How will we remember you, Mr. Walden?

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Dear Congressman Walden:

Congratulations on your announced retirement.

Paradoxically, while you have already represented the District for nearly two decades, the remainder of your mandate might most profoundly define your legacy.

Early in your career, you gathered substantial support across and beyond your party. That changed drastically: With bipartisanship in Congress in a sharp decline, you have for a number of years mostly put party above country, in words and legislative votes. In doing so, you became polarizing, rather than unifying.

Your embrace of Mr. Trump is particularly difficult to understand, or accept. Politics aside, you likely recognize him as an unfit, divisive president–and recognize the irreparable harm that he is doing to country and world. How thus could you support him?

Ultimately, though, I trust that you don’t want to be remembered as a partisan enabler of a president who deeply damaged our democracy and global sustainability. In fact, I hope that recognizing the dangers he poses is why you decided to retire–although simpler and less noble reasons are certainly possible.

Either way, free from the pressure of a re-election, and from the corset of party discipline, you have the opportunity to go back to your early unifying, bipartisan ways–with major national impact. I hope you take that opportunity, for our benefit and that of your place in History.

But you must start now: Please support the Democratic resolution introduced with the backing of the Speaker of the House, that defines procedures for the impeachment inquiry of the president. If fact, stand tall for the Constitution: Offer to co-sponsor the resolution, as a way to defend separation of powers and to focus the inquiry on the search for factual evidence. And, then, vote based on evidence. Even if that means crossing party lines, and voting to impeach.


— Antonio Baptista

Related article: Please remember your Oath of Office, Congressman Walden

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