In the days since Donald Trump’s impeachment, we were left wondering what the public’s reaction would be. I didn’t expect to see a massive rally of support behind the effort, but it did manage to attract a decent number of rallies in major U.S. cities on the night before the House’s final vote. While President Clinton’s impeachment had much less support and most people knew it would never result in his actual removal from office, the vote and subsequent trial managed to make a farce out of what is a very serious and often divisive process prescribed by the Constitution to punish elected officials who abuse their power. Republicans paid for using it in the subsequent midterm elections while Clinton’s popularity rose, and the process felt like an empty threat.
Pundits dreaded the same thing would repeat itself, and we have seen a number of scandals that would sink any ordinary politician actually boost Trump’s standing with his base. Trump himself predicted that the stock market would collapse if Congress ever decided to impeach him. Instead, the stock market has thrived. The more deplorable members of his base threatened a civil war if impeachment happened. Now, a lot of them are actually trying to argue that he was never impeached. Republican senators thought they could pull a fast one with Trump’s trial and by fielding the idea aloud, they jeopardized their chances of actually pulling it off – especially if they don’t even know when the trial is happening.
This is a time that Trump needs to build his support more than ever. The problem is that conservatives aren’t exactly coming together. Not only have two influential Christian publications called for his removal from office, two influential conservative publications have as well. Today, former Rep. Dave Trott, who opted not to run last year and was replaced by a Democrat, wrote an open letter to The Atlantic encouraging Congress to impeach and remove Trump – something that no current senators have openly called for yet.
While Trott’s letter begs the question of why he didn’t speak out when he was still elected and we don’t have much reason to trust him, it does reveal that conservatives are increasingly seeing Trump more as a liability, and that the Senate may have more to gain than to lose if it does its job. Either way, conservative backlash against Trump isn’t going away soon.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making