The US President was impeached by the House and will soon be acquitted by the Senate. In both chambers, the rhetoric, process, and outcomes played along party lines—and, in such, failed to serve our national interests. A divided country will blame one party or the other for the debacle. Americans will remain split on whether the president is villain or victim. But most will agree that we witnessed extreme governmental dysfunction.
While an independent voter, I am not a neutral observer. And I believe it is time for absolute clarity—and for change.
I consider that the president acted inappropriately, threatening our electoral system and obstructing Congress, and thus ultimately giving the House no choice but to impeach him. I further consider that the House managers did a remarkable job during the Senate trial, making a compelling and patriotic case for why the President should be removed. And I believe that most Republican Senators disrespected their oath of impartial justice, putting party ahead of country and—intentionally or not—weakening separation of powers and democracy itself. In fact, I find the overall behavior of Republicans in the House, Senate and White House dishonorable, irresponsible and dangerous.
None of this changes my pre-impeachment views. The President has consistently proven to be unfit, for reasons that are not impeachable, ranging from moral bankruptcy to incompetence. His flaws are reflected in his obsessive lying and lack of civility and ethics, as well as on his many short-sighted policies and dangerous geopolitical gambles. His actions on climate change, for example, are extremely problematic. In ignoring overwhelming scientific evidence, those actions—if not reversed—will lead to devastating consequences to the Earth’s sustainability, the world’s health and economic wellness, and global migration crises.
That the Republican Party has blindly supported Mr. Trump leaves me no choice for November 2020. I remain committed to help Democrats win the Presidency and sweep both the House and the Senate. At a minimum, this means that I will temporarily register Democrat to vote in the primaries, and that I will support their eventual nominee in the general election—whether out of conviction or just civic duty.
But this lack of choice concerns me deeply. Our two-party system is dangerously flawed, and has run its course. We need, with urgency, a multi-party political system that enables Americans to feel represented in their nuanced differences. A system where results like in the 2016 presidential elections—with a staggering 97 million eligible Americans not voting, versus only 66 million voting for Ms. Clinton and 63 million for Mr. Trump—have no place.
The platform of a truly transformative Democratic candidate would recognize the need to give Americans a broader range of political choices into the future, and would propose realistic enabling measures and timeline. Such platform would boldly put country above party, but could also propel disenfranchised voters to ensure the landslide victory that America needs Democrats to have in 2020.
— Antonio Baptista