The rock of support for the Trump Presidency is slowly being chipped away by none other than Republican office holders and conservative Fox News political pundits.
On Oct. 3, Kurt Volker, a former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, revealed his group text messages with the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland and the U.S Chief of Missions for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, a diplomat who heads an embassy in the absence of the ambassador during congressional testimony.
The texts provided potentially damning evidence supporting the accusation that Trump dangled congressionally-approved military aid over the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in return for an investigation of one of Trump’s potential opponents in the 2020 Election.
Ukraine is currently defending against a Russian invasion. As of 2014, Russia had forcibly occupied approximately 27,000 square miles of Ukrainian property (roughly the size of Massachusetts).
Conservative Fox News Host, Tucker Carlson, rebuked Trump’s actions.
“Trump should not have been on the phone with a foreign head of state encouraging another country to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden…once those in control of our government use it to advance their political goals, we become just another of the world’s many corrupt countries,” Tucker co-wrote in an op-ed to The Daily Caller.
Republicans for The Rule of Law plan to spend $1 million dollars on television and digital ads urging Republican politicians to condemn Trump for his Ukrainian activity.
Being caught red handed for what many argue to be an impeachable offense, Trump tried to normalize his actions by doubling down on his behavior by publicly requesting the Chinese government also investigate Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son.
The call for China to investigate angered Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
“Hold up: Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth. If the Biden kid broke laws by selling his name to Beijing, that’s a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps,” Republican Sasse said to the Omaha-World Herald.
The Ukrainian quid pro quo incident has finally sparked the U.S. House of Representatives to begin formal investigations on the call for impeachment of Trump.
Since Trump became President, a watchdog group has counted a total of 103 impeachable acts. The Ukrainian incident appears to be the one act that seems to have riled Republicans the most.
Trump’s call for China to get involved only adds to the argument: quid pro quo is a presidential abuse of power, an impeachable offense.
Former U.S. National Security Advisor and Obama appointee Susan Rice warned of the implication of Trump’s call for Chinese foreign interference for personal gain.
“What he [Trump] is saying to China is look we are in a hot trade war…if you manufacture some dirt…maybe some of our problems can go away on the trade front, on the security front,” Rice said in a televised interview. “If you’re China…you’re thinking that this man is not predictable, he is not stable…and if they (the Chinese) were being smart…they’d think that maybe this is an opportunity to steal second base.”
The list of Republican and pundit discontent and disagreement with Trump’s latest actions have been publicly called out by the likes of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, House Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Justin Amash of Michigan (Amash recently departed the Republican Party and is a self-described independent), Fox news analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, and Fox News hosts Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, and Tucker Carlson.
Despite public rebuke by conservatives, the majority of Republicans continue to stay silent on Trump’s behavior. The silence doesn’t necessarily mean they neither support his actions nor mean that they are scared to fight against Trump. Instead, Republican silence may mean these silent Republicans will simply no longer defend him.
Delta College students must continue to stay informed of the latest events that occur in Washington D.C., such as the impeachment proceedings. The persistent scrutiny of those that represent us is important to making competent decisions on the vote for the next presidential candidate in the 2020 elections.
Perhaps 18 year old Delta student Don, a psychology major, who is looking forward to his first time voting on a presidential election, said it best. “People shouldn’t vote if they don’t know,” said Don.
Let’s not stay silent.