Voters, not impeachment, will decide the country’s future

It was a coincidence that Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose National Voter Registration Day to announce her decision to begin a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, but those of us who want another president better heed a strong message in the timing.

Impeachment is a justifiable response to this president. But whether he is unseated will depend on next year’s election, not on an impeachment inquiry that may never come to a vote in the House, much less result in a conviction in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, aided and abetted by the likes of Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, will continue to be Trump’s chief enabler and protector.

The stakes for the 2020 presidential race already were sky-high because the outrages have been many under the Trump administration:

# A continuing assault on public education and other services critical to millions of Americans and the country’s future.

# A continuing assault on basic decency, including racist rhetoric from the White House, the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents at the southern border and cramming migrant kids into detention facilities little better than cages.

# An incompetent commander-in-chief who ignores constitutional restraints, repeatedly lies to the American people and seemingly takes delight in widening racial, cultural and ideological divisions to a level not seen in this country since perhaps the Civil War.

Only a few hours after Pelosi’s announcement, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, one of Trump’s most-outspoken allies in Texas, issued a statement predicting that “this high-risk strategy by the Democrats will only galvanize and energize the president’s supporters in Texas and across the country.”

Although I rarely agree with Patrick’s political priorities or pronouncements, he is right about this one.

About one-third of the voters in this country, maybe more, believe everything Trump says or don’t care. In their view, what’s wrong with the president of the United States pressuring the president of a foreign country to help him undermine a political opponent? Regardless of the outrage, they will follow Trump over the cliff — and take the rest of the country with them. The impeachment announcement already has set their social networks afire, and their trolls are working overtime.

Next year’s elections for president, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and the Texas Legislature already were going to be critical for educators, students, consumers and anyone else who values our public school system, our network of life-saving and life-enhancing public services, our national defense and our very system of government.

The impeachment announcement means we will have to step up our hard work to force the changes we need at the ballot box.


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