Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over

By Brad Polumbo

(Caroline OConnor/Collegian)

Let’s flash back to the 2016 presidential campaign: Americans across the country ignored the fact that Donald Trump, known as a real-estate mogul with a flair for reality TV, had absolutely none of the experience or qualifications necessary to hold the highest office in our government. They ignored him mocking a disabled reporter, bragging about sexually assaulting women and affronting American values in a host of other ways—often blurring the line between controversial, offensive and racist. They ignored the fact that Trump displayed a complete lack of policy understanding, and gave him the nomination of the party of Lincoln anyway. Why?

We were promised change. We were told he would “drain the swamp” and tackle the system of political insiders and corruption that had left us behind, a system that was epitomized by the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Trump promised that he would be the president for the “average Joe” and for working Americans. He promised that he would bring back jobs and “Make America Great Again.”

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I understand the sentiments of many of those who did. His rough-and-tumble, off-the-cuff tone struck a chord with many after years of being stifled by liberal political correctness, hyper-sensitivity and the economic policy of a Democratic elite.

But where are we now, months into a tumultuous Trump presidency? How have his voters fared? The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently reported that the House Republican bill, which President Trump supported, would result in 23 million people losing their health insurance within the next decade—including millions of President Trump’s supporters. Experts report that his tax reform bill would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans, such as himself, while creating huge deficits and decreases in federal revenue. The budget released recently by the Trump White House includes huge cuts to Medicaid, welfare, disability programs, retirement benefits and other anti-poverty efforts. If implemented, this budget would be a direct slash to the programs many of Trump’s supporters rely on. Even Trump’s idea of “draining the swamp” has proven to be little more than a half-hearted lobbying ban, coupled with appointing billionaires to his cabinet and surrounding himself with former lobbyists and industry representatives.

Still, these are partisan concerns, and certainly don’t bring us any closer to impeachment territory. There are those who believe in this health care reform, think the wealthy are in dire need of tax cuts or otherwise support President Trump’s early agenda—and they are entitled to those views.

But the time may have come for Trump to be impeached, and the reason has nothing to do with such partisan politics. But what exactly does it take to impeach a president? The Constitution says that a president can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” essentially stating that a president can be removed from office for breaking the law. The latest political developments suggest that President Trump may have done just that.

In recent weeks, the Trump train has started to derail. President Trump’s revolution against American political customs and the media has morphed into an assault on our very Constitution. Many believe his decision to allow his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments has amounted to a violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

President Trump also fired the director of the FBI, a Nixonian act which the president himself has admitted to be in response to Director Comey’s investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. The director, who is supposed to serve as an independent check on the president, originally garnered Trump’s ire by refusing to pledge his loyalty to him. Trump later told Russian diplomats that firing Comey had eased the “great pressure” of the investigation off his presidency. Many believe that firing the FBI director who is investigating your administration, because the investigation is starting to heat up, could be an attempted obstruction of justice. Reports of a contemporaneous memo have emerged, where then-FBI director Comey details how Trump instructed him to jail journalists who leak damaging stories and stop an investigation into Michael Flynn, a long-time Trump associate. Comey recently testified that this was indeed the case, and that he felt directed by President Trump to close the investigation into his associate.

Many believe that these reports, if verified as true, may constitute an obstruction of justice—an impeachable crime. These bombshell reports, coming one after another out of the Trump administration, have made one thing clear: our Constitution cannot survive a Trump presidency.

Republicans in Congress, it is your duty to serve the American people and our system of democracy. To preserve our Constitution, you may need to place patriotism over party, and impeach President Trump. Donald Trump is a man who accidentally disclosed classified intelligence to Russia, and whose advisors must coax him into reading national security briefings by mentioning his name. If this were a Democrat like Hillary Clinton, would we not be crying incompetence? Every day President Trump occupies the Oval Office, our democracy is in grave danger.

Bradley Polumbo is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]