Even if you despise President Donald J. Trump (R-New York); as I do, there are many good reasons to fear and oppose presidential impeachment.
I think we need to halt impeachment because the risks from impeachment now outweigh the potential gains. Yes, Trump is bad but impeachment could be far worse for America.
Impeachment could tear our political system apart while doing nothing to address the many problems facing America. Hence, we could be rid of Trump but left with a far greater mess.
What’s Wrong with Trump Impeachment
I think impeachment is dangerous because the process the Democrats are using is flawed, corrupt and possibly illegal.
In my mind the greatest problems with a presidential impeachment are:
1. The impeachment investigation could be illegal and unconstitutional
To explain, the U.S. House of Representatives is employing a different investigative process from the last two presidential impeachment attempts.
The new investigative process could be unprecedented in American law and unconstitutional, attorneys Elizabeth Price Foley and David. B. Rivkin Jr allege in The New York Times. Hence, federal courts could throw out the whole investigation.
Notably, former deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the whole impeachment process, NBC News reports. I think Kupperman’s lawsuit could trigger a political and constitutional crisis.
To elaborate, any court ruling in favor of Trump; no matter how valid, will turn many people against the courts. In particular, such a ruling will fuel conspiracy theories and energize the movement to restructure the federal judiciary.
2. The Impeachment Process is too Secret
The House impeachment investigation is so secretive, even left-wing magazines like The Atlantic are skeptical of it.
Troubling aspects of the process include secret hearings and anonymous witnesses. Even House Republicans do not know what’s going on inside those hearing rooms. Are Democrats really investigating or sitting around playing cards?
The rationale for the secrecy is suspect. For instance, the worst that could happen to impeachment witnesses is losing their federal jobs. However, the big media is likely to reward those people with six-figure book deals and cushy high-paying consulting gigs. Hence, there is no reason for closed hearings and anonymous witnesses.
U. S. Representatives are discussing the removal of a President. All the Americans who voted for Trump deserve to know who is accusing him and what those accusers are saying.
In the final analysis, the whole investigation stinks of conspiracy. Americans will doubt the investigation’s findings and any decision based on it.
All the investigation will do is turn more Americans against Congress. If the House finds for impeachment, Trump supporters will cry conspiracy. If the House rules against Trump impeachment, Trump haters will cry conspiracy.
3. Impeachment is growing the divide in government and breeding incivility
Behavior in the US House of Representatives has fallen to new lows. For instance, a group of House Republicans barged into a closed-door impeachment hearing on 23 October 2019.
The Republicans possibly violated federal law by taking smartphones into a closed deposition of Pentagon official Laura Cooper, The Daily Beast reports. Disturbingly, Democrats considered having US Capitol Police drag their colleagues from the hearing.
The last time Congress saw such chaos was in the 1850s, just before the Civil War. For instance, on 23 May 1856 U.S. Representative Preston Brooks (D-South Carolina) savagely beat U.S. Senator Charles Sumner (R-Massachusetts) on the Senate floor. Frighteningly, another Representative used a gun to keep onlookers from helping Sumner.
Brooks claimed Sumner’s over-the-top criticism of his relative; U.S. Senator Andrew Butler (D-South Carolina), offended him. Frighteningly, the assault made both Brooks and Sumner into popular heroes in different regions of the nation.
Less than five years later, Americans were killing each other on Civil War battlefields.
4. Impeachment Ends Discourse and Distracts us from Real Issues
Impeachment will end all other political discussion in America. For instance, people will stop talking about Saudi Arabia, Syria, and other serious problems.
“It becomes the giant elephant in the room and all political discussion stops,” Republican presidential candidate Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) said of impeachment on CNN’s New Day on 30 September 2019. Sanford thinks impeachment will end legitimate debates over issues and ideologies in both political parties.
Consequently, growing debates over vital issues such as Climate Change; Medicare for All, the Basic Income, Income Inequality, Social Security, Technological Unemployment, and the Retirement Crisis, will cease. Moreover, the media will ignore important issues including immigration, criminal justice, Climate Change, racism, sexism, religious freedom, mass incarceration, education, the national debt, trade, and our relationship with China.
By concentrating on impeachment, Congress tells all the Americans who care about those issues “your opinion does not count. All that matters is our political theater.” An even worse message that goes out is “we don’t care about America or its problems, we will keep playing our political games as the nation burns.”
5. Impeachment could suppress votes and discourage political participation
I think Sanford’s prediction could come true. America faces serious problems yet politicians refuse to discuss them. In the worst-case scenario, many Americans; on both sides of the aisle, could see impeachment as an elite scam to distract average Americans from the nation’s problems.
Hence, impeachment could drive many Americans away from political participation. That’s the last thing we need in a nation where the United States Election Project estimates just 49.3% of Americans voted in 2018.
Impeachment can discourage political participation because it disrespects all the Americans who voted for Trump. In addition, impeachment disrespects all the Americans who care more about issues and the nation’s problems than Trump.
History shows no government that disrespects its citizens can survive. The Soviet Union; for instance, collapsed because average Russians had no respect for the leaders in the Kremlin.
In the worst case scenario, such disrespect can trigger revolutions. For example, the American Revolution erupted because Americans thought the British Crown was disrespecting them. Likewise, the Civil War broke out because many Southerners thought the Northern political establishment was disrespecting them.
6. We are Just Too Close to Election
America has an established constitutional process for getting rid of Presidents that has worked well for 226 years. It’s called an election and the Constitution schedules one next year.
If we want to get rid of Donald J. Trump, all we have to do is vote him out. Hence, all Democrats need to get rid Trump is an effective presidential candidate who can attract votes in the heartland.
Democrats will argue you over what an effective candidate is, but we have a proven process to settle that dispute. The process is the primaries, and it begins in a little over two months.
Currently, there is an impressive slate of Democratic primary candidates vigorously debating a variety of issues. However, nobody will pay attention to those candidates if the impeachment circus continues in Washington.
Consequently, if Trump is impeached; or nearly impeached, many Americans will conclude a shadowy elite is trying to bypass the electoral process. Such thinking will breed conspiracy theories and fear of institutions.
7. Impeachment could Trigger Violence
We have already seen the damage imaginary conspiracy theories going viral on social media does. Just imagine the harm done if Congress justifies conspiracy theorists’ worst suspicions with questionable impeachment proceedings.
Therefore, I think impeachment could provoke serious bloodshed. Remember, there are lots of angry, embittered, and unhinged people; and many guns, in America. If impeachment triggers violence, the blood will be on the hands of Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and her cohorts.
In conclusion, I think presidential impeachment is stupid, dangerous, and unnecessary. Unfortunately, America is doomed to endure this destructive political circus when we need to be dealing with real problems.