Why We Need To Hold Donald Trump Accountable By Impeachment

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/state-us-democracy (Image: Ted Eytan)

I’ve taken a break from writing recently, in lieu of the events on January 6th. Due to the gravity of it all, I just couldn’t find the words.

Now, as our former president’s impeachment case sits in the hands of our Senate representatives, I cannot sit in silence anymore. I have to find the words.

If there was any question about whether or not Donald Trump incited the attack on January 6th, that was put to rest by the House Managers this week. To list just a few, PBS, ABC, and NYT covered the trial live for anyone to watch, during which time our representatives watched a video of this event that had never been seen before. NowThis has included this clip in a video they shared on Facebook of the trial highlights. This horrific footage starts at minute 8:00 of the video linked above and ends at 21:22.

President Trump says in his speech, “we will go to the Capitol, and I’ll be there with you.” We see men and women violently breaking windows, pushing and assaulting brave officers of the law to enter the building, shouting “take the building” and “f*ck these people” as they carry “Trump” flags along with them.

Trump tells them to “fight like H*ll. And if you don’t fight like H*ll, you won’t have a country anymore.” They pulled an officer into the chaos, stole his belongings, and tased him until he had a heart attack. Others chanted “fight for Trump” and “stop the steal” as they stalked the halls searching for representatives they could harm. One man yelling “where the f*ck are they?” when they entered the Senate chamber to find it empty. This was a hunt executed by the former President; there is no question about it.

I know some of our representatives didn’t watch this video during the trial but chose to look down or away. I urge you to take a good look at what happened at the nation’s Capital that day and to really contemplate the gravity of it and the repercussions of the decision that will be made in the Senate, then ask yourselves if you would be okay with the former president ever holding public office again.

We had a President refuse to accept the election results due to a claim that the election was rigged or stolen without any evidence to back up said claim.

From that erroneous foundation, he went on to spew this diatribe on television over and over again, convincing hundreds of thousands of people who want to support and believe him on this claim.

Once he had the public angry and feeling like their support and voice wasn’t being heard and therefore did not count, he sent them to march on the Capitol and told them to fight to get their country back.

When things got violent, and people were emotionally or physically abused and even killed, he refused to ask them to stop.

Make no mistake, the purpose of this march was to take lives and disrupt the due process of our democracy. This was an attack to overthrow the system so one man could maintain power.

If any other president had unleashed such chaos into the streets of our Capitol, would you be content with an acquittal? Would you want them to serve again? Would you “let it go”? Would you ask for “unity”? Would you sweep it under the rug?

If President Obama did that, would you be in support of acquittal?

If President George Bush did that, would you be okay with him serving again?

If President Bill Clinton did that, would you let it go?

If President George H. W. Bush did that, would you ask for unity?

If President Ronald Reagan did that, would you sweep it under the rug?

The answer should be no. We have held every other president to a higher standard; it should be no different with Donald J. Trump.

Donald J. Trump is no longer the President of the United States. He lost. He’s gone. But if our Senators do not convict him for this terrorism — to which they were the victims — they are telling everyone around the world that the door is open for this to happen again.

More frightening than that, our government would be announcing that this behavior is not terrorism and will not be treated as such. That it is okay to attempt to decimate the democratic process if you don’t like the results, encourage violence to overthrow the government if you really think you should remain in power.

If our Senators acquit Donald Trump from these crimes, they would be allowing one man to completely rewrite what we deem acceptable in our political system. They will allow the terroristic behavior exhibited that day to leave a lasting impact on our society, which will leave us vulnerable.

Unity does not come from an acquittal. It comes from justice. Unity is us standing united against those who choose to cause us harm, as a nation and as a people.

I want to be proud of my country. The next time I travel outside of the United States of America and people ask me where I’m from; I want to be proud of my answer. But right now, I am ashamed. I’m ashamed that after all this, we still stand on party lines.

We still allow titles to separate us. We allow differences to divide us. We judge others based on immovable characteristics of themselves.

True unity is acceptance. But as I look around this country, as I see violence against those who do not fit “the mold,” attacks against those whose skin is not the “right color,” those that love the “wrong person,” have the “wrong gender,” the “wrong sex,” that aren’t “from here,” I’m sickened.

We are attacked, abused, and shamed. Then our abusers ask for forgiveness without punishment. Without justice. They ask us to “get over it” and then become the victim once again.

Donald Trump did not create hate. He did not create racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. But, he profited from it. He organized it. He fed it.

In history, when groups have come together with the goal of violence, we stopped that. We fought wars to push them back. We look outward at injustice and say “no.”

But when it happens in our own backyard, when we rise up to fight against it, we get an inch and are told we should be satisfied they even allowed us that.

Black men are allowed to vote. “Isn’t that enough? You get to vote.”

Schools desegregate. “You get to go where you want now, isn’t that enough?”

Women get to join the workforce. “You want to be bosses too? You’re lucky we let you in here at all.”

Our government should not rise and fall at the whims of one person. Our government has never risen or fallen at the whims of an individual. Donald Trump should not be an exception. We are more than one person; we are at our strongest when we stand together. We cannot allow a tolerance of hate, prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism in our home.

We witnessed his crimes, and we deserve the justice of his conviction. 56% of Americans think Donald Trump should be impeached. 56% of Americans want to see us move on from him, the right way.

We cannot move on; we cannot heal until we clean out the wound. We need to disinfect our government of Trump before we can sew up the cut.

Years from now, I want to be able to look back at the scar from that cut and be thankful that it is over. What I don’t want to do is look at that scar and all the scars surrounding it now — infected and ugly from our malpractice, and be fearful of where the next one will appear.

When our children’s children learn about “the day they stormed the Capitol,” how should that chapter end? I know what I’d like to see that history book to say.

“Guilty as charged.”

If you would like to reach out to your Senators before they cast their vote you can find their contact information here: U.S. Senators Listing

UW-Green Bay graduate with a major in Political Science and Democracy and Justice Studies. Focused on political writing.

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