Ursula Muñoz Schaefer/Assistant Opinion Director
Finally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The news follows a whistleblower’s report that Trump had phoned the president of Ukraine to get dirt on former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Though the evidence is damning, analysts on both sides have weighed the consequences of what impeaching the Annoying Orange could mean.
For starters, some have claimed that in the years since the 2016 elections, the word “impeachment” has been thrown around so often, it’s lost meaning. At this point, they say, it’s too late to do anything, seeing how the 2020 elections are only a year away and the public would rather focus on other things. And where was Pelosi during the Mueller Report?
The critique isn’t just exponentially stupid because it ignores the fact that the House Speaker had been waiting for evidence of collusion to increase the grounds for impeachment. It also insinuates that, despite said evidence, the public isn’t ready for it.
Although the polls seem mixed at the moment, public support of impeachment has been jumping with each new one. The most recent HuffPost poll taken post-Ukraine, puts public support of impeachment at 47% (the rest are undecided or say no), which is much higher than it was after Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony and far higher than it was after his report.
Even if that wasn’t the case, the idea that the highest official in our government is untouchable is ludicrous and doesn’t reflect the democracy we criticize other countries for not having. And to the New York Times columnist who says impeachment would only increase public cynicism against the government, what is this, “Watchmen?”
This isn’t me being naïve. I highly doubt impeachment would get Trump thrown out of office since his presidency has shown us that Republican senators would rather sell their spines than vote against him—let alone convict him. This is just me saying not putting him on trial would make him even less accountable for his actions.
Another popular argument against Trump’s impeachment is that it would further sow divide between the left and right. It’s a valid argument unless you consider the fact that the partisan chasm couldn’t be deeper than it is at the moment. It’s hard to say whether impeaching the incumbent president would make it worse.
Finally, there are those without any real knowledge of how impeachment proceedings work or how long they last. Surely, you’ve heard the criticisms of Vice President Mike Pence being a worse alternative. These are the same people who solely point towards Pence’s backwards stances on LGBTQ+ rights, as if Trump hadn’t implemented a miltary ban on transgender people or rolled back on Obama-era regulations protecting LGBTQ+ folk from workplace and healthcare discrimination.
Being less explicit in his bigotry against the LGBTQ+ community (whilst being more openly bigoted against other minority groups, I might add) does not exempt Trump from a record of rampant homophobia and transphobia. He also isn’t any less “status-quo” than the vice president, despite gloating endlessly about draining the swamp.
But the fact is, it shouldn’t even matter because impeachment hearings can last months and the elections are coming up anyway.
Whether they’re arguing that impeaching Trump wouldn’t favor Democrats in the 2020 elections, that it would divide the country more (whatever that has come to mean), or that it’s not worth it because he’d win anyway, all these fallacious arguments are doing is distracting from the fact that even the elite must stand trial after committing treason.
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Featured photo from FIU Flickr.