By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer
On Jan. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting violence against the government. Some people have criticized this second impeachment, saying what’s important now is unity and healing. However, unity cannot be achieved without reconciliation.
Many Republicans who spoke during the impeachment hearings spoke about how partisanship is the danger and how everyone needs to come together after the attack on the Capitol.
“It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what,” Ohio Representative Jim Jordan said. “It’s an obsession, an obsession that has now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore, it’s about canceling, as I’ve said. Canceling the president and anyone that disagrees with them.”
Republicans also went on to focus on the speech Trump gave during the protests and the violent events at the Capitol, not the movement building up to protest.
“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted,” California Representative Tom McClintock said. “That’s what the president did, that is all he did.”
However, these Republicans failed to put this event in the context of the entire post-election season and the refusal of Trump to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. After months of pushing false claims of election fraud, his supporters were riled up and ready to overturn the election. To say this wasn’t Trump’s goal of the protest would be to turn a blind eye to the evidence.
Let’s say we completely isolate the event of the attempted coup at Capitol Hill and Trump’s speech beforehand. This still deserves impeachment. His speech inspired his supporters to storm government property, kill and harm Capitol police and plan to kill elected Democrats and Vice President Mike Pence.
In the end, this offense is impeachable, but is it even worth it? Trump will be gone in a few days anyway.
The answer is still yes. The President of the United States has to be held to the highest standard. What Trump did was an act of treason, and impeachment and conviction will establish the precedent that these actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
In addition, if the Senate votes to convict him before his term ends, he will lose his post-presidential perks; such as government-paid staff, a pension, a $1 million annual travel budget and $500,000 annual travel budget for the former president’s spouse.
The bottom line is that there must be responsibility taken for Trump’s actions. He does not get a free pass just because his term is about to end.
More than that, there has to be unity against the actions that took place at the Capitol. There must be punishment for the terrorists who stormed the Capitol, and there must be punishment for the one who incited their actions.
We do not stand with terrorists. We do not reason with them. All we can do is put a stop to their violence. The fight against fascism should be an easy choice, and it’s yet again concerning that many Republicans have decided to gloss over these fascist actions over condemning the behavior.
We can’t even begin to call ourselves a great country if we don’t have accountability for our elected officials and domestic terrorists.