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 “A partisan impeachment inquiry is a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the American people.” 

This is what Vice President Mike Pence said at a rally in Louisiana on Oct. 5 criticizing Democrats and the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, as reported by CNN. 

Pence should have thought twice before using the phrase “will of the American people.” The American people willed Hillary Clinton in 2016 by way of the popular vote. It was the electoral college that nullified this will in Trump and Pence’s favor. 

The electoral college is a contentious aspect of American democracy and will be criticized once again in the 2020 election and just about every election after until its dissolved. However, don’t hold your breath waiting for that.

We can argue its purpose when effectively electing a president, but it remains a central part of our democracy. It’s not too different from impeachment when you think about it. If we are to allow the popular vote to be undermined by the electoral college, Pence can allow the results of the electoral college to be undermined by a constitutionally permitted impeachment inquiry. 

Ideally, no president should face impeachment. Impeachment should act as the junkyard dog warning to those in office to not step over their boundary of allotted power and influence in our country and abroad. Electoral college or not, the president is a representative of every American and of the government and must abide by the rules therein. 

The “blatant attempt” Pence referenced is not that of belittling the people but of sanctioned congressional power that the framers of the United States included in our constitution to secure a system of checks and balances. Believe it or not, congress is doing its job. We should be more worried if there wasn’t an impeachment inquiry given the circumstances of apparent abuse of power by the president. 

Trump is still innocent until proven guilty. The inquiry will unveil whether or not this is the case, but in the meantime, let us not make the excuse that this process goes against the will of the people. Every American that voted in 2016, either for Trump or Clinton, vicariously voted for a system that allows for the president elect to be “overturned” by impeachment. 

Contact Jarett Theberge at jtheberg@kent.edu. 

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