Donald Trump has said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Unfortunately, this may be true. By his own admission and by the sworn testimony of nonpolitical career officials, Trump has violated his oath of office.

Clearly, he has violated the Constitution by pressuring Ukrainian officials to provide damning evidence on a likely political opponent. If this behavior does not warrant impeachment, then nothing does. Laws matter. Yet, it is unlikely that Senate Republicans will remove him from office even though his crime is more harmful to this country than shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. Giving Trump a “get out of jail card” will not advance the interests of this country. It will only encourage him to engage in even more nefarious behavior.

If Trump escapes impeachment, removal from office and should win reelection then, God forbid, all is lost. The Constitution will be trashed. All the blood, sweat and tears that our ancestors have shed for this country will have been a senseless sacrifice. American democracy will be gone. Laws will be irrelevant because this carte blanche will allow Trump to do anything. His will be the only law. We will be in a dark period similar to that of Germany during the 1930s, a time when lies and propaganda won the day. Political opponents will be jailed, the free press shut down and the electronic media monitored.

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Remember his rally chant, “Lock her up”? It will become a harsh reality for anyone who dares to oppose Trump. Independent, factual news outlets will be eliminated because they will be accused of promoting “fake news.” Conspiracies will abound. Federal governmental agencies will be used to prosecute anyone who dares to speak against “the stable genius.”

Only the Trump propaganda machine, Fox News, will survive. Ordinary citizens will hesitate to voice any opinion against the “great genius” because they too will fear his retaliation, as do many Republican politicians today. I regret to say that my words are not an over-exaggeration. The parallels with the Germany experience are indeed chilling. In Germany, it was the Jews. In America, it is the minorities.

We live in a perilous time. Our government is broken and our country hopelessly divided. Generally, Republicans believe Democrats oppose Trump because he is a Republican. Not true, many of us oppose Trump because he is not a genuine Republican, but a demagogue who has hijacked the party and silenced honorable Republicans. This important distinction has been lost for many Republicans.

Sadly, the future is bleak. The survival of our Constitutional form of government may have come to its end. Perhaps, this is what a number of Americans desire. I sincerely hope not. Far too many Americans have given blind allegiance to a president who is a proven despot. Unless Trump is voted out of office, our beloved country is headed for a disastrous end.