Students weigh in on Trump drama in Wash., D.C.

President Donald Trump is currently involved in a political wildfire for his role in trying to get a foreign leader to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, and the Castleton community has mixed feelings about the topic.

Trump has been slammed with the impeachment inquiry started by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi due to a phone call he made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

The phone call took place on July 25 and notes from the conversation between Trump and Zelensky showed Trump was asking for Zelensky to look into business dealings of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Because of the call surfacing due to a whistle-blower, the inquiry was initiated. With one whistle-blower coming forward, another felt comfortable to come forward with evidence as well.

But something that people don’t understand is the difference between an impeachment inquiry, impeachment, and removal from office.

And some students don’t even know what’s going on.

Political Science professor Rich Clark explained that some Americans don’t understand the process.

“I think we’ve confused the facts,” he said. “It’s important to understand the House is only at the inquiry steps. We have no idea what the articles will say.”

Clark explained that an inquiry is simply the beginning steps to an impeachment of a president. He also mentioned that an impeachment doesn’t mean removal from office.

Castleton political science major and senior Alex Jensen isn’t quite so concerned with any radical changes to the political agenda stemming from the impeachment effort.

“Going into the next election though, that would definitely I think spark a divide in the Republican Party because there already is a divide in the Republican Party,” he said.

But some are concerned with possible repercussions from the impeachment or removal from office.

Senior, Zach Gebo, is not on board with Mike Pence taking over for Trump.

“It’s scary because I don’t want Pence, even though Trump’s bad, Mike Pence is worse,” he said.

The New York Times posted a guide to impeachment and defined impeachment as “… charging a holder of public office with misconduct.”

So what do Americans think about the possibility of impeachment and removal?

According to a poll by the Washington Post- Schar School on Oct. 8, a “majority of Americans say they endorse the decision by House Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry of President Trump, and nearly half of all adults also say the House should take the additional step of recommending that the president be removed from office.”

Clark made a comparison between impeachment and removal from office as “pressing charges against this person and then putting them away for the rest of their life.”

“It’s a conclusion reached before we’ve done the inquiry,” he said of some peoples’ attitutudes.

Several Castleton students were asked to comment on the issue but declined because they said they aren’t informed enough. They know of the inquiry, but it isn’t something they want to talk about with not knowing the full details.

But for sophomore Mara Bailey, she has kept up with the news and foresees trouble in the near future with the possibility of Pence taking the seat. She said Pence has shown radical ideals, such as conversion therapy, that she hopes, if removal were to happen, wouldn’t happen to our country.

“Honestly, as a college student, I feel really helpless just watching this country kind of fall apart and wanting to do something about it, but being in the minority, you don’t know what to do,” she said.

Sophomore Adam Mitchell, who mentioned he gets a lot of his information on the topic from “satire, memes, things like SNL,” he thinks that with the amount of time until the next election, there won’t be enough time for Pence to make any radical decisions.

“I feel like yes, while he’s a very radical conservative, I feel like he won’t have an impact. So, the impeachment, if we do remove Trump, I think that’s goal A and we’re going to have to deal with the consequences of Pence. But I don’t think Pence can have that much of an impact,” he said.

First-year student Morgan Ferguson, said students may become more interested in the topic if it was made “easier to comprehend and make it in simpler terms.”

“I personally don’t understand like the political talk that they use. So if it was simplified to a college standpoint, and terms were simplified, then I definitely would follow it because it something that I do want to be informed about,” she said.

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