Students React to the Presidential Impeachment Inquiry



While many students aren’t even of voting age, the impeachment inquiry has still caught the attention of many.

Riley Keiter, Writer

In 2016, most students now at Olathe West were still in middle school, and could only sit by and watch as the nation voted between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The impact from the choice, however, affected them just the same as any other citizen. So now as they grow older, politics have become a larger topic. This is especially because of the upcoming 2020 election. But as the election comes closer, the previously seen rift between the Democrats and Republicans only grows due to talk of an official presidential impeachment inquiry.

The most recent political news deals with Ukraine and involves Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, and a former vice president. 

Trump called Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, which was reported by a “whistleblower” and was reported through a White House memo. The memo itself was not word-for-word, so therefore not exact in what either party said, and the whistleblower is still unknown.

Politicians opposing Trump’s presidency, namely people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are pursuing Trump’s impeachment due to him asking Zelensky to “dig up dirt on one of his political opponents to boost his reelection bid” according to The Los Angeles Times. This was supposed to lead to a quid pro quo, or a favor in return for a favor. But while some think it was an abuse of the office’s power, others think it was simply to investigate any possible breaches of power by Biden.

Many people don’t understand why this would be an issue, but the inquiry was put in place to investigate if he had abused his power by pressuring Zelensky and possibly extorted Ukraine by withholding aid. It is confirmed that aid was withheld, but no link has officially been made between the aid and the request.

But both sides have much to say on the matter, including those in Olathe West. 

Senior Quinn Davidson and Senior Amelia Darby are both in their last year at West, but their political values are staggeringly different, Davidson being a republican and Darby a Democrat. But both know the basics of impeachment, unlike many.

“Impeachment is something that proceeds through Congress, and it’s kind of like condemning the actions of the president,” said Davidson.

Darby agreed on that, though adding that many people get it wrong.

 “It means that the president is put on trial, but a lot of people think it means that they just are kicked out of office,” she said.

This is correct, and both are put in the stark minority as only 25% of Olathe West students who actually knew what impeachment meant when interviewed in a poll taken by the Owl Post.

In the same poll, another question on Trump’s chances in the 2020 election had 50% of people say that they would not vote for Trump, and only 15% saying they would, while 5% said they weren’t sure. The remaining 30% states they would not vote at all.

50% of people say that they would not vote for Trump, and only 15% saying they would”

“I’d need to know the Republican candidates better…but I would vote Trump otherwise,” said Davidson when asked about the election. “His values align with mine more than others and I think that the work he’s done fits what I want,” Davidson said.

Davidson also stood with Trump on the impeachment argument.

“I don’t really think that impeachment should occur,” he said. “If we really want to see what people believe about this issue I think we should let the people decide if Trump should be elected again in the upcoming election. I believe that Trump really thought that Joe Biden’s son was doing things that were inappropriate for an authority in our country…I don’t think there’s a personal motive with what was going on.”

While Davidson believes that impeachment isn’t necessary, he also agreed that there are circumstances that would make impeachment appropriate.

“Things like treason, things like that obviously would be something you could impeach the president for. If there’s something the president is doing to harm our country, I think that there should be a possibility of impeachment…If Trump were actually collud[ing] with Russia, with tangible evidence of that, then that would be something that could be impeachable,” Davidson said.

Darby agreed but had trouble concurring to the fact that Trump hadn’t passed those boundaries.

“At least obviously breaking the law. As the president, you shouldn’t be doing that,” Darby said.

Darby also thought that Trump should be impeached for other reasons.

“He needs to be impeached for the sexual harassment of women that he’s admitted to…but unfortunately, our system isn’t going through with that,” she said.

Darby said she still believed that possible Ukraine extortion was impeachable.

“The situation he’s in right now is absolutely grounds for impeachment,” Darby said.

Since the initial inquiry, much more has been taking root, especially in the House of Representatives with Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi started a movement, largely comprised of Democrats, that is attempting to vote on how the impeachment should proceed. This would leave complete transparency in order to bolster the legality of the impeachment, should it truly occur. Some Republicans doubt the sincerity of the impeachment. A press secretary named Stephanie Grisham even accused Democrats of “conducting an unauthorized impeachment proceeding.”

“It’d be good if the people could see what’s going on,” Davidson said. “[Citizens] are supposed to be a big part of democracy, so it’s important we know everything.”

Every day more news comes out on the possibility of impeachment, but lines are blurred on what is actually going to happen in the future.

“A lot of people are either saying that it’s highly possible that it’ll happen, and then some are saying that it’s impossible,” Darby said. “Honestly, it’s hard for me to tell, because it seems like every single day a bunch of new events and information is coming out. It’s all very complicated.” 

A lot of people are either saying that it’s highly possible that it’ll happen, and then some are saying that it’s impossible,” Darby said. “Honestly, it’s hard for me to tell”

Politics has never been known for being simple, but the complexity is beginning to cast more and more hesitation on people. In the poll mentioned earlier, just about 30% of students said they would not vote at all, which is a little less than the 40% of the United States population that didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election according to FairVote. 

With the future in the voter’s hands, education on impeachment and politics will become more valuable. This is especially to the juniors and seniors of this year, some still to be students next year but nevertheless will be able to vote in the 2020 election.