It’s over, and I won’t miss it

Published 6:27 pm Friday, February 7, 2020

It really is over!?! Those TV talking heads were not just kidding around, this was truly the real deal!?!

Yes, it’s true.

The historic impeachment of President Donald J. Trump that had captivated much of the American public ended on Wednesday with the U.S. Senate vote to acquit. But while I don’t want to sound like I’m Joe Ostrich with my head buried in the sand, I’m one person for whom the impeachment didn’t mean much.

Yes, early on I watched as Congressman Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the effort to shepherd articles of impeachment through the U.S. House of Representatives. At night, I’d flip between ball game time outs to get a recap of the tense back and forth at the Capitol between the Democrat crowd and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Then, when it was clear that virtually nothing about Trump’s presidency was going to change as a result of his impeachment, I went to bed. See, I – like most of working America – had a job to get to, and I had to go back to working that job and paying my bills.

Even for a real news cycle wimp like me, trying to decipher a system where a president remains in office even after he is impeached put too much extra strain on my psyche since last summer, when this all began. When you realize that Trump’s removal had to require two-thirds of the Senate to find him guilty in a trial, that fact doesn’t add clarity. It added another level of frustration.

The average American has to deal with life beyond the bottom line. That’s true for economics. It’s true for criminal justice, and it’s also true for politics. That’s why I’m only mildly interested in what happens on the political road show now that Trump’s been acquitted.

There wasn’t a sliver of any real drama over whether Trump would still be in office after the trial was over. That was really the only answer everyone was seeking whether you favored the process or not. And now that we have it, what are we going to do?

We’re going to go on with our lives.

For students, I applaud what had to be a valuable civics lesson. It was a fascinating study in parliamentary procedure and how the political system works. If there was an inconvenience, it was one that didn’t matter so long as the trajectory of the stock market remained intact and the coronavirus didn’t spread.

But here’s the thing. Impeachment is an afterthought when you’re working for minimum wage in a job with no health insurance. Politics doesn’t matter when you’re juggling bills and trying to figure out whether you’re going to pay rent or buy food. This whole drama inside the Washington, DC beltline was a mere distraction when balanced against whether I can pay down my credit card debt and also keep oil in my furnace.

So, when I heard that Trump was being impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress was somehow wrong, there was something that mattered more to me: like the fact that the price of gasoline went down another few pennies and I could smile at fill-up.

If you cared a lot about impeachment, I salute you. I wish more people had time to care about impeachment, but impeachment didn’t put any food on my table.

What ought to matter to everybody, no matter the shade of your politics, is fixing things you feel are broken in the system.

Impeaching Trump didn’t change that one bit. But love the outcome, or hate it, keep your eyes on the prize, because maybe, just maybe, you can change it for yourself later this year,

Now let’s hope after surviving impeachment we can just get through this election cycle in one piece.

Gene Motley is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at gene.motley@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7211.