This is an opinion piece
The GOP’s call for unity falls upon deaf ears from members within its own party. From calls of resignation upon Rep. Liz Cheney for voting “with conscious” in favor of impeachment to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s letter requesting Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold a vote on canceling the pending impeachment trials, the Republican party is dividing. Some might argue, like Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, the party is having an identity crisis. Rep. Jim Jordan claims that the second impeachment is the product of cancel-culture and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green has gone as far as to call for impeachment on President Joe Biden before he’s even sworn into office.
Following the House’s vote on impeachment, where 10 Republican Representatives voted in favor of impeachment, it’s unclear how Senate Republicans will vote. Sen. Pat Toomey, Mitt Romney, and Lisa Murkowski denounce Trump and believe he has committed impeachable acts. Sen. Rob Portman, who is up for re-election in 2022, believes Trump has committed impeachable acts but is fearful impeachment can further the divide occurring in the country.
It comes as no surprise that the majority of House Representatives and the Senators opposing impeachment and calls for unity are the same Members of Congress that challenged the free and fair election of 2020, which resulted in President-Elect Joe Biden’s win. Perhaps impeaching President Trump would require them to come to terms with their own involvement over the insurrection at the Capitol. Encouraging allegations of voter fraud even after they’ve been disputed and voting to overturn an election in which the people legally voted for. Maybe they’re afraid of losing Trump supporter’s support or further enraging the white nationalists who currently feel throttled.
While the party remains divided on consequences and resolution for those involved with the Capitol riots; the party seems to unanimously agree that what happened at the Capitol was horrendous, and those who actively stormed the Capitol should be punished by law. But by turning a blind eye to the lies spread by President Trump and his speech calling people to fight right before the riot occurred, they’re neglecting the very fundamentals of conflict resolution. Thousands of people didn’t take off of work or travel hundreds of miles on a Wednesday afternoon, some bringing tactical zip-tie handcuffs, hockey sticks, Molotov cocktails, and other forms of weaponry simply because the weather was warm on Capitol Hill. How can we begin to hold the perpetrators accountable if we can’t hold the man accountable who called them to action?
A truly unifying measure would call upon Senate Members of the GOP to “vote with conscious” as Rep. Liz Cheney did in the House and continue to act in consciousness. While I’m sure there were people in attendance at the “Stop the Steal” protest that never intended harm, all in attendance were there because of the fallacies and conspiracies spread by the Trump administration. Those same fallacies and conspiracies were then perpetuated by members of Congress, even after the surge in the Capitol. A true reconciliation for this country requires those accountable to hold themselves accountable, act with integrity, and face the American people. And maybe, maybe then we can begin to achieve unity.