As the nation watches the impeachment proceedings unfold, it becomes apparent just how consequential the impacts of this event may be. Whatever results from it, the topic of impeachment seems to eclipse many other stories in the news these days.
But does the presidential impeachment bear as much relevance and priority to the Castleton University community?
Among students, maybe not.
Ten students who were questioned about their opinions on impeachment expressed fairly apathetic attitudes. Six of these students stated that they “don’t care about impeachment,” while the remaining four said that they don’t pay much attention to it.
But not all students interviewed were apathetic. Two others seemed quite well-versed on the issue and elaborated their thoughts.
“It’s probably not going to work. He won’t get removed or go through the Senate,” said Lisa Levin said last week. “The only way that he’ll lose his job is in an election. It’s difficult; I understand why some people hate him and why some people love him. I think his actions are unpreferable, but I also see that a lot of the people pointing the finger at him have behaved unethically too.”
Another student, Malikai Smith, seemed frustrated about the impeachment process.
“I originally thought it was interesting and progressive and that it was good that it was happening. Now I think it’s menial and not meaningful,” Smith said. “If we had a better vice president, a better system, a better replacement, and both the House and Senate impeached him it would be worthwhile. But that isn’t going to happen.”
Rich Clark, a political science professor at Castleton, was eager to talk about impeachment and what it means.
“I honestly believe that the process is right and I think there’s nobody who follows this that honestly believes that you’re going to get two-thirds of the senators to vote to remove Donald Trump from office based on what we have so far,” Clark said.
Clark talked about how a lot of people think the process is a farce and a waste of time and political, but he said he believes the system is playing out as it should. He said the fact that impeachment was pursued suggests there’s a “higher principle or at least it suggests the possibility of a higher principle in mind.”
“There are huge problems with the conduct of this president, but what it comes down to then is this: what do you think is in fact an impeachable offense?” he said.
Clark says that the reason the United States has the world’s longest surviving charter of government is because we treat the Constitution with reverence, and that if we stop doing so, “we have a true constitutional crisis and our officials have to intervene at that point to protect the Constitution.”