The long road to Impeachment (and we’re only halfway there)

By: Jaye Mindus

Impeachment has been inevitable since Nov. of 2018. 

As soon as Democrats took control of the House of Representatives it was certain. 

And now we’re here. 

Trump will forever have an asterisk next to his name on posters and lists of presidents. 

The next chapter will determine whether or not he gets to fulfill his four year lease. 

Whether or not he gets removed, his impeachment gives me hope.

I was never a very political person. 

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and never really had to think about politics. 

When I moved abroad, I took sanctuary in my Canadian passport and was still not very political. 

No one really knew about Canadian politics so I didn’t get asked.

Then 2016 rolled around and it couldn’t be avoided. 

I watched all of The West Wing, listened to a year’s worth of political podcasts in about three months, and declared a double major in political science and rhetoric, media, and professional communications.

The more I learned about the American system the more it felt like a train rolling sideways down a mountain. 

There’s not much we can do to stop it. 

It hurts like hell every time we hit a bump, and we’re only gaining speed. 

But the slope might have just started to level. 

We might also be headed towards a cliff. 

Things are confusing emotionally right now.

So Trump got impeached in the House. 

This passed the ball to the Senate, run by Mitch McConnell. 

Unfortunately, Mitch has proven to be extremely loyal to Trump and refuses to state that he will allow witnesses and new evidence (including testimony from former National Security Advisor John Bolton) at the Senate trial. 

He outright refused at first, but was forced into rhetorical gymnastics by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. 

Speaker Pelosi is holding onto the articles of impeachment, not letting the Senate begin its trial until Mitch agrees to her terms. 

Mitch has responded to Speaker Pelosi by setting the guidelines for the Senate trial: he won’t decide whether or not to allow witnesses until after hearing the opening arguments. 

This is a political maneuver so partisan Newt Gingrich is probably jealous. 

The Senate can now say that it is ready to begin proceedings, it had a vote agreeing on the guidelines (the vote fell on partisan lines but only needed a simple majority to pass), and is now just waiting on Speaker Pelosi to send over the papers. 

It paints her as stubborn and obstructing when in reality she is trying to avoid sending the articles into a sham trial. 

Speaker Pelosi’s play is a tough one, but it’s also the only leverage she has right now. 

This is an exciting and historic time. 

I’m hopeful that Trump gets removed, the damage he’s done is close to irreparable and there needs to be some sense that not even the President is above the law. 

If he gets removed from office, this will be the message. 

This is also a terrifying time, because the more Trump feels like the walls are closing in the more he’s going to lash out. 

Environmental, social, and economic protections have been systematically destroyed over the past three years, and the time between impeachment and removal will be the time he fights the hardest.

I wrote my first draft of this piece in mid-December with no cohesive idea of how he might lash out, but since then we’ve been given some clue. 

The ongoing situation with Iran and Iraq are unlikely to be the end of anything.

Politics is complicated and viscerally revolting and about the most interesting thing I’ve found. 

It’s like an owl pellet: disgusting, but educational. 

Lots of remnants of the long-dead. 

An almost weird amount of hair. 

I love it for all of that, but mainly because the way our governments are designed affect the way our societies think and live. 

I live with a constant battle between patriotism, conflict with the other patriotic side of America, and coming to terms with the fact that I probably won’t be able to afford anything ever. 

It often feels like Canadian politics and ideologies are easier, and it’s tempting to rip my hair out and burn my American passport. 

Then I have to remind myself what drew me to American politics to begin with.

What’s amazing about American politics is its ability to inspire hope. 

Not compliance, not general acceptance, but hope.

I am genuinely hopeful for our future because I see how passionate people are, and I know I’m not alone. If we manage to avoid a war during the next 12 months we might just see the pendulum swing back to sanity.