Historians issue dire warning: Trump's acquittal could be damaging to America for years to come

Historians issue dire warning: Trump's acquittal could be damaging to America for years to come
Donald Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, Tyler Merbler
New interviews show how Capitol rioters came dangerously close to acting on threats against lawmakers

Former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial will likely be wrapping up over the next couple of days and, unfortunately, there is a strong possibility his acquittal could ironically fall on the most sardonic date: President's Day.

According to Axios, historians are focused on evaluating the bigger picture as it pertains to Trump's controversial legacy: "the election fraud lie, the efforts to overturn the results through violence, the impeachment of a president days before his exit, and the actions of his own party to block his conviction."

The publication notes how Trump's impeachment trials have drastically diminished the power of the impeachment process, altogether. In fact, Renee Romano, a professor for Oberlin College, weighed in with her concerns about what a possible Trump acquittal would signify.

According to Romano, the battle between lawmakers amid the impeachment trial signifies the "result of tension between two opposing historical narratives.

One political party identifies with Trump's perspective on the election being rigged. That group believes the violence that ensued at the Capitol is justified based on Trump's arguments. However, the opposing side believes President Joe Biden's victory is legitimate as it is no secret that the American public widely supports the Democratic Party because they have evolved into a representation of a "multiracial" society.

"I think a lot of this is about race, and entitlement," Romano said. "And now, we're at a stage where you basically have to use violence to overthrow the results of a democratic election to protect white minority power."

She added, "In any society where you have such a divide over how you see reality, that's an unstable country," Romano said. "I'm not hopeful for the future of the country."

Andrew Rudalevidg, an expert on the governance behind presidential power, also offered a broad perspective on the message Senate Republicans are sending by failing to hold Trump accountable for a second time. He also noted the extent of how damaging it is that Trump has been allowed to undermine Congress' authority and the rule of law.

"Congress not even pushing back against a physical assault suggests that there's a lot they will put up with," Rudalevige said.
It's a President's Day present: an affirmation of the autonomy of the executive branch."

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