By: Kevin McDonnell
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- On the night of the State of the Union, President Trump made his way to the House chamber to lay out his agenda for the coming year. He would face a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, the same House that impeached him earlier that year, and before a Republican-controlled Senate who would ultimately acquit him.
Republican Congressmen and women alike took to the internet, social media, and news broadcasts to proclaim that the president had been acquitted and to imply with that acquittal exoneration from wrongdoing. It is easy to frame the impeachment as a partisan attack on behalf of the Democratic Party.
My colleagues here at Niagara in the College Republican Leadership described it as such, “[Impeachment] was a waste of time and taxpayer money. It was a forgone conclusion that the Senate wouldn’t convict the president. This was a futile attempt by Speaker Pelosi to hurt President Trump’s chances at reelection. The President’s counsel has proven that the Democrats had no constitutional basis for the two specific articles of impeachment.”
It is easy to dismiss the impeachment as a failure because it did not achieve its end in removing the president, but that does not mean impeachment does not matter.
Republicans will argue that the impeachment was partisan, but only three other presidents have been impeached prior to President Trump. Republicans will argue that it was a waste of money, but can we put a price on providing an accurate history of our republic? Without the impeachment of President Trump historians of this time period will be led to believe that there was a tacit acceptance of Trump’s administration; that the American people wholeheartedly agreed to his policies. It is the duty of the United States Congress to be the protectorate of the Constitution. Whether you believe President Trump deserved to be removed from office or not, his impeachment still matters in telling future generations that not all Americans supported President Trump’s divisive administration. This becomes even more important as authoritarianism around the globe grows evermore pervasive. It is fervent dissent that keeps the spirit of true democratic principles alive.