WE teachers react to second Trump impeachment


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By Jennie Lathrop, Art Director

The ripple effect from the storming of the capitol on Jan. 6 has quickly reached former President Trump. Trump was charged by Congress with “incitement of insurrection” and is now the first president ever to get impeached twice. 

As Trump left office on Jan. 20, some people felt the impeachment was rushed. Also, there were questions brought up, mainly by Republicans about the legality of impeaching a president who isn’t in office. As always, politics is a very touchy subject, which makes it difficult for teachers to teach. At West Essex, teachers have approached the subject of Trump’s second impeachment from multiple different perspectives.  

AP Gov teacher, Beth Vaknin, has somewhat touched on Trump’s second impeachment in class, whereas history teacher, Jason Freda, has not touched on the impeachment situation. Both history teachers recognized the importance of the recent historical events, specifically the incident on Jan. 6 and the peaceful transition of power. 

“Students really didn’t have much of an opinion about the events of Jan 6,” Freda said. “I think we collectively thought it was a really bad day in American history and we don’t want to see it repeated.”

Congressional Democrats and some Republicans are attempting to hold Trump accountable for what the constitution refers to as “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Freda acknowledges the strong need for an investigation on how Trump’s actions directly led to the violence that took place at our nation’s capital. 

“I’m not sure that this will result in any punishment for the president as it looks like Senate Republicans will not vote to convict, but we should understand why and how this happened so it can’t take place again,” Freda said.

Because Trump is no longer our president, there is a divide on whether to even follow through with this impeachment because of other pressing national issues, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. Vaknin strongly believes that Trump needs to be held accountable for his actions. 

“It can’t be accepted that the president can try to overturn an election and if it doesn’t work, nothing happens to him,” Vaknin said. “This would set a bad precedent for the future and make any future presidents unchecked and with too much power.”

It is clear that there was a large divide within American politics, which is why teachers believe the impeachment will not further this divide. Trump’s defenders and his detractors have long ago chosen their side in the political ‘war’ and that was demonstrated on Jan. 6. All that is left for Americans is to hope and wish for a brighter and safer future.

“I just hope that at some point as a nation we can come to some understanding and agreement about what is best for the vast majority of Americans without resorting to violence,” Freda said.