I oppose the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump for the same reasons I opposed the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton.
The first reason is that it’s just bad for the country. The impeachment process further divides and polarizes a nation that is already terribly divided and shamefully polarized. People who support the party that is initiating the impeachment process are going to blindly support impeachment and people of the defending party are going to blindly oppose impeachment.
Families are divided, friendships end, bitter arguments ensue, and normally civil people become incredibly uncivil, even hostile. The news media, whether on the Right or Left, keeps things stirred up because it benefits them to do so.
Secondly, it weakens the country internationally. By that, I mean that the office of President is sullied and tarnished. Both Clinton and Trump, who demonstrated plenty of moral failure and, thus, did themselves do damage to the office, lost a certain amount of respect in the international community.
Impeachment takes this loss of respect to a whole new level. And when the world loses respect for the office of the President of the United States, the nation is weakened in many areas.
Thirdly, the people elected to serve the nation are bogged down in this public morass and are not doing their jobs. Now, some believe that it is a good thing that Congress is doing very little, if anything. The stock market seems to like inaction on the part of our elected representatives. But major issues of the day are simply not being addressed.
The impeachment process, and all that preceded it, have come from a Congress that is mired in its own agenda. I believe the voters have noticed that and are weary with their “leaders.”
Fourthly, the President wasn’t and will not be turned out of office. Why? Because it really takes both parties agreeing that the so-called “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary to eject the President from office rise to a level that is worth the emotional trauma to the nation.
The Republicans badly misjudged the mood of the nation in their attempt to impeach President Clinton. In fact, the nation had returned him to office for a second term. The effort was seen by many as a slap at the voters who elected the man. The voters weren’t as worked up over the accusations as the Republican Congress members were.
The Democrats, I would wager, are making the same mistake. Trump won the election in an Electoral College landside. Virtually no one who purported to know politics expected him to win. Yet the voters elected him under the terms of the Constitution in an historic upset.
People who support Trump are aware that he is a greatly flawed individual. Yet, his rallies continue to have large, standing-room only crowds with hundreds or thousands left outside who couldn’t get in. I believe that, again, the voters are not as worked up over the accusations as the Democrats are.
Impeachment, by the way, is not a trial; neither does it remove the president from office. In fact a President has never been removed from office. Impeachment basically is an indictment by the majority of the House of Representatives. The Senate has the trial and there is where both previous impeachments were stopped.
Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both “indicted” and both were “acquitted,” to use court jargon. And neither action by either side of the Congress results in jail time. It is a political action.
President Richard Nixon, facing impeachment, resigned rather than let the process run its course. He evidently believed that the possibility of conviction, on a bi-partisan basis, was real.
If and when the matter gets to the Senate, it takes a two-thirds votes to oust the President from office. No President has even been convicted by the Senate. There are 53 Republicans and 45 Democrats in the Senate with 2 independents who generally vote with the Democrats. It would take 67 votes to convict the President. Not going to happen. Not unless there is much more there than has been shown.
Finally, I oppose impeachment because we now run the risk of impeachment being “normal,” as a political tool. The Republicans impeached a Democratic president. Now, the Democrats are attempting to impeach a Republican president. What about the next time? And there will be a next time.
In the first 92 years of this nation, there was one attempted impeachment of a president. In the last 45 years, there have been three attempts of impeachment. And, at what cost to America?
In 2018, one-third of Americans believed that a second civil war was likely. A new poll conducted in 2019 by Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service found a shocking statistic that showed the majority of Americans believed that a second civil war is looming in the near future. The poll noted that 7 in 10 (70%) Americans believe that America is on the verge of a violent war with itself. It is, perhaps, this fear that contributes to the phenomenal rise in gun sales (a 15% increase in August 2019 alone).
While a majority of Americans fear a civil war, while the nation tears itself to pieces, while Americans quietly arm themselves, to the tune of 393 million civilian-held firearms, the politicians dither and play politics.
If anyone should be impeached and thrown from office it is these people, of both parties, who betray the voters’ trust and confidence and pursue their own agendas.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City (www.ctk.life). He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]