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Bill Weld’s op-ed: The American people cannot be bullied

Original article published on Union Leader by William Weld ( available here

Bill Weld

JUST AS he has done throughout his business career and personal life, Donald Trump bullied his way through being only the third President in history to be impeached. He was not removed from office by the Senate — not because he was found “not guilty”, but because he threatened, stonewalled and played the process. No surprise. That’s how he has gotten through life.

It’s disappointing that the Republicans in the Senate, with one courageous exception, chose politics over the Constitution. But it’s neither surprising nor the end of the story.

The Founders gave us two ways to remove from office a president who abuses the awesome power of government for his or her own personal gain: Impeachment…and elections. Donald Trump bullied his way through the first, but he can’t do it again. Unlike politicians, the American people can’t be bullied or intimidated. Their careers and livelihoods don’t depend upon avoiding ugly Tweets from a vindictive boss.

Donald Trump will not be reelected. He WILL be removed from office. He will be removed by the same voters who elected the Democrats to a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. (And made Nancy Pelosi the Speaker Trump so ironically disdains) He will be removed by millions of Americans who the Founders so wisely deemed to be the ultimate arbiters of a president’s fitness for office.

Republicans and independents in New Hampshire and beyond don’t have to follow this script that Donald Trump has handed us. We can change it — and Tuesday in New Hampshire is the time and place to begin. The Granite State is known for that kind of thing, and has a great opportunity to make the course correction that will avoid the catastrophe that awaits in November.

As I travel to every corner of New Hampshire and the nation, I hear from many, many Republicans, independents and even Democrats that they are dismayed by the prospect of choosing between a failed Donald Trump and a Democratic candidate who simply doesn’t reflect the moderate common sense that is the American electorate. They are not enthusiastic about casting that vote — either way.

Yes, we can change course — and create another option. Republicans and independents in New Hampshire have a chance on Tuesday to send a signal to the nation that the Republican Party doesn’t have to follow Donald Trump into electoral shame. Offering that “off-ramp” is precisely why I am running. The nation, and the Republican Party, mean too much to me to sit by and watch as an unprincipled, opportunistic president sacrifices us all at his own altar.

I was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Massachusetts, an overwhelmingly Democratic state, in 20 years. I governed as a New England Republican: I balanced budgets, cut taxes and the size of government, and always came down on the side of greater freedom, not less. It worked. Massachusetts prospered, and the voters rendered their judgment by reelecting me by the widest margin in Massachusetts history.

In short, I am a Republican who can win in November. I can win because my principles, my positions on the issues, and my approach to governing are those of a Republican who is not repulsive to women, minorities, young people who care about climate change, and millennials who will end up paying the tab for Donald Trump’s immoral spending.

We have all just watched as a president whose only concern is himself has thrown friend and foe alike overboard for the sole purpose of saving his job. Republicans and independents have a decision to make: Follow Donald Trump into failure, or provide millions of Americans who aren’t prepared for a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren with a better choice.

America deserves better. Better choices…and a better President.

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