Trump impeachment inquiry expected to be central topic in upcoming democratic debate

Next Tuesday, CNN and The New York Times are co-hosting the fourth democratic debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. The event will host all ten candidates from the third debate plus billionaire Tom Steyer and Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. It is expected that Trump’s impeachment inquiry will be a central topic in the debate. 

For those unaware, the impeachment inquiry against president Trump was issued Sep. 24 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi following the release of the transcript of a phone call between Trump and the Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy. In this phone call, Trump pressured the Zelenskiy to investigate 2020 democratic candidate Joe Biden — the highest polling democrat in the presidential race, and Trump’s most threatening opponent. Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels, an action which many democratic candidates have called an obstruction of justice and impeachable conduct. 

These events will definitely put Joe Biden at the center of impeachment debate. While many candidates have openly challenged and shamed Biden on the debate stage for some of his past policies and alliances before, I do not think that his credibility will be challenged in this case. Biden may be the most threatening candidate at the debates, but Trump is a much larger and unanimous opponent for democrats in the 2020 race. 

While other candidates are calling for the government to proceed with the impeachment inquiry, Gabbard has taken a different stance on the situation. Gabbard has said that she believes impeachment would be “incredibly divisive for the country.” But, in a country already so divided, would impeachment deepen the divide or would it only provide some relief in knowing that the checks and balances system of government is still intact? I happen to believe that it would be the latter. 

In the end, your opinion on the impeachment inquiry should not be based around political affiliation or how radical or conservative you believe yourself to be. Instead, I believe that it should be considered fact that Trump has continually stretched the clearly-drawn limitations of his power to his own benefit. It is hard to imagine that anyone could truthfully look at the way in which Trump attempted to trade national security to gather dirt on his political rival and believe that he still has the entire nation’s best interests at heart. Before the transcript of the phone call was released, many republicans had continued to endorse Trump, saying that the issue boiled down to the media and public’s interpretation of Trump’s words, but now there has been a shift of support for Trump in the Rebublican Party. In a recent poll by NBC, it was found that 91 percent of Trump Republicans believe there was not enough evidence for impeachment, while only 58 percent of Party Republicans believe the same. 

This split in the party has been evident since Trump’s election. Many republicans have found that while they support Trump’s economic policies, they do not support his morals, or lack thereof. This opposition is seen most clearly in the three republican politicians challenging Trump in the presidency. Joe Walsh and Bill Weld have both endorsed the impeachment inquiry. Mark Sanford, on the other hand, does not. Sanford believes that while the impeachment is justified, it will hurt the political discussion and create discourse in both the Republican and Democratic Party. His idea is that impeachment will distract the 2020 campaigns from real, people-centered issues in the U.S. However, it seems to me like he’s just shying away from the conversation, or, perhaps, trying to gain a more conservative vote. Still, it is clear that the recent findings have rattled each side of the aisle. 

The fourth democratic debate will air from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Tune in to hear each candidates viewpoint on the impeachment inquiry, and, as always, feel free to leave your thoughts, comments or questions down below.