Opinion: Elevated impeachment dialogue is better late than never

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is long overdue. 

As the inquiry continues later into the year, so rises the likelihood that the House of Representatives will vote to impeach the President before the New Year. The future of the impeachment in the Senate has become less clear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not strictly espoused anti-impeachment sentiment and has prepared Senate Republicans for a drawn-out Senate trial that is likely to be more contentious than the House inquiry hearings.

Impeachment is not about relitigating the 2016 election, though I’m sure many will do so for decades to come. The primary reason why these proceedings are important is that the process asks people of all political persuasions to review the state of American politics. At some point, a better era needs to replace the polarization the Trump-Clinton divisions represent. This impeachment is about drawing the American public back into a conversation about what we choose to accept from our leaders.

Trump’s governing strategy amounts to an unapologetic gale of controversy and a continuous stream of polarizing acts meant to keep the media busy. Consequently, his presidency is marked by periodic episodes where the administration crosses a line by implementing and defending unnecessarily horrible policy moves on a host of issues, which are then received badly by many members of the public. Introduce controversial policy, create drama, attract attention — wash, rinse, repeat.

To most within the Democratic party, Donald Trump’s presidency has always been an odious danger to American lives and values. As Alexander Hamilton might put it, Donald Trump is a man whose primary objective is to “throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind’” for personal gains and a very public form of validation. The impeachment proceedings show that Trump is also a danger to lives around the globe. The case for electing a new administration is strong.

Additionally, Trump’s corruption has long-term implications for our democratic norms. The Ukraine scandal is one important example among many that evidence Trump’s reckless desire for power and esteem at any cost. To impeach Trump is to hold the executive branch to account and send the message that Americans will not permit corrupt governance. Not impeaching Trump hands him a free pass.

This president has shown his true colors time and time again. It is time to wash our hands of Donald Trump, even if GOP leadership will not.

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