Ethics & Public Policy Center

Partisan Impeachment Will Only Add Fire to Our Ideological Warfare

Published in The Washington Post on December 18, 2019


Wednesday was a historic day. With their final push to impeach President Trump, House Democrats have heightened the real threat to American democracy: ideological warfare.

Taken out of the context of our times, it’s easy to see why some people would view Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as impeachable conduct. Using public office for private gain is about as basic an abuse of power as there is. Trump’s request that Ukraine cooperate with his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, suggests that personal rather than public benefit was Trump’s aim. If we lived in normal political times, this argument would likely have more persuasive power than it has to date.

But we don’t live in normal political times. We are in the third year of the Democrats’ unprecedented, relentless attack on Trump. A majority of Democrats thought he should be impeached and removed less than one month after he took office. Such a result can be explained only by a simple fact: Most Democratic voters don’t believe he should have been elected in 2016, and they view impeachment and removal as the proper remedy to undo that election. That view is ultimately fatal to democracy, which requires the losers to submit voluntarily to an election’s outcome.

Click here to read the rest of this piece at the Washington Post’s website.

Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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