Depending on whom you ask, the impeachment of Donald Trump is either imminent and certain or it is the product of baseless liberal fantasy. Likewise, depending on whom you ask, a Trump impeachment will either save the country from or otherwise lead the country towards certain doom. Whether Trump winds up being impeached or remains President through the entirety of two terms, one thing is abundantly clear: our nation’s political system is broken and is currently incapable of responding to and unwilling to fix the problems faced by the vast majority of people in the United States.
According to a Gallup poll released in May, only 20 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 74 percent disapprove. Trump fairs a little better with a 39 percent approval rating, but such a number is very low for a new President only a few months into his first term. These numbers represent not only a dissatisfaction with the job being done by our elected officials, but with an overall dissatisfaction with the state of American politics in 2017.
Donald Trump ran on a platform of change. He convinced enough of the population that he was going to go to Washington D.C. and “drain the swamp” of its corrupt bureaucrats. He ran against Hillary Clinton, seen by many as a corrupt Washington-insider who was completely out of touch and subservient to corporate interests. The former reality TV star with the “you’re fired!” catchphrase was exactly the guy for the job of cleaning up the bad trash in nation’s capital, according to his supporters. Unfortunately, only four short months into his term it’s clear that, if anything, Trump has just added to the mess of corruption and cronyism that pollutes Washington D.C.
Harvard constitutional law scholar, Laurence Tribe, published an article in Sunday’s Washington Post which expertly makes the case for Donald Trump’s impeachment. In the article, Tribe says Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey equates to an inexcusable obstruction of justice and calls for politicians of both parties to have the political will to begin impeachment proceedings.
“Even without getting to the bottom of what Trump dismissed as ‘this Russia thing,’ impeachable offenses could theoretically have been charged from the outset of this presidency,” Tribe wrote. “One important example is Trump’s brazen defiance of the foreign emoluments clause, which is designed to prevent foreign powers from pressuring U.S. officials to stray from undivided loyalty to the United States. Political reality made impeachment and removal on that and other grounds seem premature.”
While Donald Trump may very well deserve impeachment under the law, it’s hard not to see the whole thing as an empty game of political football that will only serve to further obfuscate the fact that both parties serve their corporate masters, routinely ignoring the needs and concerns of everyday Americans. Both parties have the explicit goal of perpetuating wars to satisfy the financial cravings of the military industrial complex and politicians of both parties seem interested in little more than maintaining and increasing their own power and wealth.
In that respect, while the impeachment of Donald Trump will make for some great politically-themed reality TV, it is all just empty theater and does nothing in terms of moving towards creating a political system that will work to improve the lives of the average American. It won’t bring us closer to a working healthcare system. It won’t fix our crumbling infrastructure or improve education for our nation’s young people. It won’t end our involvement in unwinnable quagmires overseas. It won’t create jobs. It won’t pay anyone’s bills. It won’t make anything better.
So, while the drama and intrigue of a Trump impeachment circus would certainly have us all rooting for one outcome or the other, the truth is it will accomplish nothing essential. It will treat a symptom while it ignores the disease. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]