Finally. It’s over. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is over. The United States Senate voted to acquit President Trump on Article I: Abuse of Power by a 52-48 vote. They voted for acquittal as well on Article II: Obstruction of Congress by a 53-47 vote. Neither article came close to the two-thirds majority (67 of 100 senators) needed to convict and remove President Trump from office. But regardless, history was made. Unfortunately it was bad history.
For only the third time in United States history, a sitting President has gone through an impeachment trial. Andrew Johnson was the first President to be impeached and put on trial. That happened in the 1860’s after the Civil War. Next, Bill Clinton was tried for the Monica Lewinsky scandal from 1998 to 1999. And today marks the end of Donald Trump’s trial. 20 days of media sensationalism are finally over.
Even though I know the political rhetoric is nowhere near close to dying down, it’s a relief to finally be done with that chapter of history. Simply put, it was the most partisan thing I have ever seen other than the election season of 2016. This whole thing was a farce. From the speed at which the proceedings were conducted, to the timing of it in relation to the 2020 Election coming up in November, to the lack of professionalism displayed during it, I haven’t seen anything like it.
Before I dive into my thoughts at length on the acquittal, I want to say two things: Washington does not know what they are teaching us, nor how they are rubbing off on us when they bicker and fight like they have over the last three years. And they did not know or understand the gravity of what they undertook with regards to impeachment.
This country is terribly divided. Starting with Washington. The divisiveness was bad in January 2017, and it’s progressively gotten worse as time has gone on. And what the politicians fight over has spilled down to us. Their feuds have become our feuds with our neighbors and families. Their hostility toward each other has become our hostility toward everyone with an opposing viewpoint. Their stupidity has unfortunately become our stupidity.
If they showed a good example of how to work with each other, it would set a good example for how the rest of us should get along. They lead and guide this nation by doing more than just passing and enacting laws. They lead by example. Somewhere, that responsibility was forgotten or discarded. And as we’ve seen, the example they’ve set flat out sucks. In times of divisiveness, there should be leaders in charge who understand the situation, and who act in the best interest of America and her people, rather than in the best interest of their party.
Neither Donald Trump, nor many of the senators and representatives in Congress, are worthy of the offices to which they have been elected. They are not worthy of sharing the same place in history as noble and good leaders such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John Adams. Both Democrats and Republicans disgrace themselves, the legacy of this great nation, and they disgrace us, the American People.
I know I would never want to be a politician. Politics is a nasty business, and I would probably be assassinated or blacklisted for being a good man by calling out the corruption and fixing it where I find it. But at times like this, I get fired up enough to consider learning the ins and outs of politics so I could possibly run for political office one day. Washington needs good people. So many are corrupted. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. But I feel like Washington needs people like me. Patriots who deeply love America, her history, her civic processes, and helping people who are struggling. I don’t see many of them. Uncle Sam is crying. And the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.
Speed of the impeachment trial
My first issue with the impeachment trial was with how quickly it was conducted. The trial itself lasted 20 days. From January 16th to February 5th. If we wanted to go back to when impeachment was voted on, right around Christmastime, the whole thing lasted roughly six weeks. For comparison, the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson lasted two and three months, respectively. The speed of this thing was a problem to me. Especially if the gravity of the situation was truly considered.
An impeachment and trial are so rare. In nearly 244 years of American history, there have only been the three impeachment trials I mentioned. You would think in cases like that, the weight of the situation would be apparent to everyone. Enough for them to consider first, if impeachment is warranted, and if it is, to take their time in working through everything.
But from the outset, it was apparent to me that the trial was rushed. 20 days is not enough time to decide if the leader of the free world should be removed from his post or acquitted. I was expecting everything to take at least 4-6 months before we got to today. Something this serious warrants much more time than just under three weeks. To make sure the right thing is done, and to respect the sacred civic processes handed down to us by our Founding Fathers. Which brings me to my next question.
How did we get here?
We will never truly know if the push for impeachment led by Adam Schiff, a Representative from California, and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, was tied to trying to influence the 2020 Presidential Election. But to me, the timing is too fishy to be coincidental.
I am an Independent who leans right, but I am no fan of Donald Trump. The man is not worthy of the office which he currently occupies. But neither are all of the senators and representatives who have tried to find any way to bring him down since Summer 2015. They are not worthy of being the leaders of our nation, either. But we’ve unfortunately been stupid enough to vote them in.
Donald Trump’s rise in American politics, from billionaire businessman to the President of the United States has shown me two things: That the Democratic and Republican parties are both in denial about who is to blame, and that a sizable number of Americans are angry with career politicians.
It is indeed interesting to go back and watch old videos of media personalities and political pundits laughing at and dismissing Donald Trump as a legitimate presidential candidate. The progression is entertaining and revealing to say the least. First, people laughed at and dismissed him. Then when he started picking up steam, they became more and more nervous, but still denied that he could win. On November 8th, 2016 after Donald Trump won the Presidency, this nervous and smug denial morphed into a full-blown meltdown and panic. After the panic died down and reality set in, we saw the final stages, which many politicians and talking heads are still stuck in today: anger, and blaming everyone and everything for Trump being President. Except themselves.
Who is truly to blame?
Many of the people who voted for Trump are labeled as condoning racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia simply because they voted for him. Are some who voted for Trump bad people? Absolutely. But there are bad people everywhere on the political spectrum. I’ve seen militant, hateful right wingers. And I’ve seen smug, arrogant and hateful lefties. But lumping entire groups together and blaming them is an excuse. An excuse to avoid looking at the real issues, and solving the real problems at hand. It’s a childish cop out.
The true blame for Trump’s presidency lies not with voters. It lies with both political parties for not taking him seriously while he was running for President in 2015 and 2016. If the leaders of both parties would’ve addressed voters who were considering voting for Donald Trump, they likely would’ve heard how dissatisfied people were with the current political climate, and adjusted accordingly. Or paid the price.
Unfortunately, both Democrats and Republicans in Washington paid the price with his election in 2016. And they will continue to pay it until they see how upset average Americans are, and work with them to understand why they’re upset. Once they realize this, there will be quality candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties who truly revere and adhere to our government processes as they were laid out after we won the war for our independence.
And when there are quality candidates, there will be leaders who encourage unity among all Americans by their example. This will hopefully put an end to, or at least greatly decrease the amount of name calling and fighting among American citizens when it comes to politics. Then we will see this great nation rise above the current circus that is going on in Washington.
And we will get along with, and learn to love our neighbors. Fellow Americans who love this country like we do. And it won’t matter that they have different ways of going about improving it. We’ll know how to communicate, and how to treat each other with decency and respect, because we will see our leaders treating each other that way.
But until our leaders recognize and admit that Donald Trump is a symptom of their own folly, complacency and arrogance, they will continue to struggle and fail. They don’t know best. We do. The American People have known how to govern themselves since July 4th, 1776. Compared to our government, we will always know what’s best. Forevermore.