As the impeachment process of Donald Trump drew to a close last week and the Republican-controlled Senate inevitably found the president not guilty. Impeachment is the nuclear option for dealing with presidential high crimes or misdemeanours, and categorically should not be used for partisan gain, a partisan gain that many feel will backfire. The impeachment undermines its purpose and weakens its impact when it really needs to be used.
The impeachment trial of Bill Clinton occurred based on accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice and came about after the president lied about his personal indiscretions. Mr Trump is extremely likely to experience a post-acquittal bounce. As with Clinton before him, some supporters disliked his accusers more than they disapproved of their president’s actions. However, one notable difference between the two impeachment trials is the amount and variation of information available to the public. The Clinton affair was the first online political scandal, in that the news broke on the internet via the Drudge Report and was subsequently picked up by the mainstream media. But, however divided the nation was, the variation of information on offer was finite and therefore the public was at least looking at the same hymn sheet, if not singing from it.
Impeachment should be the method of absolute last resort, and then engaged with meaningfully by all involved. And when it is, those allegations of high crimes or misdemeanours must be considered and voted on objectively. For every Democrat wringing their hands as they listened to Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech on February 4, there was one of his supporters punching the air, all the more determined to show up on election day come November. Will the Democrats be able to defeat Mr Trump when he is in this sort of mood?
Polarisation is now likely to reach new levels. In addition, there will be a thirst for revenge among Republicans against their Democrat opponents. When the next impeachment trial takes place, the chances of Americans taking this most grave of constitutional procedures seriously low. Too many, this impeachment was a sham from the start and had never been aloud to go ahead.
Editor-in-Chief | Carl D. Pearson has been involved in British politics and media from an early age, with the key knowledge of what it takes to run a news organisation for the 21st century. Mr Pearson, as Editor-in-chief, is responsible for supervising the daily tasks of publishing media and content to UNN’s website and various platforms.
This content was sourced from Unity News Network.