College students on what impeachment means to those who’ve never witnessed it

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Following the announcement earlier today that the House of Representatives will be moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

It’s only the fourth such time it’s happened in U.S. history and the last time it happened was two decades ago. With that in mind, two members of our team, Kayla Green and Dan Gross, spoke with two students at local universities who had never experienced this process before.

Green spoke with a political science student at St. John Fisher, and Gross spoke with a University of Rochester political science and digital media student, who wished to remain anonymous.

KG: What’s your reaction to the impeachment, and the announcement?

Morgan Bajish: It’s exhausting … I do think that what he did was an abuse of power, and I think that if people in Congress believe so then it is their duty to act on it however with the Senate holding a majority Republicans I find it hard to believe that it will pass.

I think with party ties and loyalty, and polarization, I have a hard time believing that Republicans will vote against a Republican president.

In my opinion I wouldn’t mind seeing it happen because I do think what he did was impeachable, but I mean elections are less than a year away it feels like a drawn out process for something that’s unlikely to happen.

KG: Neither of us have seen this. How big of a deal is this to you?

Morgan: I think it’s tricky because before with impeachments it felt like it was less about party ties, and more about is this an abuse of power.

But I think where we’re at now it becomes trickier in that regard, because we are more polarized than I think we’ve been, and this impeachment could play a large role in the history because this president is a lot different than other presidents we’ve seen.

I think that if he’s impeached it could have a large impact on his voter base, and how they view what happens from here in terms of government, because they do love having him as a president.

How we proceed with this impeachment and if it goes through or not I think shows if as a government we’re about polarization and party loyalty, or if we’re about impeaching people that do wrong things.

DG: What’s your reaction the impeachment proceedings, especially following today’s announcement?

UR student: It’s an historic moment, there have only been a handful of impeachments in the entire history of the country, it’s kind of crazy to be alive for this moment in history. I hope the outcome is in the best history of the country, there’s a lot of scary things happening right now, with international interference with our politics.

I hope this is an impactful step in making sure that can no longer be the case, and we get our elections to truly be our own, and be on track once again.

DG: As a digital media major, how do you think national media has handled this?

UR studenmt: The media has a huge role in shaping the narrative, and sometimes this is actually counter-intuitive to the cause, unfortunately, when the media takes a story and runs with it, and it shapes people’s opinions, sometimes harmfully so.

There’s no denying that the media has a huge influence on this, and as its happening, the media obviously is keeping very up to date, with everything that’s happening

It’s an example of in our modern time, the media and politics are so intrinsically tied together, and they sort of have an ebb and flow influence on one another.

DG: What’s the feeling like on campus with about this?

UR student: Unfortunately college students are very preoccupied with a test they have this week, or something like that

Obviously it is something that is very much on our minds, but it’s not something where your average college student is walking around talking about impeachment, but that said, all of us as political science students are all very cognizant of the fact that this is happening, and it’s a hugely important moment.

DG: How do you even start analyzing this as a student?

UR student: This class in particular is discussing conspiracy theories, and something we talk about a lot is that misinformation and hand-waving is a big thing that is becoming unusually prevalent in American politics.

With impeachment proceedings, you have one side which is trying to report the facts, and then another side which is claiming that those facts are inaccurate, and their means to do that is – in some cases – just presenting hand-waving and conspiracy theories.

This method of dealing with it in politics is something which I feel hasn’t happened for quite some time.

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