Impeaching Pres. Trump isn’t the way

Chris Harrell

I absolutely believe that President Donald Trump is guilty of abusing his office in order to punish his political rival.

I want him out of office and stripped of the power that he is using to abuse his authoritarian tendencies.

But impeachment isn’t going to get us there. And I’m worried that impeaching him could make it harder to get him out of office.

Worry #1: The Senate still exists, is still required to convict the president and remove him from office and still has a Republican majority.

Republican senators aren’t going to jeopardize their reelection hopes by punishing the most popular figure in their party.

So, if Trump is impeached, congratulations. We’ve all earned the pat on the backs that we’ll give our fellow Democrats on a job well done building consensus within the House of Representatives for impeachment.

Meanwhile, Trump will be busy being acquitted by the Senate and going on Twitter to brag about how he was exonerated in the trial, like he did in the aftermath of the Mueller report.

Worry #2: Nothing could possibly activate Trump’s supporters like an impeachment trial in the year before the general election next November.

Obviously, lots of things activate Trump’s base of fascist support, i.e., any person of color existing above the Mexican border and gay folks holding hands in public.

But Trump’s base has already been primed to accept the idea of impeachment, and the trial in the Senate, as a deep state coup.

Trump supporters, particularly of the conspiracy theorist variety, already believe that there are elements of the government dedicated to stopping their president, and would not take too kindly to him being impeached.

It’s important to remember that we live in a time of dual media narratives.

Conservative outlets, including mainstream ones like Fox News, have already been spinning the scandal as being about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s possible corruption.

Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, with ties to Russian oligarchs, receiving $50,000 a month for doing absolutely nothing, according to a Sept. 28 Washington Post article.

With his father serving as vice president, there definitely seems to be some fire in all that smoke.

But Democratic leaders are, intentionally, not dealing with this aspect of the scandal at all.

That leaves us with Trump, fresh off his exoneration in the Senate, with another “Hillary Clinton’s Emails” scandal to hammer his opponent in the general election.

Which brings us to Worry #3: please, do not let this make Biden look good.

I’m extremely worried that this will make Biden look like an attempted victim of a Trump hit job and boost him in the primary.

We will be left with the 2016 deja-vu of an establishment centrist Democrat with corruption scandals going against Trump. And we all know how that worked last time.

The lesson that should be learned from the situation is that corruption is essential to our political process as a whole.

Democrats and Republicans alike engage in corrupt practices, and pointing out when the other side does it doesn’t prevent it from happening in the first place.

Getting corruption out of Congress and the White House is a huge rallying cry for an election season.

With voters mobilized against Trump and others fed up with the shady dealings of the Democratic establishment, we can remove Trump and other corrupt politicians from office and implement stronger ethical requirements.

We have an opportunity to channel this anger toward strengthening our democracy through the ballot box next November.

We can’t afford to let any steam out of the anti-Trump train or give the Trump base extra fuel for their fire.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller didn’t save us, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi won’t save us now.

These are institutional problems that won’t be solved until we have better elected officials.