political values trump biden

Stefano: Tired of politics? Stand by these values.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and Commonwealth Foundation Executive Vice President Jennifer Stefano, in her column this week, called on readers to resist politicians who “subvert democratic norms” for political purposes. 

Stefano writes:

Some politicians are playing on this weariness to subvert democratic norms, simply to get a “win” for their party. We must resist the urge to bless this behavior, even when it suits our politics.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ use of its impeachment powers in recent years has become so de rigueur, one would think an impeachment vote is part of Congress’ ceremonial duties. Former President Donald Trump’s detractors wielded impeachment against him twice, in 2019 and 2021. He was acquitted both times, including on charges of inciting an insurrection. But that didn’t stop Democratic-controlled Colorado and Maine from throwing the former president off of their states’ ballot for 2024, citing the Constitution’s insurrection clause. You cannot protect democratic norms by subverting them. …

Last week, a judge in New York ordered Trump to pay almost $355 million in fines and banned him from doing business in New York for three years. The ruling was seen as so outrageous and partisan that even the left-wing MSNBC raised an alarm. Host Katy Tur said during an on-air segment that in the past 70 years, no judge has ever used the law to levy that type of punishment without evidence of harm. “Is this fair to go after Donald Trump like this in this environment?” Tur inquired.

Republicans have also not shied away from invoking constitutional measures. In a party-line vote in December, House Republicans authorized an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. This, despite some Republicans questioning whether the president’s actions really met the constitutional muster for impeachment. “Impeachment should not be political by any stretch,” said Rep. Mike Lawler (R., N.Y.). …

It should be the voters who decide whether President Biden is mentally fit to serve, not elected politicians or political appointees. That truth didn’t stop a handful of Republicans calling for an invocation of the 25th Amendment last week to remove Biden from office. …

Instead of succumbing to partisan animosity and the erosion of democratic norms, Americans are standing firm in defense of the values that have sustained us through past trials. That’s why every citizen, regardless of ideology, must resist the temptation to defeat the opposition by any means other than the ballot box. Despite the crisis and harm caused to our country, voters should be the ultimate arbiter.

You can read Stefano’s entire column here.


The Commonwealth Foundation turns free-market ideas into public policies, fostering prosperity for all Pennsylvanians.