With the conclusion of the presidential impeachment trial Wednesday, it would be nice to be able to say the long national nightmare is over. As was expected, the Senate voted against removing President Donald Trump, who will likely turn his full attention to his reelection campaign. But in this political climate, don’t expect his opponents to consider the matter settled.
There’s chatter among Democrats about taking another swipe at Trump through censure, although that move would be a mistake. Instead, they should cut their losses and find a way to work with members of the Republican Party to accomplish the work of the American people.
It would be nice to be able to say that would begin in short order. But that’s not likely either.
America’s representational government is devastatingly fractured — to the point that our leaders can’t control their impulse to petty tactics. Millions of viewers saw the president’s overt snub of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the architect of his impeachment, by turning away from her extended hand. And at the conclusion of Trump’s address, Pelosi made an inexcusably grandstanding show of ripping up a copy of the president’s speech. No one expects these political adversaries to be chummy, but the decorum of governmental pageantry should require that elected officials maintain even the thinnest veneer of civility while on public display.
Until those belonging to the major parties stop demonizing those on the other side of the aisle, consider Benjamin Franklin’s prescient remark about the future of the nation at the conclusion of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. When asked what sort of government the delegates had created, Franklin quipped, “A republic, if you can keep it.”