A week after a mob of demonstrators broke into the confines of the US Capital, the House of Representatives passed articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump for his alleged actions in inciting his supporters. With just days left in his presidency, he will go down in history as the first president to be impeached twice.
Historical scholars will point out that President Trump, along with Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton were all impeached by the lower house too, but that trials in the Senate failed to remove them from office with the required level of support.
Under the terms of the US Constitution, a majority of two-thirds is needed to remove a figure from high office, and as with every impeachment trial so far, that is a bar that is high indeed.
Whenever the Senate does put the Trump impeachment to trial, there is little reason to believe that there will be sufficient numbers to support that ultimate act of censure. As things stand now, there seems to be too little time left in the last days of the Trump administration for a full Senate trial to indeed take place.
Dawning of a new chapter
The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20 will mark the dawning of a new chapter in Washington — and there will be little appetite in those first honeymoon days to throw the proverbial book at the 45th president.
In due course, the Senate will deal with the impeachment, but then it will mostly be a moot. The only solace for Democrats and those few Republicans who have broken ranks with their party leader may be to bar him from holding office again, dealing a blow to his hopes of running in 2024. But that is in the future.
In the present, America is a divided land between Red and Blue, those who believe in Trump and Trumpism, or those who believe in a less polarising approach. The reality for all though is that now is a time to move on, to heal, to find what unites their United States.
New presidencies are new beginnings. Despite the present political volatility, the US continues to inspire hope. This is a time for rhetoric to be dialled down and listening to replace shouting. The history of America is one of building the world’s most powerful nation by looking to the future and seeing potential. That is the American dream.