On Jan. 13, President Trump made history as the first president to be impeached twice while in office. House Democrats and 10 Republicans charged the President with “incitement of insurrection” after encouraging his followers to contest the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.
Last week following a Trump rally, thousands of White Supremacists breached the U.S Capitol. They then occupied and vandalized the building, with the hopes of disrupting the Electoral College’s vote count. Stolen items included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, which was later returned, and a conference room laptop. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in the event, and one officer died by suicide just days later.
With less than a week left in his term, many are debating if it is worth it to remove Trump from office. While it is unlikely that the Article of Impeachment will be sent to the Senate before Inauguration Day, formally removing Trump will result in him being unable to run for office, take away his $200,000 pension and remove his lifetime Secret Security detail, ensuring Americans that he will face consequences for his actions. Although the Senate will be split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris making any tie-breaking votes come Jan. 20, a two-thirds majority will be needed to remove Trump from office. Following the House’s decision to Impeach Trump, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “Convict Trump. Remove him from office. Hold him fully accountable. The Senate must reconvene and act now. This can't wait.”
The election of President-Elect Joe Biden and Democrats having control of both Congress and the Senate has given tired American’s hope that 2021 will undo Trump’s mistakes. However, these issues didn’t suddenly appear over the last few years. They are the result of centuries of systemic racism and discrimination. For too long we’ve fostered a community where bigotry and hate speech have been marked off as a “difference of opinion.” It took nearly a decade for social media websites like Twitter and Facebook to remove Trump after continuously spreading conspiracies such as insisting that Former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
The fact he was elected in the first place despite numerous remarks against women, people of color, and disabled people, speaks volumes. These issues didn’t start the day Trump was elected and they won’t end once he’s out. Democrats might have control but we can’t get too comfortable if we want to see actual change. We can’t remain neutral or agree to disagree either. The first step in undoing centuries of hateful rhetoric is to stop it right in its tracks.