In last week’s edition of The DePauw, Reid Cooper published an opinion article titled, “It’s Time. We have what we need, now is the time to draft articles of impeachment.” Cooper opened the piece by describing an attention-drawing ad in the Washington Post requesting any information that could lead to Trump’s impeachment. Cooper then suggested that the ad is redundant, asking, “Don’t we already have what we need? Let’s face the facts: it’s time to impeach Trump.”
My problem with the remainder of Cooper’s article, however, was that very few of the reasons presented for impeaching Trump were not backed by factual evidence. The clearest example I found in the article was Cooper’s accusation that “Trump has abused power, most obviously in his conduct regarding investigations into his campaign’s collusion with Russia.” Even this, however, was not as specific as I would have liked. What specific conduct? If we’re making an argument for impeaching the president, shouldn’t we have as much specific evidence as possible?
Other impeachment reasons given by Cooper include, “Trump has continued to fan the flames of hatred and bigotry in our country,” and “he has failed to prove himself as a morally stable and intelligent leader, and has abandoned even the most basic duties of his office.” None of these arguments are followed by specific examples or evidence. What is meant by “basic duties”? More importantly, what is the specific evidence? We are told to “face the facts,” but then hardly any are given.
The author even admits that “evidence of Trump’s criminality has not necessarily become much clearer than it was a day, week or even month ago.” Based on the reasons given, I would question whether Trump’s criminality even existed in the first place. I understand that many people have been offended, even hurt by things that Trump has said while in office. At the same time, the grounds for impeachment, according to the constitution, is “conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” While someone might make the case that some of Trump’s statements classify as “misdemeanors” because of their offensiveness, this is a dangerous argument to make, as any president ruling a nation of millions for four years is bound to offend at least one person.
This is not to say that I agree with or approve of all that Trump has said; I’ve cringed at many of his statements and oftentimes wished someone would take his twitter account away from him. But at the same time, our country faces many more pressing issues than Trump’s tweets, and I think putting too much attention on them takes away from both those issues and the work Trump is doing on other issues.
It’s not time to impeach Trump. The Russian investigation has not provided any damning evidence so far. There arguably hasn’t been much more corruption than any previous administrations. Our economy is even faring very well, as the last six months had the most growth out of all the six-month periods in the last three years, despite having two major hurricanes.
Of course, we always want to keep our eyes out for any signs of activity that could lead to impeachment, no matter who is president. We also need to be as objective as possible in doing so. It’s fine to complain about the president; in fact, it’s protected. But when we start looking to bring down a president because we don’t like him or her, or his or her policies, and those feelings become the primary reasons or evidence behind calls for impeachment, I would argue that’s just rabble-rousing, not facing the facts.