The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Two impeachments, not two terms

Two impeachments, not two terms - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Former President Donald Trump waves as he disembarks from his final flight on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Donald Trump has become the first president to be impeached twice after questioning voter integrity, fueling an insurrection and demonstrating lackluster leadership.

If the Senate would have voted to remove the president after the first impeachment, a second one would not have been necessary. The former president’s years-long incitement of xenophobia and division through his rhetoric led to the inevitable attack on our nation and his second impeachment.

Since Trump is now out of office, it’s unnecessary for him to be removed and it seems like his former president perks are still obtainable since he was not convicted by the Senate before his term ended. However, the Senate should still take actions and vote to prevent him from holding office ever again

After the attack on the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, announced on Jan. 8 that the House would move to impeach the president if he did not immediately resign or if Vice President Mike Pence did not invoke the 25th amendment. On Jan. 13, 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach the president, compared to 13 months ago where all members of the GOP voted against it.

What started with his supporters protesting outside of the Capitol as Congress affirmed Joe Biden’s election victory, ended with a deadly and violent attack with the mob breaking into the Capitol. Five people died during the attack including a police officer who was beaten to death.

The former president drove a knife into the core of the nation and managed to break it apart. Since the beginning of his presidency, or for that matter since his campaign, his rhetoric has brought out the ugliest parts of America.

Since the race was called in November, Trump persistently claimed there was widespread voter fraud and refused to concede. The claims were made amid a surge of mail-in ballot requests.

Trump’s assertions have been consistent from the beginning of the election.

His pleas for his followers to fight against the so-called stolen election began after his loss was announced. Numerous tweets were sent out with the same rhetoric, amping up his followers and foreshadowing the violence to come on Jan. 6.

Weeks before the violence commenced, Trump spoke directly to his supporters encouraging them to show up at the Capitol and fight. On Jan.1, he tweeted about a “BIG protest rally” to be held in Washington, D.C. to stop what he believed to be a stealing of the election.

At his Georgia rally on Jan. 4, he continued his claims of a stolen election and told his crowd, “We’re gonna fight like hell.”

As Congress began its joint session, the mob began to break through several barriers, eventually breaking into the Capitol. The mob looted, vandalized and broke into several areas of the Capitol, including the Senate chamber, which had been evacuated, and Pelosi’s office.

When Trump eventually responded to the events at the Capitol, he asked his followers to go home and reassured his love for them – despite wreaking havoc against government property and law enforcement. The language the president used was notably different than that used during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer – putting a spotlight on evident racial double standards.

While the nationwide summer protests reflected true injustice; the riot at the Capitol was fueled by hate and baseless claims.

It wasn’t until after five lives had been lost and after criticism of Trump arose that he condemned what took place at the Capitol. As his second impeachment was underway, he released another statement calling on Americans to ease tensions.

The way Trump has spoken about opponents and minorities has been the cause of outrage, chaos and deaths in the country. He consistently down-played the coronavirus, which has now taken over 400,000 lives, young and old.

His rhetoric has also played a part in spreading false information and the growth of racism. He referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” and pinned the disease on China. His words impacted the way his supporters treated the Asian race, as his xenophobia was apparent.

His supporters have continued to cling to his side, even after the mess he has made. Republicans refused to hold him accountable and remove him from office, and even backed up the poor decisions he made.

Although yesterday was his last day as president, a simple Band-Aid apology will not be enough to repair the damage that has been done. Trump must be held accountable for his actions during his term as president of the United States.

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