VOICES: When it comes to this impeachment, the truth trumps partisan politics or at least it should

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), reviews a copy of the U.S. Constitution while meeting with other impeachment managers at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, as they prepare for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The second impeachment trial of former President Trump is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, about a month after he was charged by the House with incitement of insurrection for his role in egging on a violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), reviews a copy of the U.S. Constitution while meeting with other impeachment managers at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, as they prepare for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The second impeachment trial of former President Trump is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, about a month after he was charged by the House with incitement of insurrection for his role in egging on a violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: This guest opinion column by Dirk Q. Allen appeared on the Ideas and Voices page Tuesday, Oct. 13. Allen is a community contributor.

It’s déjà vu all over again with the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump ― although the first time he was tried in the Senate, he was still the president.

The fact that a sitting president was actually impeached twice – a new record – goes along with the unprecedented era we’re living in.

Some would argue that holding an impeachment trial for a former president is unconstitutional. I wonder if it’s just an exercise in futility.

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The Democrats won’t likely gain a political advantage; voters may just consider it a case of “piling on.”

“Elected officials should be correcting the record not enabling the noise,”

- Dirk Q. Allen

Nearly half of Republican senators have already indicated they won’t vote to convict. Why give Donald Trump any unnecessary oxygen of the attention he craves while in political exile in Florida?

Yes, President Trump helped incite the sacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. When you tell a throng of supporters to walk down and “take back our country,” what do you think will happen?

That date will join 9/11 and Dec. 7 as American tragedies.

Still, the actions of elected GOP officials in this whole “stolen election” charade are rather demoralizing.

We live in a representative democracy.

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The representatives are charged with paying attention to the will of the voters. At the same time, they are expected to use their good judgment to moderate the reckless opinions of those voters. In this case, the utterly false claim that the presidential election of 2020 was fraudulent; that it had somehow been stolen by Democrat Joe Biden.

Dirk Q. Allen
Dirk Q. Allen

It was a circular false argument. Trump, with no proof or credible evidence, repeatedly alleged “fraud” and “stolen.” Hearing this, his supporters decided that somebody needed to “stop the steal.”

Elected officials jumped up and said they had to support the voices of their voters when those voices were reacting to utterly false claims.

Bad show.

Elected officials should be correcting the record not enabling the noise.

Wyoming’s Liz Cheney, in her vote to impeach, stood tall in the saddle. Dozens of her colleagues had signed on to dubious lawsuits or – the very night of the assault on the Capitol – voted to reconsider state certified Electoral votes.

They had checked the political winds and decided that the most important consideration was their own reelection prospects.

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You just want to tell them there are no irreplaceable people. The truth trumps partisan politics.

Trump started the whole episode by railing against mail-in ballots, insisting there would be massive fraud. In the face of the pandemic, mail-in ballots actually aided the country in having a successful national election.

And I wonder if mail-in ballots were so fraudulent, why did I get not one, but two, slick mailings from the Trump campaign encouraging me to get one?

Incidentally, for all of the Republicans who tried to oust Liz Cheney as the chair of the House Republican Conference?

The last person I recall getting unceremoniously dumped from that post was West Chester’s John Boehner. Twelve years later, he was the Speaker of the House.

Dirk Q. Allen is a former opinion page editor of the Hamilton JournalNews. He is a community contributor. Community contributors are people who frequently submit guest columns.

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