Another week, another ridiculous scandal that involves the president. Ever since the Democrats in the House of Representatives launched their impeachment inquiry, Trump has been very active on Twitter. He went so far as to parrot a megachurch pastor who remarked that if Democrats successfully impeach President Trump (a completely legal and justifiable action, given his phone call with the Ukrainian president), it will “cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” He went even further today, remarking that what the Democrats were attempting to do was a “COUP” meant to take away the “Power of the People”.
Such rhetoric coming from the office of the highest official in the United States is incredibly dangerous. To relate the removal process to something as violent and criminal as a coup delegitimizes the act in the minds of many Americans, making a completely legal process that is enshrined in our Constitution seem like something nefarious.
Furthermore, repeating such ridiculous comments on Twitter, where Trump has millions of followers, may actually pose a legitimate danger to the Democratic members of Congress. Just last month, Cesar Sayoc was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being caught by the FBI for sending bombs to prominent members of Congress. Cesar was a Trump “superfan,” and it seems quite clear where his animosity for Democrats developed. Any kind of mention of war or a coup could potentially set one of these timebomb “superfans” off into committing similar dangerous acts, thinking they are protecting their beloved president.
The divisive discourse coming from the president’s Twitter feed isn’t anything new, but I fear it will get worse the further along the impeachment proceedings go. It is troublesome that our president refutes any criticism of his actions through either personal attacks, threats of civil conflict or delegitimization of his opponents with fabricated stories. We haven’t seen rhetoric this divisive coming directly from the president in our history as a country, and such disunity makes us look weak on the international stage. The president’s words and actions fail to “Make America Great”—they make America seem weak and chaotic.
There have been too few voices on the Republican side of the aisle condemning the president for these recent outbursts. While Congress as a whole is meant to provide a check on the president, it seems the GOP members seem to think that, again, party should come before country. We are two-and-a-half years into the tenure of an administration filled with scandal, yet we’ve seen no tangible actions from Republicans on actually filling their role as a check on the presidency.
While I believe there is a high likelihood that the president will be impeached due to his actions, it is much less likely he will actually be convicted by the Senate. One can always hope, but the Senate Republicans have been puppets of the administration, and I don’t see that changing. Therefore we will likely have another election with Trump as the Republican nominee, which means that if we wish to see an actual change in the administration, we need to get out to the polls and vote for a candidate who will actually execute the duties of the office of president in a non-corrupt fashion. Otherwise, we will be looking at another four years of the United States being made a mockery of on the world stage.
Cameron Cantelmo is a staff columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.