Last week, we saw two different articles in The Observer discussing recent developments in the President Donald Trump-Russia collusion investigations and their implications for President Trump’s potential impeachment. It is a conversation I have seen in many political circles. For that very reason, it’s a conversation I’ve grown sick of.
For people who still maintain some degree of reverence and faith for the “office of the presidency,” I can see the appeal of impeachment. Trump represents a sharp aberration from the traditional poise and tact seen in previous presidents. His unfettered hate and bigotry are a massive departure from typical presidential conduct. Add in the constant drip of the Russia collusion investigations, and you see why impeachment appears so logical. But as a solution to these problems, impeachment just does not appeal to me.
I push back against impeachment because I don’t see how it solves the primary issues this country faces. Say you are like me, and the Trump administration and its policies represent a full-fledged assault on your core values. How would impeachment solve this? How would a potential Mike Pence administration represent a meaningful, substantive policy distinction from the status quo of attacking the rights and lives of marginalized people?
Furthermore, a Trump impeachment vote would only proceed in a Democrat-controlled Congress, who would have larger issues to resolve anyway. I’d much rather see a theoretical Democratic House investigating and holding hearings for former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan and United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for their role in the family separation crisis. I want Secretary of Defense Mattis to answer for the United States’ role in supporting war crimes committed by our Saudi allies in Yemen.
There are so many things wrong with our current government that a potential Democratic majority can and should deal with. Impeaching Trump would be a meaningless gesture that would only serve to galvanize his base, if it was even feasible to begin with.
Maybe some people still have faith in Congressional Republicans that “put country before party,” but I certainly do not. There is no way over a dozen Senate Republicans would vote to remove their president, especially considering how popular he is among their constituents. And there is no reason to assume his popularity with his base would sink amidst impeachment, as it only reinforces their belief that the Washington establishment is out to get him.
A new wave of Democratic politicians have brought forth bold, progressive legislation that would bring about the sweeping change that the American people are desperate for. Publicly financed elections, Medicare for all and free public college represent just a few of the sweeping progressive policy alternatives that members of Congress have already proposed as legislation.
These are the efforts that Democrats should campaign on this fall to win majorities in both chambers of Congress and press to implement should they succeed.
It actually worries me a great deal that many people, including the authors of the aforementioned articles, are not focusing on these policies. In doing so, they are avoiding a conversation on true progress for all in favor of discussing the potential to impeach Trump.
I hope their attitude changes in the coming months. The fate of the American people depends on it.