Student Reactions to Trump Impeachment Cross the Political Spectrum


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Members of the House of Representatives deliver the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate

Molly Parks, Editor

President Andrew Johnson, President Bill Clinton, and now President Donald Trump. These three names will go down in history as the first three presidents to be impeached. On December 18, the House of Representatives formally approved two articles of impeachment, Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice, against President Trump. Since the impeachment trial of President Trump has now begun in the Senate, now is a good time to consider the opinions of HMHS students on the matter. 

I asked students from Mr. Boogaard’s AP US Government and Politics course to share their opinions on the impeachment trial. I chose to interview students from all across the political spectrum in order to represent the diverse opinions held by the HMHS student population.

All the students said they started following the impeachment news as soon as the story about the Trump Administration’s phone calls with Ukraine broke. One student said, “I get news notifications on my phone from multiple news outlets throughout the day, and I watch the news when I have time.” One student declared, “they have been trying to impeach him since day one and I do not think the phone call he made with Ukraine should be eligible as an impeachable offense.”

In regards to their reactions to the House impeachment hearing, one student said, “I wasn’t surprised by what happened…The debate and proceedings seemed to be fair but personally I think that House Democrats would have voted for impeachment regardless of what any evidence showed”. On the opposite end of the spectrum, one student expressed his frustration with the partisanship by saying, “I wish that the Republicans in the House had a spine and actually went into the vote with an open mind.” Another student expressed satisfaction with the way it was handled by House leadership, “I think the debate was conducted as fairly as an impeachment debate can be”.

Addressing the current trial in the Senate, one student said he “wishes that Nancy Pelosi had chosen Justin Amash, the only independent to vote for impeachment, as House Manager. This would have shown the fact that the trial should not be partisan based.” Every student supported the idea of subpoenaing witnesses. One student added, “it’ll look super corrupt if they didn’t.” Another observed, “the Democrats can use the subpoena powers to expose Trump’s wrongdoings and perhaps harm him in the election if they are given the opportunity.” 

Students held mixed views on how the Impeachment would affect Trump in the 2020 campaign. One student believed, “I do believe that it has ultimately aided his reelection campaign. It seems as if Republicans throughout the United States are not phased by this, as they realize how extreme the other side has become. The right is too opposed to the Democratic candidates that they would never switch their vote”. Another, in sharp contrast said, “the American public cares more about upholding the Constitution than Trump expects. Trump will see the effects of his misconduct in 2020 and, depending on who the Democrats nominate, I would not be surprised if he lost his reelection bid.”

The thoughtful opinions expressed in this informal survey represent the lively political discussions heard throughout the HMHS hallways. Hopefully our political leaders in Washington can emulate this sincerity and respect in the current Senate impeachment trial.