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            Alison Anderson

 

Yes or No?

The impeachment of Donald Trump was worth the time and anguish that went in to it, even though the president was acquitted

By Alison Anderson & Steve Clark 

2-13-2020

 

Watching Donald Trump’s impeachment investigation and trial has been a painful process, no matter on which side of the aisle we sit.

There has been no gratification for liberals in exposing the president’s behavior of pressuring Ukraine’s President Zelensky to do his political bidding—nor in watching the president shut down the House of Representatives’ efforts to question members of the administration.

Nancy Pelosi reluctantly came to the decision to investigate, but when President Trump undermined his own intelligence forces and diplomats to further his own campaign, she concluded she had to hold him accountable, Thus the impeachment process began.

The witnesses, particularly Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, were inspiring in their loyalty to our country’s ideals. But it was agonizing to hear about what they had been through.

Once the House voted to impeach Trump, and the articles of impeachment were sent to the Senate, the process proved to be equally miserable to watch.

The House Managers, (prosecutors of the impeachment case), all Democrats, could describe the case against the president (those 24 hours might have been 240!) but the foregone and overwhelming conclusion of Republican senators was to stand by the president. In the end, Republican senators refused even to allow witnesses or evidence.

Obviously, this “trial” changed no minds among the senators, and probably didn’t win any friends, either for the president or for his critics. The process left Americans more polarized, discouraged and angry.

I’m as sad about the behavior of our senators and congressmen as I am about the outcome of the trial. I had no expectation that Trump would be removed from office, but I didn’t realize how much more bitter each side would feel.

Many Republicans feel that Democrats are mean-spirited haters who will do anything to impede this president. On the other side, Democrats are watching as the president, whom they see as corrupt, mean-spirited and dishonest, undermines their idealistic goals. I am heartsick at the lack of effort to find common ground.

I’m hoping there might be a way, rather than encouraging our representatives to fight for defeat of the “other side,” we might communicate our desire that they reach across the aisle to pass bills that will benefit us all.

None of us will get all that we want, but isn’t “half a loaf” better than 275 bills passed by the House gathering dust on Mitch McConnell’s desk? And isn’t respect for our differences better than viciousness?

Personally, I’ve had enough of it. I’m exhausted from the sense of turmoil every day as I read the news. When I listened to Mitt Romney describe his reasons for voting for one of the two impeachment articles, I saw a man who, knowing he’d be attacked by his president, his party and many in his own state, followed his conscience. Not surprisingly, his fears have been realized.

Has the impeachment process been “worth it”? The process has been divisive, time-consuming and expensive.

However, as I see it, it has accomplished one thing—it has shown in graphic relief the character of many of our national leaders, on both the right and the left.

As their constituents, our reactions to this impeachment, and what we choose to do next with our political activism (or lack of engagement), our votes, and our interactions with our political allies and opponents, will show what we are made of as well.

 

           Steve Clark