by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Here’s the dilemma. If America’s elites (influential media, sources within the executive branch, and politicians) find some method to impeach Trump before actual wrongdoing is proved, they’ll make him into a martyr. Voters will be in uproar, incensed at what they see as a form of meritocratic tyranny. If, however, Trump continues to act and speak recklessly without checks or reprimands, that would also be concerning—it would signal an unwholesome use of executive power.
So how do we find balance in such a situation?
For now, it seems the best path forward is, indeed, one laid out in the Constitution: there are checks and balances built into the structure of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. These branches were meant to ensure the interests of all voters, and to protect against tyranny in one or either of the other branches.
Already, there’s a bipartisan coalition in Congress seeking to investigate potential wrongdoing on Trump’s part: looking into past James Comey memos, and supporting independent control of the Russia investigation. That’s good: it’s a sign we can put away partisanship and take a measured view of things. It’s a sign that the branches are still able to do what they were created to do.
But additionally, our branches of government were created to ensure that the interests and needs of the people are properly cared for. This doesn’t just mean the interests of the majority—the people who shout loudest, or the people who win the presidential election—but the voiceless, the disenfranchised, and the disillusioned.