An SNL Sketch Made Me Rethink My Stance on Impeachment

On Sunday afternoon, I watched a Saturday Night Live sketch that made me laugh. This is not unusual for several reasons. For one thing, I normally watch SNL a day late, so sue me, I don’t want to stay up until one am. For another, I generally find SNL to be at least moderately funny, some sketches more than others, obviously (Diner Lobster shall live on forever as one of the greats). The sketch in question features Aidy Bryant as an outraged liberal talk show host eager to discuss what she sees as the impending likelihood of impeachment, and Kenan Thompson as the more pessimistically inclined professor of Africana Studies, who repeats variants of the phrase “Ain’t nothing gonna happen” throughout the sketch. It’s a funny sketch, in no small part due to the wardrobe person missing her cue, and partly due to the repetitiveness of the “we’ve got him now!” mentality and the swift realization that no, we in fact do not. 

 

This particular sketch struck me, because it felt so, so relatable. “That’s exactly what I’ve been saying!,” I screeched aloud, to an otherwise empty kitchen in an otherwise empty house. I am put in a similar state of mind when I watch the equally relevant SNL sketch, “What Even Matters Anymore.” (Pretty self-explanatory from the title, but worth checking out if you’ve got five minutes.) I was deeply surprised when Nancy Pelosi announced the House was moving forward with an impeachment investigation, (in regards to Trump improperly using the power of the office to pressure the Ukrainian president to look into Trump’s political rival) and still, I find it hard to care. 

Image via by 𝘋𝘖𝘕𝘖𝘝𝘈𝘕 𝙍 𝙀 𝙀 𝙑 𝙀 𝙎 on Unsplash

Please, don’t misunderstand me. I hate Trump as much as the next white liberal, but it’s hard to get excited about this being the thing when he’s done so much, and it doesn’t matter at all. Mocking a disabled reporter, wanting to date his own daughter, being accused by 24 different women of sexual assault, saying it’s okay to “grab them by the pussy,” obstructing justice in the Mueller investigation, being a climate-change denier, failing to unequivocally denounce white supremacy, encouraging his supporters to repeat a racist chant, attempting to ban travelers from Muslim-majority countries, etc. Not to mention what is to me, an aspiring copyeditor, the worst offense of all, this grammatically nonsensical, insane, and incorrect tweet. (I am of course exaggerating. This is not his worst offense by far, although it is infuriating.) 


Not all of these are impeachable offenses, of course, but I think it’s important to remember who we’re dealing with. This, in fact, is part of my point—this isn’t even a comprehensive list, and so many of these things cease to matter as the weeks pass and a new, completely horrifying scandal is outed. I do truly believe that nothing will come of this impeachment inquiry, because even if the House votes to impeach, the motion is DOA in the Senate. 

This is not a very helpful attitude to have. It’s hard, in today’s world, to be hopeful or expectant that things will get better. Even a truly inspirational figure like Greta Thunberg has pointed out that she shouldn’t have to be an activist traveling across the world to speak to the United Nations, she should be in school. The Parkland students shouldn’t have to be forced into picking up the slack, they should also be in school, without worrying about getting shot. 

And yet, regardless of what should or should not be happening, this is what is happening. It doesn’t help anybody or anything for me to throw up my hands in dismay and sit this one out. We must find a way to overcome this apathy, this exhaustion, this impulse (at least in myself) to mock those who run around exclaiming that this is IT, who remind us that there are still things worth getting mad about. 

It is especially helpful, I find, to focus on small things that we can change. Volunteer with a presidential campaign that you believe in, or if that’s too much, find out about the candidate’s policies and educate your friends and family (or simply donate). Sign up to work at the polls, to ensure everyone’s vote is counted fairly. Stay vigilant, because in the end, even if nothing’s going to happen, I have to know that I gave it my all. I have to know that I didn’t side with the xenophobic, misogynistic, racist president and those who care more about their dollars and their power than they do about being compassionate to the plight of their fellow human. This fight is exhausting, and as a white woman, I have more privilege than most. It is nothing less than my absolute duty as a person who wants to live with herself to leverage that privilege to keep fighting the good fight. If you’re tired, that’s okay. We’ll carry you until you’re ready to keep going, because that’s how I would like to be remembered.