The Senate began the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, commencing long days of arguments from both Republicans and Democrats. But while the two parties have battled it out in the Senate chamber over whether or not to convict the president, a different battle lies outside of Congress—how this impeachment will affect the 2020 election.
No president has been without scandal during his administration. The difference with this scandal, however, lies in how the impeachment trial even came about. In comparison to former presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton—the only two other presidents to be impeached— Trump’s impeachment is earlier in his term. In the case of Trump, House Democrats have been looking for ways to impeach the president since his inauguration. And while impeachment processes are highly political, rather than a judicial proceeding before a court, this impeachment has been a deliberate attempt by Democrats to undermine the results of the 2016 election.
Even among representatives, the vote for impeachment was highly partisan. On the Republican side, all but two voted no on both articles of impeachment. For Democrats, only two voted no the first article of impeachment, and on the second, only three. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi could be seen smiling as she signed the Articles of Impeachment that were to be sent to the Senate. In the same video, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) broke out into a large grin upon receiving her souvenir pen. If this was really a situation worthy of impeaching the president, then why such a partisan split on the vote? And if the situation was as serious of a threat to democracy and America’s political institutions as the Democrats have made it out to be, why all the celebration?
The investigation, impeachment, and now Senate trial have been nothing more than a Democrat-led attempt to remove the president from office. The first attempt at impeachment came in 2017 with the possible collusion between the president’s campaign and Russia. A letter from the attorney general stated that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Impeachment is another opportunity for the Democrats to bring down the president because they don’t agree with him, rather than respecting the results of the 2016 election and letting voters vote the president out of office come Election Day 2020.
For the 2020 election, the impeachment represents a larger issue: In a race where every vote counts and swing states could easily flip from the last presidential election, the Democrats are still not clearly understanding how Trump’s relationship with his supporters is only strengthened by his actions, rather than weakened. Constant calls to defeat Donald Trump from primary candidates such Bernie Sanders during the Democratic debates might win some independent votes, but certainly not any Republican votes. The president has a 92 percent approval rating among Republicans, and a 94 percent disapproval rating among Democrats. Democrats and the media, day after day, have reported and hyper-focused on the negative aspects of Trump’s presidency, rather than bringing at least some attention to the good he has done in office over the last three years.
In the end, the whole impeachment process will end up benefiting Trump in his re-election campaign. While the Senate has been caught up in the impeachment proceedings, the president attended the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos and was the first president to attend the March for Life. The American people, particularly those on the right, would rather focus on these actions instead of hearing another update on how Democrats and Republicans are tearing each other to pieces in the Senate chamber.
In the end, the president most likely won’t be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate. Instead of the Senate deciding if the country should endure another Trump term, it should be up to the American people. Come election time, what will be on the forefront of voters’ minds will be the most recent acts of the Trump administration as well as the Democratic candidates.