The following was submitted by Preston Love, Jr., M.P.S., founder and CEO of Black Votes Matter Institute of Community Engagement and also an Adjunct Professor in the Black Studies Department at UNO. Professor Love wrote this in the days leading up to the vote on impeachment in the House of Representatives.
Recently in the Omaha Star issue published November 29, I wrote an article entitled Impeachment 101. In that article I described and explained the process, the misunderstandings and the facts of impeachment, along with some historical perspectives and the prospects, at that point and time, of what could happen in the United States. Now, I am writing this article, Impeachment 201, as a follow up to that article. You are urged to go back and review, or to read that article, because it provides an important basis for what’s before the nation and the Black community, as it relates to impeachment, now that the President has been impeached.
By the publishing of this issue of the Omaha Star and my article, there has been a vote in the United States House of Representative and that vote will have been to impeach, for the third time in American history, an American President. It should be immediately noted that while impeached, the President was not removed and what’s before the nation now, is the process in the United States Senate, for the removal of the President soon. Which I will quickly say, will fail on the weight of the partisanship in the United States Senate. The Senate Partisanship: The United States Senate currently has 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats. It takes a 2/3 majority, or 67 votes, in the Senate, to remove the President. That would require 20 republicans added to the 47 Democrats, to remove the President. Again, no way will that happen. So, that brings us up to date.
Let us analyze first, the impact of impeachment without removal, on the country and then secondly to the African-American Community.
What is the impact on this America to impeach but not remove a President? Let me reiterate that impeachment without removal is passive, impeachment in the House is passive. Only removal is action. Impeachment is analogous to a diagnosis of cancer and without removal the patient may die. The patient in this case is America.
A quick historical perspective: After the impeachment/resignation of Richard Nixon, in 1974, America rebounded by electing a new, humbler, President, Jimmy Carter. .It should be noted that the liberal Carter, was not re-elected, but was defeated by a very conservative, more dominant personality, Reagan In 1998. Then after the impeachment of Bill Clinton, American elected the humble, less charismatic President, George Bush. The point here is that American has had a strange and varied reaction in elections after impeachments without removal.
We cannot count on America to act in any logical or intelligent way, as to the impeachment without removal, of Donald Trump. In all previous impeachments, the President was not up for re-election after impeachment. This time we will make additional history in 2020, because we will have an impeached President up for re-election. Never before. To repeat, America, in all of its history, has never had a Presidential election where one of the candidates is an impeached President.
So, this President represents a series of facts:
This President has demonstrated the propensity to undermine our foreign policies with our allies, to disrespect people of color and other ethnicities, women, any disagreeable source, our intelligence communities, the realities of climate change (global warming), and a total, aggressive disregard and unraveling of the victories from the Civil Rights Era, and has activated the far-right White Supremacist’s Movement. This may sound phenomenal that he could be a credible candidate with those credentials. It is said that he has done some good things with the economy, etc., but let us not forget that Nixon reputedly had done miraculous things with China, prior to him resigning. So what? The point being is, if you do bad things as President, that require you to be impeached, it is not enough to use your prior, positive successes to repudiate the crimes you have committed.
Said simply, America will be faced, in the 2020 election, to either vote to get American back on firm ground as it relates to all the aforementioned issues or turn its head and re-elect an impeached President. That decision could be the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire, circa 2020.
The challenge, for the African-American community is:
1. For us to have a measure of historical perspective and insight into the ups and downs of America, and its effect on us as a people. After all, in the 15th Amendment to the constitution, in 1870, black males were given the right vote, and we did, during reconstruction, only to be faced with America’s Jim Crow to retard our progress. But, we got up and fought via the Civil Rights Movement, and among other things, there was the 1965 Voting Right’s Act, and we flourished with the rapid rise of Black elected officials and voter participation only to be met by another rise of America’s dark side as it unraveled the power of the Voting Rights Act, the Shelby vs Holder court decision in 2013, which gutted the power of the 1965 Voting Right’s Act and the attempts by the Trump Administration to further dilute and suppress our vote. In other words, historically, these battles have continued, so impeach or don’t impeach, remove or don’t remove, we are still fighting to keep our head above the water.
2. We continually fail to understand the power of our vote. We surely understood the power when we elected Obama in 2008, we faltered in 2012, but we voted. We totally misunderstood the 2016 election by over analyzing and over intellectualizing Hilary Clinton, so we stayed home. We didn’t vote in 2016 and now we are cheering about impeachment when we could have “impeached” him before he got in. We must remember our failures in 2016 and our victories in 2018 when we came out in various places and voted, because we were upset with racist candidates and so much more.
I will repeat, from Impeachment 101, to prepare for the 2020 election, assuming that the President will not be removed, that you MUST activate yourself, family, friends, your block and community to vote like crazy. Not only for the President, but to remove those Representatives in the House and Senate who helped keep the President in his seat.
You need to be a part of one (or more) of those efforts, or you WILL be part of reelecting Donald Trump. There will be high efforts to confuse and corrupt the voting process in ALL communities, including ours.