again? Yes! Has the media lost any pretense of objectivity in taking sides in the current atmosphere of constant mudslinging? Yes!

It is more important than ever that people of all ages rely on multiple, varying news outlets. I find the printed word tends to be more reliable than the talking heads on television.

All of this serves as backdrop and noise to the current impeachment hearings, but, in the end, I’m not sure how relevant it is. To me, the questions at hand are:

1) Was President Trump pursuing an investigation of corruption in the interests of foreign policy, or was it a political endeavor?

2) Was Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky made to feel this was a “nice to do” item, or was he being subjected to pressure, either directly or indirectly, that had to be responded to?

3) Was President Trump behind a campaign of pressure, or was this being done without his knowledge?

4) If the allegations are true, are the offenses serious enough to rise to the level of impeachment, or is it okay to have this as a precedent for actions for future presidents to engage in while in the midst of a political campaign?

Each person is going to have to make up their own minds about the answers to these very serious questions — and polls indicate many people already have. Likewise, congressional representatives are about to cast the most historically significant vote of their careers. It calls for a time of thoughtful leadership and respect for the process.

Instead, I’m receiving a steady stream of fundraising emails from U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s campaign trying to take advantage of the situation. The most recent ones were for the “Impeachment Defense Force Fund,” making reference to an “impeachment fairy tale” and a “personal vendetta.” This language is less consistent with a measured and mature leader and more typical of someone who really wishes this would all go away so he doesn’t have to go on the record for the history books.

How he responds to this crucible will say a lot about both Congressman Zeldin’s future and his legacy.

Ron Schaefer

Hampton Bays


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