POLITICS IN THE AIR: OPINIONS GATHERED BY JAMES KONTOUR

By James Kontur

If you are interested in politics like me then you have been watching the recent hearings in Washington D.C. on the impeachment with great interest. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to catch up on what’s going on, here’s a brief explanation. Over the past few weeks the Democratic party has formalized their impeachment inquiry. This means that they are officially looking into the issue between the President of Ukraine and President Trump, to see if what happened is an impeachable offense. The Democratic party has stated that from the transcripts of their conversations, it would appear that President Trump was attempting to trade military aid in exchange for secrets or “dirt” on Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, the vice-president during the Obama Administration and a current presidential candidate for the Democratic party. If true, this would be an example of what is called quid pro quo, or “this for that”. The White House has refuted these accusations and provided access to the full transcript as evidence otherwise. Now what does this mean. Well, for those who haven’t taken American Government recently, impeachment is the trial through which it is decided whether or not to remove the president from office. In order for the president to be removed there would need to be a super majority vote, or a two-thirds vote in the Senate. If that vote is not reached, then nothing happens. There are only a few things that the Constitution states are impeachable offenses, mainly bribery, treason and “high crimes and misdemeanors,”which is really open for interpretation. With the country watching to see what happens next, I thought it would be interesting to see what students and faculty on campus thought. When interviewed, junior Communications major, Julia Karmie seemed to be pretty well informed. “As far as I know these are impeachment preliminaries. These are the prelims to decide if he is going to be actually accused.” said Karmie. Madi Flading, junior Ministry major, also showed that she had been keeping up on the proceedings, stating that there had been hearings just that day that she had seen on the news. When asked about why they thought the issue was coming up now both believed that it had to do with the upcoming elections, though Flading had a little more to say. “I think another reason it is coming to light is that now they have a full phone conversation and email with evidence in it, now they have something they can base their claims off of.” said Flading. Dr. Beer, a professor in the History Philosophy and Social Science department had a similar opinion when asked about why the Democratic party was bringing these charges to light now as opposed to earlier or later. “It doesn’t make any sense from a legal or a political standpoint to say, ‘we think he may have broken the law but we wanted to wait and see if he won’. If there’s a problem, you need to look into it. As for earlier with the Mueller report, it was a more diffuse and harder topic to understand and there was no concrete evidence of the collusion everybody talked about.” said Dr. Beer. I asked each of them what they thought was going to happen. Karmie stated that she believed that nothing would happen, that the party loyalty of Congress would ensure that the impeachment wouldn’t go through. “I think that the political party itself is so powerful that people are going to choose to vote with their party and their policies regardless.” said Karmie. The other two couldn’t guess what would happen next, believing that there were just too many variables in the wind. “I think regardless of where you stand it is really critical for us to take responsibility into our own hands and do our research on this topic if we truly care about it.” said Fladding. “With the election coming up, it is important to know either way what happens, in order to make a well informed decision.” said Karmie. You heard it do your research, stay updated, and watch out next semester as more political dilemmas arise.

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