As we get closer to the 2020 election, we also get closer to the growing prospects of President Donald Trump being impeached by the House of Representatives. Because of that, both major political parties have been busy devising their separate strategies for how to navigate the waters of impeachment.
But no matter how an inevitable impeachment plays out, one thing is for sure: It’s been becoming increasingly apparent that it will be up to Black voters to save the country. Again.
Allow me to explain.
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has instructed “key chairmen” to move forward with drafting articles of impeachment, Politico reported late last week. The congresswoman from California claimed she had “no choice” but to do so because the “president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.”
But Pelosi does have the choice of whether to submit those articles of impeachment to the Senate, as she could also hold them until key Republicans who have refused to testify before the House do so. That strategy would have the impending threat of impeachment hanging even lower over Trump’s head and perhaps compel the president to have people like acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify, something House Democrats (and some Republicans) have been pushing for. Until that happens, and if Pelosi does not submit the presumed articles of impeachment to the Senate, it could leave Republicans unsure for how to proceed what has already been a damning impeachment process for them and their party.
And while that may seem like a sound strategy to some Democrats, there’s a very real chance that Republicans could be sitting back in anticipation of that move, expecting Pelosi and the Democrats to stall. That’s because it’s not out of the question for Republicans, likely anticipating a full impeachment of Trump, to find ways of their own to stall with the ultimate intention of moving to dismiss the trial in the Senate after arguing that nothing was being accomplished in a case that may not be as clear-cut as Democrats have sold it to be.
Either way, it seems doubtful Trump would be convicted during an impeachment trial because of a Republican-majority Senate is expected to acquit him if it gets to that point. If that does happen, a not guilty verdict could theoretically spur anti-government fence-sitters to side with Republicans, who would then add more fuel to the GOP’s fire and fury from what they have labeled the Democrats’ continuously unsuccessful witch hunt against the president.
Add to that the fact that there doesn’t seem to be one Democratic candidate who could hold his or her own against Trump on a debate stage and in the polling places.
Which leads me back to the original premise that it will take Black voters flexing our electoral muscles in order to make things right, impeachment or not. It was the decided absence of Black voters that has been blamed in part for Trump’s election in 2016 after the false assumption that Hillary Clinton had it in the bag. But eight years earlier, the unrivaled power of the Black vote was on display for the world to see when Barack Obama was thrust into office behind that historic charge at polling places.
It will take that same type of effort to save the country from giving Trump another presidential term, something that could be irreparably disastrous for Black and brown people in America, not to mention women and other minorities.
In 2008, Black voters were united by the pride of happily voting for the first Black president for reasons that went well beyond the color of his skin. It makes no sense why that same Black pride shouldn’t power even more voters to the booths on Election Day to vote out a president who has made no secret about his disdain (too weak of a word?) for most things Black.
Sure, ALL of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination are not optimal in a number of ways. But – and this is a big but – they are ALL exponentially more qualified to be president.
Beyond the importance of Black voters, that part can’t be ignored.