Donald Trump’s orders that members of his administration stonewall Congress’s legitimate functions of oversight and balance of power in our democracy constitute obstruction of justice. The expectation that his staff ignore subpoenas and refusal to provide documents are examples of interference. Trump’s dealings with foreign countries for personal financial profit are direct violations of the Constitution.

Evidence of election interference in 2016 suggests we need a system overhaul and security measures. Trump has not made a priority to address breeches. Protecting our democratic process should be a primary role of a president. On the contrary, Trump openly admits that going forward he intends to get dirt on opposition candidates for 2020. His public invitations to China and Ukraine show his intention to continue violating our Constitution.

I own my silence. I worry about our collective reasonableness. In an effort not to offend, I hesitate to defend the rights of the vulnerable.

Having lived overseas and studying other countries, our nation resembles oligarchy and dictatorship systems more each year: widespread corruption, lies, strong men wielding inappropriate power for their own self interests.

People of high ideals and integrity, myself among them, stay silent. I confess to sitting in my comfortable couch in suburbia watching news unfold and hoping Congress or Judicial branches of government would perform their proper roles so order and decency might be restored.

Cynics give up and scoff at idealists who ask questions, take to the streets or register new voters.

Executive orders to roll back environmental protections, backroom deals, policies that separate children from their parents and cage human beings in abysmal conditions hurt our country.

It’s time for people of all party affiliations and also Americans who say they have no interest in politics to communicate to save our democracy.

Judith Doherty