Congress should impeach, convict Donald Trump

The United States Capitol building.

Photo used with permission from Google Commons

The United States Capitol building.

Donald Trump needs to be impeached and removed from the presidency. His most recent act, encouraging a mob of supporters to storm the Capitol, was an egregious assault on our democracy, which cannot simply be met with disapproving speeches and excuses about his little time left in office.

Some say impeaching and removing Trump will further divide the country. Republicans such as Senator Lindsey Graham say it will prevent the nation from healing, and “do more harm than good.” House of Representatives minority leader Kevin McCarthy says “it will only divide our country more.”

The potential divisions caused by the impeachment and removal of a president who encouraged and praised treason, is nothing compared to the damages of not establishing a precedent for authoritarian behavior committed by a sitting president.

The idea that the nation would “heal” by letting a president who encouraged a siege of the Capitol off the hook is appalling. The best way to heal is ensuring incursions on our democracy are not welcome, especially if they come from a sitting president.

There are also people who believe that Wednesday’s violent insurrection was not the fault of Trump, but independent action of those who stormed the Capitol. This argument is very dangerous, because it seeks to absolve Trump of responsibility for the deadly takeover of the Capitol.

This president’s conduct directly led to a treasonous coup attempt in the center of America’s democracy. As President-Elect Joe Biden said in a speech after Wednesday’s events, “the words of a president matter.” Additionally, the lies of a president matter.
Trump has lied since the beginning of his career in politics, but his lies as president have been deadly. His massive base of supporters take his word as the truth, and anything contradictory as fake news.

The sitting president is responsible for a terrorist attack on the Capitol. He could have prevented these events by simply admitting defeat in a timely manner after the election, and urging his supporters to move forward. This was not the course he chose.

This president denied reality ever since it became clear he had lost the election. He pursued every possible avenue through the courts, and lost over 60 cases alleging voter fraud, which didn’t exist. He lied to his supporters about the results of a fair and free election.

By telling his supporters they were the victims of a stolen election, that “they” are taking your country away from “you,” Trump built resentment and fanned the flames of violence crescendoing in the desecration of the Capitol.

The way our country decides to treat a president who encouraged his supporters to charge the center of our democracy is incredibly significant. This violent mob that took over the Capitol, committed both treason and sedition, at the urging of the president.

Congress must act. They must impeach this president and remove him from office. Time and time again, Trump has exceeded the threshold for “normal” behavior, but sedition cannot stand. Treason cannot stand. This violent siege of the Capitol cannot stand. Congress must impeach and remove Donald Trump. The whole world is watching.