As Hoosiers, we pride ourselves on having a deep-rooted set of values: honesty, integrity, respect and humility are integral to our worldview.
When we are at our best all of those values and virtues are put into practice in service of our families, our communities and our institutions and provide the kind of moral leadership and structure that a just society requires. Which is why it is so stunning, as a Hoosier, to watch as our values are assaulted, undermined and eroded by the Trump administration on a daily basis.
What is even more stunning is the near complete silence from Indiana’s congressional delegation in light of the Mueller report’s revelations. Our elected officials are supposed to represent and advocate for the values of Hoosiers and yet in the face of unprecedented mockery of midwestern values we hear little to nothing from our delegation.
With the release of the Mueller report we received confirmation of ethical rot plaguing the Trump campaign and ensuing administration. In its pages, which all should read, you will find little in the way of Hoosier values. You won’t read about courageous and patriotic choices in the face of intrusion and meddling by a foreign adversary. You won’t find a president who respects the rule of law, nor any evidence of integrity or honesty in the face of lawful investigations. Neither will you find examples of his depth of honor, humility, or fortitude.
Rather, page after page, you will find emails, testimony, and proof of the exact opposite. But judging by the silence of our congressional delegation none of that seems to matter. The sole standard for maintaining fitness to serve in the office of the presidency seems to be reduced to mere criminality. If you haven’t been indicted, you are apparently fit to continue as president.
The problem with that, and this should go without saying, is that there is a universe of depravity in the space between what is legal and what is criminal. One can avoid committing crimes while still engaging in morally criminal conduct. What about the crimes the president has committed against human decency, our democratic ideals and our American values?
Our congressional leaders seem to have lost their ability to separate policy from principle. You can support policies and goals put forth by the administration and at the same time oppose the president when he and his administration attack the rule of law and make a mockery of the system of government and Constitution we hold so dear.
The president and his enablers have created a false choice. They push a false narrative that says, only this president, with his anti-democratic impulses and anti-American values, can deliver the policies and goals of his party. This has created the illusion for many people that only Trump can accomplish their goals, even as he openly mocks and degrades our democratic values.
Our congressional representatives are patriots who have dedicated themselves to serving our state and our country. But somehow many of them have been convinced that there is too steep a cost to be paid for standing up against the current administration’s depravity. But the cost to Indiana families, our communities and our country will be far greater and long lasting than any political price they will pay for demonstrating the moral leadership that is required.
What the Mueller report and a host of other episodes have revealed is that our laws are not adequate enough to contain a president with no moral fiber and no regard for the rule of law. The antidote to this poison is moral leadership, and we need to call on the Indiana Congressional delegation to display that, now more than ever.
Jerid Miller is the State Leader for Stand Up Republic-Indiana. To volunteer in your state click here