Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry: What It Is and Why You Should Care

Reagan Reed, Staff Writer

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You may have seen something about it online, or heard your parents talking about it, or maybe you even read about it yourself and are interested in the topic. Any way you do know about it, it doesn’t matter because the main issue here is that our president is currently undergoing an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. For those who are unfamiliar with what that means, essentially our president is being investigated to whether or not he should be charged with five different crimes: obstruction of justice, violation of the foreign emoluments clause, violation of the domestic emoluments clause, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary, and undermining the freedom of the press. While that may sound like just a bunch of meaningless government jargon, the actions that these charges are referring are, in reality, very serious.

As some of you may know, it is illegal to ask foreign governments to interfere in U.S. elections. Common sense, right?  Apparently not, because on several occasions our president has thought it wise to ask several countries on multiple instances to get him information about his political opponents. The first time was in 2016 after the primary election when he and Hilary Clinton were the only two candidates left, and Trump decided to invite Russia, on live television, to find all of Clinton’s deleted emails and leak them to the press so that Trump could have access to them. While at the time it was very controversial, it still wasn’t illegal because he wasn’t our president yet, he didn’t have the same level of power or responsibility. 

If it had just been left at that, Trump would’ve been fine; he should have learned his lesson. However, he can’t seem to do that and has once again put his foot in his mouth. This past June, he said if a foreign government called him and said they had information on his opponent, he would definitely consider taking it. When asked if he would tell the F.B.I. about it, he said he might, but if a country like Norway called him he would like to hear it. This doesn’t look good for him, I’ll be honest, but his actions are still not entirely illegal because he’s not actually taking or asking for information from a foreign nation. But Trump just couldn’t hold it in, and he did what he always does once again last month. Trump asked Ukraine to ‘dig up dirt’ on Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic Presidential candidate, and the Democratic Party. Documents have been released, and one of his own turned on him and gave up information about phone calls he had with Ukraine’s president, during which he asked for help in his reelection efforts. This is all very illegal and very immoral, and reflects very badly on us as a country, but you’re probably wondering, “Why should I care about any of this?”

Honestly, that’s a fair question. Why should we as teenagers care about political affairs? Why should we care at all, when the president will never really affect us in life? That’s how a lot of Americans feel towards politics, and it’s a totally understandable view. I can’t say you have to care about government in your life, or even participate because you have the right not to if you don’t want to. But there are also lots of reasons why you should care that you may not realize, and that more people should think about.

For starters, while the president may not directly affect your day to day life, he does affect the big parts in ways you don’t even realize. The way our president interacts with other countries, damaging those relationships, will affect us when we get to the real world. We buy almost everything we use in other countries, and when we can’t get those things because he’s made trade too difficult or burned too many bridges, you will start to notice. And when he appoints judges that don’t have a sense of morality, and that make biased decisions because they are working for their personal agendas, you will notice. When he supports congressmen that are only in the business for the power and money that comes from the position, and not to work as a civil servant for the people, you will start to notice. That’s when our freedoms will start to feel like they’re being obstructed because our officials won’t be voting in the interest of the people. A big part of that is our fault because we’ve been conditioned to think the government won’t affect us, but it does.

That’s the trap most citizens fall into, and as the next generation, we are responsible for deciding what we will do with our government. As of right now, very few of our wishes or problems are being represented in government because the average age of people in congress is 60 years old. Most people who are 60 years old are not voting to forward the next generation, and that’s not because they are mean or cruel, it’s just because it’s smart of them to vote in their best interest, which includes laws that will benefit them. None of the laws they are currently passing will have any damage in their lifetime, and that’s why they’re okay with it, but that fact isn’t the same for us.

I know this is boring, and it’s not fun to worry about it because we’re teenagers. The truth is, though, in a few years we won’t be teenagers and this will be our reality, and then by that point we won’t be prepared for it.  If we want to change that, we have a responsibility to do our part and vote, and fight for what will keep our country going in the future. I know that voting is a far off task for a lot of you, so my advice is this: educate yourself, figure out what you care about and support, find candidates or causes you’re passionate about, and when the time comes be ready to put your knowledge to use so you can do something effective.