Senator Burr’s vote shows bravery

The decision to indict Trump stands as an important display of bipartisanship


Charlie Benedict, Staff Columnist

Dear Senator Burr, as a fellow member of the Wake Forest community, brother of Kappa Sigma, and patriotic American, I’d like to thank you for voting to convict former president Donald J. Trump. It can’t have been an easy decision, but you fulfilled your constitutional duty to listen to the arguments presented and serve as an impartial juror. Ultimately, you saw what the majority of your constituents saw, that Donald Trump was guilty of inciting a violent riot on the seat of American democracy. While in a perfect world, doing the bare minimum to preserve democracy and the rule of law shouldn’t be worthy of praise, we are currently undergoing serious challenges which show us that democracy cannot be taken for granted.

Your vote was an unfortunately uncommon example of doing what’s right, not politically expedient. You were censured by the North Carolina GOP, who erroneously believe that the majority of your constituents want you to be nothing more than a partisan shill. You were right to call out the North Carolina GOP’s complete and embarrassing abdication of conservative principles. You were right in saying that political parties should never be beholden to one man or woman. Your vote gives me hope that a sane, rational, and compassionate Republican party can emerge from the smoldering ruins of Donald Trump’s cult of personality. Democracy is stronger when both parties respect the sanctity of precedent and democratic governance. America functions better when politicians from both sides of the aisle are able to meaningfully contribute to legislation. Although not enough of your Republican colleagues showed the same courage and bravery that you did, your vote did not go unnoticed.

While your vote doesn’t absolve you from all criticism, it’s reassuring to know that people like you will still stand up and do what’s right, even in the face of political backlash. Your friendship with Virginia Senator Mark Warner is a good example that despite political differences, people can still commit to truth and decency. I hope that for the remainder of your term, you continue to uphold your constitutional duty to the people of North Carolina. I hope that you do your best to help steer the Republican forward, away from Donald Trump. I hope that you give President Biden, his administration, and your Democratic colleagues a fair shot at governance. You don’t have to always agree with them – neither I nor the majority of your constituents want you to – but you must continue to operate in good-faith and vote your conscience.

Senator Burr, thank you for realizing that when armed rioters broke down barricades and stormed the Capitol, they were attacking the essence of America. Thank you for realizing that words matter, especially words from a sitting President. Thank you for doing what was right, even when it wasn’t easy. Thank you for voting to convict Donald Trump.