An illogical impeachment inquiry in Congress

As the first leg of the impeachment process for President Donald Trump comes to a close, the question of whether Congress should actually impeach our president has arisen not only in the minds of his steadfast Republican supporters, but also among some Democrats.

It has become increasingly clear over the course of the several-month process, from the first news of the plans to impeach to the inevitable Articles of Impeachment, that it is not in the nation’s best interest to proceed with the impeachment process.

Many of the impeachment’s proponents claim that if no inquiry is made, it will set a precedent that presidents can get away with whatever they want, consequence free. However, this idea is misguided, because it disregards the reality of this specific inquiry.

It has nothing to do with Trump’s other misdeeds such as his alleged cooperation with Russia in the 2016 elections. He was allowed to get away with what went on during the campaign, so whether or not he is punished for the isolated case of using presidential power to interfere in the 2020 election, the aforementioned precedent has already been set.

It is more important to focus on the impeachment process’ impact on the nation as a whole. The main result of the inquiry thus far has been increased polarization, in which both Democrats and Republicans entirely reject one another and believe in their party’s ideals so firmly that they refuse to cooperate more vehemently than ever before. 

Since the start of the process, Democrats and Republicans have found themselves more unwilling to compromise than ever before, with each group villainizing and discrediting the other, thus widening the gap between our fractured nation.

In fact, the impeachment has actually increased his popularity with his supporters. If after impeachment, Trump is not convicted in the Senate—which he isn’t expected to be because of the wide Republican majority—the only result will be a nation more fractured than ever with Democrats bitter because of the loss of a valuable opportunity to oust a president they view as one of the worst in history and Republican voters upset over the mere attempt.

Assuming President Trump is impeached, though, the results could be even more disastrous. For one, just because the president is impeached, doesn’t mean he will be removed from office or prevented from running in the 2020 election. 

The Senate, which decides whether to convict Trump and the punishment he will face, is expected to acquit him, letting him stay in office. Furthermore, on the off chance that they remove him, they may still allow him to run in the 2020 elections. 

In either of these cases, it is more likely than not that Trump’s campaign will put a spin on the situation that paints Trump as a martyr who survived persecution from the Democrats and even from his own party members, the Republican senators who, in this hypothetical scenario, will have voted for his conviction.

Or, if Trump is removed from office, which is what the majority of Democrats are hoping will come from this, who takes his place? None other than Mike Pence, which is far from ideal in their eyes. Removing Trump from office will not have magically placed a Democrat in office and restored Democratic majority in every legislative body.

Instead, the sad reality is that we as a nation will be left with President Pence, a still-divided Congress and an even more fractured voting body than ever. There are no real winners in the impeachment process, no matter the outcome.