by Jeff Minick
With the attempt to impeach Donald Trump, the United States of America has come to a decisive point in its history.
Let’s revisit the election of 2016. Suppose Hilary Clinton had taken the White House. What would have happened? The following seems likely:
Those who opposed her would have gotten out of bed in the morning, braced themselves for four more years of progressive policies, and then showered, dressed, and headed out to meet the day’s obligations. The then-Republican Congress would have gone about business as usual.
Not so the Congressional Democrats and some Never-Trumper Republicans. They were howling for impeachment before Trump took office, and they set out do so, yet none of the accusations they threw at him stuck. So the House of Representatives, in a partisan vote, finally came up with “abuse of power” and “obstruction of justice” as fitting the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” though even then they could provide no hard evidence to support that claim.
In the meanwhile, here is what they have accomplished:
- They have created division in our country. They blame that division on Trump, but in reality it belongs to them.
- For the past year, they have wasted their time on impeachment when they could have worked with the president to accomplish much for the American people. Donald Trump is not a conservative – no real conservative would have approved our out-of-control “budget.” The Democrats could have shared in taking credit for our booming economy and our new approach to treaties and foreign affairs. Nope – they just wanted to remove the president.
- They have severely damaged their chances of winning the White House in November. People are not fools, and they see what is going on. At a Trump rally in Wisconsin this month, 58 percent of attendees were not registered Republicans. They were Democrats and Independents, and they were there to cheer on the president. It’s now possible that Trump will win in a landslide come November. If and when he does, the Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves.
- It is likely, too, that these members of Congress will have some explaining to do when they seek reelection. Their constituents will want to know why they voted for impeachment. They will also want to know what in heaven’s name their representatives have been doing since the last election. They might even ask why their Congressional representatives are putting the machinations of their party over the needs of their country.
- Some Bernie Sanders supporters will believe that the timing of this impeachment is intended to assist Joe Biden and to damage Bernie Sanders. Both men are engaged in the primaries, seeking to become the Democratic candidate for president. Primary voting starts in February. If the impeachment drags on, Sanders as a senator will be required to participate in the trial while Biden will be free to continue campaigning.
- They have set a precedent. Given the flimsy charges lodged against Donald Trump, any future president may be impeached simply because his opponents dislike him. Look at the presidents since 1960: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II, Obama. Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment, and Clinton was impeached, but found not guilty. By the standards of the Trump impeachment, however, many of these presidents could have faced impeachment.
- The attempted impeachment has revealed the corruption in our government. Many politicians and bureaucrats have lied to the American people. Some are on the payrolls of foreign governments. The millionaires who enter Congress never leave office as paupers. They leave as multi-millionaires. Will people like Hilary Clinton, the Bidens, James Comey, and others be investigated? Possibly. Will they be indicted? Not a snowball’s chance in the Sahara.
- By their lies and this impeachment, these people are generating enormous distrust among average Americans, a distrust and disdain that ranges from the mainstream media to the FBI, from Congress to the federal government in general. Those baying for impeachment have sown the seeds of cynicism and lack of trust, and the weeds springing from that ground will take years, perhaps decades, to eradicate. If indeed they may ever be removed at all.
A growing number of voters understand that the impeachment of President Trump is not about wrongdoing. It is about removing from office a duly elected president whom the opposing party despises.
To their peril, the Democrats in Congress have forgotten the saying “What goes around comes around.”
In the elections in November, we’ll see whether there’s truth in that old chestnut.
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Jeff Minick is a free-lance writer and teacher living in Front Royal, Virginia. He may be found online at jeffminick.com.