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Compare, contrast these two groups

To the Journal editor:

Let’s contrast the actions of two groups of individuals currently prominent on the national stage. On one hand, we have Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vindman, William Taylor, George Kent and Fiona Hill. These five career civil servants knowingly assumed great risk to give testimony about the goings-on in the Ukraine. Before testifying, they knew they could lose their jobs and their careers. Their backgrounds would be subjected to public scrutiny and their reputations smeared. Life would never be the same.

Despite this, they spoke up because they took Oaths of Office which said “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

On the other hand, we have a quintet of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo and Jack Bergman. Evidence continuously mounts indicating that Donald Trump blocked congressionally-appropriated aid designated for Ukraine to force help with a political campaign. Trump’s hand-picked ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, was central to this affair and testified that Pence, Mulvaney and Pompeo were all “in the loop.”

So how does Jack Bergman fit into this group? He has been only peripherally involved in the Ukraine fiasco. Early on he posted a vague Facebook comment about the House inquiry being a “charade” based on “rumor.” When additional evidence made defense of Trump’s actions less viable, he began making procedural complaints, voted against a House resolution formalizing the impeachment procedures and stated that the Democratic leadership “has completely lost its collective mind.” His behavior is not that dissimilar from other Republican House colleagues, so why is he given billing along with Trump, Pence Pompeo and Mulvaney? He’s included because he’s an enabler, and he represents you and me.

What do our five political leaders have in common with the five civil servants? All eight have identical Oaths of Office — I urge you to back up and read it again. But what makes them very different? Despite great personal risk, the courageous civil servants have stayed true to their oaths. I believe, sadly, that our political leaders have not.

THOMAS BRONKEN

Marquette