By Apsara Senaratne
Google Trends data for 2016 revealed a 4,850 percent increase in Google searches such as “How to impeach a president” and “How to move to Canada,” among others, according to the Independent.
As Trump takes the position of the leading Republican nominee in the 2020 election, large metropolitan areas like New York City have seen a surge in protests which seek to deliver a single message: Impeach Trump.
Impeachment is decided upon by the House of Representatives, and confirmed by the Senate, which determines through trial whether or not the official should be removed from office. No president in United States history has been forced from office; though both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House, they were not convicted by the Senate and were thus not removed in any formal capacity.
The Constitution states that the parameters for impeachment include “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” which are often defined by the ever-changing majority views of the House of Representatives. In the current House’s view, Trump’s actions have undoubtedly been damning; the House split 232-196 in a decision to commence impeachment trials October, according to the New York Times. For most Democrats, this is unsurprising: Trump has displayed a flagrant lack of regard for the limits upon his power since his election. Even recently, he attempted to pressure Ukraine into both absolving Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election and illegally looking into Joe Biden.
Though many are eager to call for Trump’s removal from the U.S. presidency, many do not properly consider the fact that, should impeachment take place, Vice President Mike Pence would by default rise to the seat of President.
It is not only Trump who is responsible for many unconscionable actions performed on behalf of the Trump administration. Pence other government officials have done nothing but encourage Trump’s misconduct in office. Pence has been notably instrumental in relaying Trump’s demands to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Impeaching Trump would not solve the political ruin which the Trump administration will inevitably leave the nation to face, however, as it would only bring to office someone who has been Trump’s advocate and aide in his crimes. Though it is understandable to be enthusiastic about the potential fall of the figurehead for a dangerous administration which has been in power for too long without repercussions, it is advisable to consider that Pence is no better for the nation: he would continue to carry out Trump’s schemes, thus perpetuating similar abuses within the administration.
The fact that Trump faces a very likely impeachment at the hands of the House is promising for many Democrats, but alongside the complex and fickle nature of impeachment trials, the risk of a dangerous Pence presidency is not worth the impeachment of a corrupt official of even Trump’s kind.
Democrats should not place blind hope in upcoming trials to further reveal Trump’s wrongdoings and to bring justice to the people, but should instead come together as a united front, focus upon the election ahead, and ensure with our votes and our support of those who oppose Trump that Trump cannot set foot in office for the near future.