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I’m With Progressives Against Impeachment

The raging crescendo in the U.S. to impeach Trump or convict him of crimes is offensive

The “justice” system Trump’s opponents want to nail him with and then use to impeach him, wasn’t designed to choose leaders or get rid of them — so why do it? (Photo: Donald Trump/cc/flickr)

The “justice” system Trump’s opponents want to nail him with and then use to impeach him, wasn’t designed to choose leaders or get rid of them — so why do it? (Photo: Donald Trump/cc/flickr)

Why? Because it bypasses democratic politics in favour of the legal system, or the quasi-legal impeachment process. But democratic electoral politics operates in its own, independent realm.

For instance, Marion Barry was a U.S. civil rights leader who got elected mayor of Washington D.C. in the ’80s. The FBI entrapped him in a crack sting and he went to jail. Then he got reelected. His slogan was, “He isn’t perfect but he’s perfect for D.C.” Voters got the distinction.

Take a Canadian example. In the 1830s, William Lyon Mackenzie was elected to Ontario’s legislature. The aristocrats in the Family Compact expelled him because he wanted democratic reform. Basically, they impeached him — four times. But the voters returned him each time.

In Brazil, the right used impeachment to remove progressive president Dilma Rousseff and the courts jailed former president Lula to stop him from running again because he’d have won.

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In fact, Trump could be impeached, removed, run again in 2020 and win. It might even improve his chances.

The “justice” system Trump’s opponents want to nail him with and then use to impeach him, wasn’t designed to choose leaders or get rid of them — so why do it?

Beat him politically, that’s what politics is for. It’s the separation of powers, stupid.

Rick Salutin

Rick Salutin

Rick Salutin is a Canadian novelist, playwright, journalist, and critic and has been writing for more than forty years. Until October 1, 2010, he wrote a regular column in the Globe and Mail; on February 11, 2011, he began a weekly column in the Toronto Star.

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