Saturday, November 16, 2019
It was the second day of impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives and the Nation watched, transfixed, despite the President’s supporters’ attempts to avert viewers with dire prophecies of dull nothings.
Marie Yovanovitch, straight of spine and soft of speech, shared her tale of being victimized by the President’s henchmen in an orchestrated smear campaign to have her removed from her Ukranian post. At times her voice was but a whisper, and the packed room seemed to collectively lean in as they strained to hear how Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman laid to waste her thirty years of dedicated service to our Nation.
In quiet dignity Ambassador Yovanovitch spoke to the hearts of Americans. She gave her life’s work to a Nation that sheltered her family and gave them refuge from Nazis and authoritarianism by gifting her with democracy, freedom, and the hope of equality. Through her, we see how Lady Liberty has blessed our Nation. By lifting her light in the darkness, America gains those who are grateful for that light and know the worth of that flame.
All this plays in the back of the minds of The People, as they watch Yovanovitch from the comfort of their homes, stream her on their mobiles in coffee shops, listen to her in their cars as they dash to soccer games or to the gym.
But it would be dishonest to pretend all admire her. There are those enthralled by Trump’s myth of returning America to a more homogeneous facade, where people who are different are segregated into different schools and neighborhoods, or tucked away in prisons. They see her as a foreigner who has somehow made their own lives less bountiful.
Yovanovitch cares neither for her detractors’ opinions, nor her supporters’. She is driven by her own moral guide and she answers to her own sense of integrity, her own honor, and her oath to the Constitution. There are few times in life where you encounter one so pure in motive and so strong in character that she easily concedes a point to either party when they speak the truth. For she doesn’t see either party; she sees only falsehood and truth.
The Republicans desperately attempt to distract the audience with claims her words mean nothing because she didn’t hear the President commit his crimes with her own ears. But, like her career, Trump lays their efforts to waste by tweeting out insults in the middle of her solemn testimony. He only proves the smear campaign was led from the top.
At the end of the day, when her part of this saga has been fully told, she stands to a courtroom exuberant with applause. As heartfelt as it is, it can mean nothing to one such as she, for she will measure her actions against her own value structure, not against the approval or disapproval of her audience.
And so she gathers her cape of dignity around her, as though to cocoon herself inside it, and immerse herself in the safety of obscurity again, now that her duty is done. Unbeknown to her, all eyes follow as she walks toward the exit. She doesn’t realize that the flame she borrowed from Lady Liberty so long ago, burns incandescent inside her, and leaves a trail of light bright enough for an entire Nation to follow, for those with eyes that wish to see.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats will decide the outcome of this story. The future of our country will be decided by those who hold no party allegiance and have been looking elsewhere. But they just caught a brief flare of Yovanovitch’s light out of the corner of their eyes, and now they squint behind their sunglasses and realize they need to focus on this story to decide the proper ending.
The truth is there for those bold enough to seek it. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has courage enough, but what of the country?
Citizen of the United States of America
Advocate for Democracy and Self-Determination
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