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It takes only one to save the nation

Jamie Stiehm on

WASHINGTON -- When the country is divided and in crisis, as we are now, it's remarkable how one brave person can point the way forward.

In civil war or Civil War, that person may be unknown or wanted by law. Like the current whistleblower, legendary Harriet Tubman played a major role in saving American democracy.

The Underground Railroad conductor, whose life story is told in the new movie "Harriet," was a fugitive sought by the government.

But agents and slave catchers never could corner her as she led enslaved people to freedom on Maryland's Eastern Shore. They had no idea what she looked like, amid her several disguises. Was "Moses" a man or a woman? Either way, Moses was known to carry a pistol, inspiring fear in the hearts of pursuers.

Right now, we have a Washington whistleblower to thank for high patriotism and duty. A CIA officer of conscience spelled out the abuse of power in President Donald Trump's blunt dealings with Ukraine. Trump set up a quid pro quo for roughly $400 million in military aid, staking it on a "favor," namely that Ukraine would help his 2020 reelection campaign by investigating political rival Joe Biden and his son.

Yet the American public can't send a thank-you note, as we don't know the CIA officer's name. All we know is that an anonymous action sped us to the precipice of House impeachment. It's almost bound to happen by Thanksgiving.

 

A Senate trial will decide the ultimate outcome for Trump. For that turn of events, more than half of Americans are grateful. Less than half of voters -- about 43% -- will likely stand by their man.

The whistleblower took personal risks, as did Tubman. The president makes no secret of his vendetta against the individual. It's likely his or her identity will be revealed in the public square, to be praised and pilloried.

One more key point about such brave people: They embolden others to follow suit or break their unhappy silence.

Ambassadors William Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch came forward to testify on Capitol Hill on Trump's crass conduct toward Ukraine. They found it unethical at best, unconstitutional at worst -- and they both backed up the whistleblower's account.

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Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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