In an op-ed for Fox News, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke about the current state of American politics and what he believes is a pattern of Democrats refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of elections. He notes Hillary Clinton’s belief that she was robbed in the 2016 election against Donald Trump and contrasted it with the “many Democrats” that suggested George W. Bush was an “illegitimate president” following the 2000 election. Shapiro also highlighted that Democrats indicated in 2018 that Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was robbed in her loss to Brian Kemp.
“Now in the run-up to 2020, Democrats are already suggesting that if President Trump wins, the election will have been illegitimate,” Shapiro said, pointing to the impeachment probe into Trump’s alleged pressuring of Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden.
“In fact, Democrats state that if Trump is not impeached, the 2020 results will inevitably be deemed improper,” Shapiro added
According to Shapiro, the pattern is a “vicious cycle” in which “illegitimate impeachments” are driven by the “perception of illegitimate elections.” He noted the current ugliness of American politics and said that the maintenance of a republic hinges on bipartisan faith in the legitimacy of the electoral process, regardless of the outcome.
“With Democrats openly claiming that they can run an end-around with the electoral process because they don’t trust the results, and stating that any future loss is evidence of corruption and a representation of the end of the country, things are about to get a lot uglier.”
Shapiro previously commented on the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Shapiro, the document is a “complete Rorschach test,” and whether the reader believes the president was asking for a quid pro quo will hinge on their perception of Trump. The 35-year-old author stopped short on whether he believes the transcript proves a quid pro quo between Trump and Zelensky, although he nevertheless condemned the president’s behavior.
Others, like Independent Justin Amash, believe that Trump’s conduct is impeachable. According to Amash, Republicans are intentionally misleading the public into believing that specific statutory crimes are necessary to impeach Trump. As the Michigan Representative notes, the Constitution only provides the power to impeach for high crimes as opposed to ordinary crimes.
Amash tore down the notion that impeachment involves looking to statutes, claiming that impeachment involves looking at a president’s behavior and whether it involves violating the public trust, abusing power, or using his office for personal gain.