The impeachment of Donald Trump
Carlos Alberto Montaner
Democrats insist on prosecuting the president and Republicans insist on preventing it. From the law’s point of view, Republicans are right, but, as Brazilians often say, “they are right, but little, so little that it is useless.” Trump will be prosecuted.
It is a dialogue of the deaf. Republicans, rightly, remind Democrats that the economy and the stock market are doing very well, that unemployment is at its lowest level in recent decades, including that of blacks and Hispanics, and that this is due to tax reform, threats of tariff war and the intelligent renegotiation of Free Trade agreements.
The Democrats, also rightly, answer it’s not about that. Apart from obstructing justice and using excessive power (the two causes, totally subjective, of impeachment), the United States has alienated the good will of the “free world” by offending Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, the immigrants, NATO and the European Union, in the latter case supporting the Brexit.
The Republicans, rightly, complain that the Democrats have never accepted Trump’s triumph and have tried to revoke his term since the first day of his presidency, but the Democrats, also rightly, claim that the Republican persecution against Bill Clinton for a love affair was not very different.
In addition that he received nearly three million votes less than his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections, Trump’s gestures, his offensive tweets, and his bully behavior are not presidential. He cannot be presidential when he said during the electoral campaign that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”
But it was true. The most accurate measurements prove it––approximately 43% of American society supports him in any circumstance. At the same time, 52%, more or less, opposes whatever he does, because he is an absolutely polarizing character. Those figures do not mean that Trump will lose the election. It will depend on the Democratic adversary who wins the primaries, those who go out to vote and the effectiveness of both parties’ campaigns.
The only certain thing is that the Senate will acquit him. Not only Republicans have a simple majority in the Upper House, but to condemn him, Democrats would need two thirds of the senators and that is virtually impossible to achieve. Fulfilling the worst nightmares of the Founding Fathers, it won’t be a vote according to law, but to partisan lines, as Alexander Hamilton feared in The Federalist Papers’ essay #65.
Will Trump’s absolution hurt the Democrats? I don’t believe it. In the same way that his followers support him in any circumstance, his opponents detest him in all scenarios. And if that’s the case, why do Democrats risk a judicial process that they cannot win? Simple, because they are trying to win the vote of the independents. According to a recent Gallup survey, the majority party in the country is formed by the independents: 38%. Democrats only add up to 31% and Republicans 29%.
Throughout 2020 the Democrats will use the impeachment process to attack Trump with various accusations, among them, the demand for not showing his tax returns, the mismanagement of relations with North Korea, and the abandonment of the leadership of the “free world.” It is true that what will be at stake are the next November’s elections, but politicians have very creative ways to bury their true intentions under a torrent of patriotic words. They will use them all.
Published by elblogdemontaner.com December 15, 2019
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
* @ Carlos A Montaner. CAM’s last book is Without going any further (Memories). It was presented in Books & Books, Coral Gables, on December 12, 2019. The work was published by Debate, a seal of Penguin-Random House. It can be obtained through Amazon Books.