Editorial: It’s time for Trump to go

Before he puts the safety of our nation any more at risk, Donald Trump must be removed from office

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By Collegian Staff

“We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… our Republicans, the weak ones… the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

With these words, Donald Trump addressed the crowd at his “Save America” rally held near the White House on Tuesday morning. Not long after, thousands of his supporters marched to the Capitol Building where the counting of the electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden was underway. The angry mob scaled walls, smashed windows and doors, and vandalized the interior chambers. Senators were forced to evacuate the confirmation ceremony midway. 

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during these riots. Dozens more were injured. This, after a sitting president of the United States incited civilians to storm the country’s Capitol in a lawless attempt to overthrow the result of a popular election.

Trump endangered the life of every single member of Congress in the building that morning. He put the safety of every staff member, security personnel, police officer, as well his own supporters at risk.

To make matters worse, in the immediate aftermath, he failed to so much as conjure an unequivocal condemnation of the rioting. “Go home, we love you, you’re very special,” he told the mob. “I know how you feel, but go home, and go home in peace,” he said while repeating his unsubstantiated claims of a fraudulent election.

For months now, Trump, along with Republican allies, has tried in vain to undermine the results of the presidential election. His repeated, unfounded claims of election fraud are a woeful attempt to erode the American public’s trust in their electoral system.

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical Democrats,” Trump preached to his base at the rally. “We will never give up. We will never concede. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.” It is this kind of rhetoric from Trump which led to the chaos that unfolded at the Capitol last week. This much, lawmakers, administrators and laypeople across the aisle recognize.

Before he puts the safety of our nation at any more risk, Trump must be removed from office. Before he can further make a mockery of our political institutions, he must go.

Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment by declaring Trump unfit to fulfill his duties, thereby stripping him of his powers. 

In addition, Democrats on Monday introduced a resolution to impeach Trump, charging him with “the incitement of an insurrection.” With just nine days left in his term, however, the proceedings to remove him will likely be pushed until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Even so, we must draw a line in the sand. Such a blatant assault on our democracy must not go unpunished. If found guilty, Trump will lose the pension, health care and tax benefits afforded to all former presidents. That counts for something. 

Ultimately, the power to remove Trump from office rests on the shoulders of Republicans. In the likely event of an impeachment, the Senate will need 66 votes to remove Trump, 18 of which must come from Republican senators. During the senate’s previous attempt to remove Trump, only one Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, had lent his support. This time around, even the newfound support of Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska might not be enough.

For Trump to be successfully removed from office, his long-term loyalists including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Josh Hawley and Pence will have to look past party allegiances and stand up for what is right. In doing so, they might just find “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

Our government’s actions in the next few days will set a precedent. While removing Trump from office will not remove the hatred or bigotry he has inspired in so many, it will reaffirm the strength of our constitution. History is watching. Both Republicans and Democrats must unite in the face of insurrection and conspiracy; a sitting president can not attempt an overthrow of our constitutional system and get away with it. Healing begins with accountability.

This unsigned editorial represents the majority opinion of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Editorial Board, members of which can be reached at [email protected]