accountability: (n) to hold someone responsible for his actions
Time to get those keyboard hot with typing! Hold you Senators accountable for their decisions in the impeachment trial. Hold Mr. Trump accountable for his actions while in office. Enough said.
Over the past few months, in light of the election, claims of fraud, and eventual outcome of the attack on the Capital on January 6th, I have been contemplating the concepts of righteous, sinful behavior and forgiveness; and civil, illegal behavior and pardon.
The former is within the realm of moral authority; the later legal authority.
From a Christian perspective, if someone has violated righteous attitudes and behaviors, he and the offended parties can act in forgiveness, when he recognizes his sin, repents, and behaves differently.
Within the legal context, when someone has violated the laws of the nation or state, an authority can grant a pardon after someone is tried and convicted. Again, the authority is giving the individual an opportunity to change his ways and act within the law henceforth.
Regarding Mr. Trump, I have for decades considered his behavior to be immoral. He had been unfaithful to all three of his wives, numerous times, in mind and body. He has defrauded contractors of his resorts by refusing to pay them for work completed. He has lied about his assets, claiming one value of properties to acquire bank loans, while claiming another value on tax returns. He has given seemingly generous amounts to charities, in exchange for those charities renting his facilities for events, thus funneling the donations right back to his accounts. He has treated employees like contestants on his “Apprentice” reality-TV show, challenging them, criticizing them, and firing them for entertainment value.
In all these situations, he has justified his behavior and had his lawyers be his “fixers” to silence anyone who did not uphold his sense of greatness. He has shown no remorse, no repentance, and over the years his sinful behavior has escalated.
Yesterday’s show by his lawyers at the Senate impeachment hearings were just another round of this behavior. His lawyers merely dismissed his case by claiming that Congress had no Constitutional authority to impeach him (his crimes were committed while in office), the he did not meet the legal criteria for inciting violence (while the House Managers had given clear evidence that his actions and speeches over many months in 2020 up to January 6th did meet those criteria), and no insurrection ever happened (when clearly those who acted violently and encouraged many gullible Trump supported to enter the Capital with them as cover, had planned to enter the building and hoped to kill many within the House and Senate chambers, and stated that they were acting under the instructions of their Commander in Chief).
Mr. Trump should be convicted of the charges in the impeachment.
What happens after that is up to him.
We can offer him forgiveness, maybe even pardon, if he repents of his moral and legal failings. And, he must change his ways.
Jesus and Paul offered many lists of talents and gifts that can be used for righteous (and legal) behaviors. They also contrast these with lists of evil behavior. Mr. Trump obvious has potential talents. He has enthusiasm and charisma which has captured the interest of a group of citizens who usual see themselves as left out of society and politics. He has mostly used this to foment hate (from encouraging MAGA rally folks in 2016 to beat up hecklers to encouraging MAGA rally folks to leave the legally authorized zone of the Ellipse to march to the Capital building and “fight”). Mr. Trump will have to figure out whether he can use this talent for the good of the nation, to bring himself and his followers into civil society.
Until then, he needs to be held accountable for his actions and silenced.
As a foot note, his legal team parroted the recent claim that the impeachment is just another Democratic/liberal/fake news “cancel culture” tactic. If they read their Bibles, they would know that this concept is not new, just rebranded as a catchy talk-radio phrase.
Read Psalms 9
“You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.” (v. 5)
“The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
The Lord is know by his justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.” (v. 15-16)