Zoe Edelman, Head Videographer
// The whirlwind politics of the last few days confused, angered, and saddened me. After attempting to digest it all, I am left with one overarching question: What kind of example is the United States setting for future generations?
Several days ago, Nancy Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions. The inquiry began as a result of a conversation Trump had with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, when he allegedly abused his office by trying to persuade a foreign power to investigate his political rival; using the Ukranian government to influence the upcoming presidential election and grant them a $400 million for military aid. The investigation was targeted towards Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, his son, about past affairs in Ukraine (that have been falsified). Essentially, he tried to bribe the Ukrainian militia for personal political gain, using federal dollars.
While these allegations are undeniably awful, they aren’t surprising. This isn’t the first time that Trump has attempted to use another country’s government in order to dig up dirt on his opponents. Even before Trump officially gained the presidency, Russia interfered with the 2016 election. It is apparent that one of Trump’s tactics is to undermine his opponent instead of finding ways to strengthen his own campaign. Throughout Trump’s presidency, the American people have witnessed so many embarrassing and horrific policies, statements, and actions; that which was once unbelievable is now standard.
I thought it couldn’t get worse after he called Greta Thunberg a “very happy young girl” on Twitter a couple of days ago after her passionate and upsetting climate justice speech. Recently he wrote, sorry, tweeted “you will see it was a very friendly and appropriate call,” referring to his transcript with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. It’s astounding to me that we have a President who moves to Twitter faster than he does to a direct address of his fellow citizens, particularly after these allegations. It seems like common sense that one who occupies a position of public power, such as the Presidency, would have a filter or a process between what he thinks and what he says.
Trump doesn’t follow this logic; he tweets his unfiltered thoughts and opinions with blatant disregard for the consequences. Before the government released the transcript of the call between Trump and Zelenskyy, Trump tweeted that he would release the “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation” even though there isn’t an actual transcript because the call wasn’t recorded.
What’s interesting is that the transcript doesn’t nullify the claims against him, it feeds them. He says in the document “I would like you to do us a favor” and it sounds as though he’s referring to investigating Biden as that favor. Additionally, there are an alarming number ellipses in the transcript of Zelenskyy and Trump’s dialogue. Coincidence? I think not. Leaving out a few words, phrases, or sentences, could be the evidence needed to prove Trump committed an impeachable crime.
Pelosi then addressed the nation announcing Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Watching her statement, it felt as though she was addressing all of the people who have been awaiting impeachment since Trump stepped into office. Pelosi’s generally conservative political actions demonstrate that this time, she believes Trump could really be taken down for this. Her statement is a glimmer of hope among the vast despair Trump has caused this nation. Hopefully, her statement will set forth action for Trump to be reprimanded for a portion of his wrongdoing.
Trump’s impeachment inquiry, regardless of success, sets an example of intolerance towards poor presidential behavior. Trump’s position in the office of the Presidency threatens the United States’ morality, and his fellow lawmakers have finally announced a check on his power. His betrayal isn’t America. His lying isn’t America. His actions do not represent the true merits of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness intended by American founders.
This is not a partisan issue; it is a matter of violation of the law and the constitution. Trump’s overreach of executive power deserves to be reprimanded in the public eye. National security and protection of the American identity concern all residents, not just Democrats and Republicans. While yes, it is true that electoral motives exist surrounding the inquiry, it is also an opportunity to prove that criminality does not fit into the American identity.
Additionally, if Trump isn’t convicted for his actions, he won’t ever be. The double jeopardy law says that he cannot be tried again on the same charges and facts. Pelosi gave Americans a call to action, a chance to reprimand Trump for his malpractice. Americans should not let another horrible white male get away with crimes he obviously committed. He deserves the punishment he faces. It is a disservice to future generations to shine a light on bad behavior and allow it to pass. Don’t allow a President to break the law.