Former President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time on January 13th, 2021, one week before his presidency ended and he was succeeded by Joe Biden. The impeachment came about just after his alt-right supporters violently stormed and rioted at the Capitol building on January 6th.
The impeachment was brought about on the basis that Trump was inciting violence, and was passed by the House with a vote of 232 in favor, 197 against, and 4 not voting. You can see how your representatives voted here. And since February 9th, the Senate has been delivering their votes. As of February 13th, 2021, Donald Trump was acquitted with a vote of 57 to 43, 10 votes short of being found guilty with a two-thirds majority, which is very hard to come by. You can see how your Senators voted here.
Donald Trump is the first president to ever have lost the popular vote twice and been impeached twice. If he would have been found guilty, Trump would never be allowed to run for president again and would lose the lifelong presidential salary and secret service protection.
Donald Trump is guilty of inciting violence. We all know that. He has been guilty of it for years, since before he stepped foot into the presidency. He has been guilty since Charlottesville, since his sexual assault allegations, since creating Miss America, since using racism as the foundation for his presidential campaign, to name a few. The Capitol riots shortly before he was to leave office were deadly because of him. Five people died, and many people were assaulted. Police officers and military officials were hurt on both sides: the ones who were ‘protecting’ the Capitol, and the ones who came in support of Trump as civilians. This is not the only way this riot was deadly. According to NYT, Coronavirus cases went up after the attack. Trump’s online presence has always been inherently deadly and violent along with the other spaces in media he occupies. His tweets were flagged as inaccurate due to claims tied to false information, leading to him being banned from both Facebook and Twitter.
The white supremacist ideals Donald Trump upheld during his presidency are a common thread in this nation. Fascism takes on new forms in America constantly, and Trump was the biggest and most recent example of that. Trump is a man whose character is built upon racism, xenophobia, and sexism. He has a never ending list of unacceptable actions, including several sexual assault allegations. A person like him should have never been allowed to run for office in the first place, but I am not surprised that it was. His ideals reflect systemic and individual violence and issues that this country has possessed and executed, which still stands true.
Pretending like he is the only monster among us would be a lie. With Joe Biden in office, American’s, especially ones who lean left, feel at peace. But we must be vigilant and hold our elected officials responsible, at all levels. Trump escaped impeachment, among other things, but we should not let that stop us from demanding justice and knowing we and others deserve better treatment in this country moving forward. An article from NPR says “Trump has been able to spin difficulties in his business and personal life before, and the country waits to see if has a next, and perhaps final, act.”
Justice has never been the United State’s strongest foundation, and many Americans have fallen victim to this system, with politicians turning a blind eye. I have to have hope that people like Donald Trump will not always get away with their crimes, their atrocities, and their violence. But since he got away with being acquitted, Congress did not set an example of him. Now, more people in power probably think they can get away with the same; that violence is not only not taken seriously, but in fact, is rewarded. As Malcolm X said, “I don’t see an American Dream, I see an American Nightmare.” And as Audre Lorde said, “Without community, there is no liberation.”