Why Trump hasn’t been impeached yet
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
We are, shockingly, only two months into the Donald Trump presidency, and already the list of scandals, missteps, and outright lies flooding from the White House is far too long for me to get into in the context of this article. I’m operating on the assumption that if you don’t know all the details, you at least know enough to have a cursory opinion on the matter. (My opinion, for example, amounts to a constant stream of horrified screaming in terror and frustration. Yours may differ slightly.)
In light of the general shenanigans and buffoonery, many have been asking why Trump has yet to be unseated from his current position as leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world. There are, in my opinion, two reasons for this: the obvious political reasons based in the majority-Republican House and Senate, and a psychological reason that should not be overlooked.
To touch on the first one briefly, the people currently in charge of the impeachment process are—for all intents and purposes—on Trump’s side. They may not agree with him, and they may not like him, but at the end of the day it’s far easier to pull strings within a political system if the man in charge is from your team. It’s heartening to see more and more Republicans break from the hive mind and senate pressures in response to loud protests from delegates who are bound to suffer under Trump’s regime. It is not, however, enough to reverse the tide. I imagine many Republicans are just as afraid of losing the fervent and terrifyingly blind support of Trump’s followers as they are of looking like spineless lackeys in front of the rest of the country for refusing to stand up to him. The question at this point is which do they fear more, and what action will that fear drive them to take?
Examining the psychological reason now, as there is a concept I’ve brought up before when referring to Trump: “boiling the frog.”
Harkening back to the days of torturing animals to death in the name of science, a well-known experiment involves the slow boiling of a frog by starting the frog in cool water, then slowly turning up the temperature until the frog dies. The idea is that the frog will not notice the change by increments, and thus will not save itself in time.
What we are experiencing, psychologically, in the face of Trump’s insanity, is not exactly like this experiment. It’s more like if we were dumped into a vat of frigidly cold water at first, shocking our senses into a state of paralytic numbness. Now that we are starting to become accustomed to the temperature, starting to justify this “new normal” to ourselves, the temperature is beginning to rise.
It is often said in political think pieces that presidents have been impeached for far less than what Trump has done, and this is arguably true. However, what Trump is doing—something he’s been doing since the very start of his campaign—is operating on a clever system of bait-and-switch scandals. More dangerous scandals, such as how people in his campaign are now facing charges of having worked with Russian hackers and diplomats to rig the election, are distracted from by minor scandals that are usually leaked from the seat of Trump’s “golden throne” on Twitter at 3 a.m. The media is getting used to this system. We are getting used to this system. It’s almost to be expected now that if Trump were to sign a bill tomorrow declaring nuclear war on Canada, we would almost immediately be distracted by a tweet about what Trump believes a woman’s ideal cup size should be, even as the bombs begin to fall.
We can’t get used to this. The media is overwhelmed, overworked, and utterly exhausted, as is anyone who has been trying to stand up to Trump since the beginning. The minute we give in to that exhaustion, we hand over our liberty to those who seek power over justice.
This is not normal. We likely won’t see normal again for quite a long time.