What’s Happening in WA D.C.?

Shane Collins, Online Specialist

It was fortuitious that the BellarMUN delegation visited the nation’s capital during the last week of January when so much was going on. American University hosted the event and there was so much to do and see. Washington D.C. serves as the hub of tourists and thinkers alike.
Now, Presidents’ Day weekend approaches. Presidents’ Day is a holiday celebrating the American executive office, especially the two presidents widely considered to be the greatest in U.S. history, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, as Feb. 17 approaches, it is notable that, for the third time in history, a sitting president, Donald Trump, has been impeached. This comes after a long history of allegations of racism and misogyny that have severely impacted the public’s perception of the president. For example, conflict has recently started in Iran over President Trump ordering a drone assassination of one of Iran’s military leaders, Qasem Soleimani.
Some teachers and share how they feel about the impeachment and other recent actions of the executive and Trump administration, as well as their thoughts on the president.
AP US History teacher Caroline Meines, “It’s not surprising [impeachment]. It fits the trend of a polarizing president who has a fair amount of controversy surrounding him.”
AP Government teacher, Ken Brown, agreed with Meines.
However, Maintenance Manager Frank Petoski says that the impeachment process is not at all justified, claiming, “There was no crime. There was no substantial proof, and no matter what the Democrats are going to view him as guilty.”
When asked about the Qasem Soleimani assassination, Meines suggested that it was a situation in which the ends justify the means. Ken Brown said that though the killing of Soleimani was justified, the way the President went about it was illegal. Petoski instead focused on hypocrisy within the Democratic party, who he says condemned Trump for such military action without Congressional approval while ignoring the thousands of extrajudicial drone strikes President Obama ordered.
Finally, when asked about their thoughts on presidential action overall, all three acknowledged the economic strength that the President’s policies have provided the US. However, Meines says that his rhetoric makes him difficult to support, as he is obviously such an incredibly polarizing figure in American politics.
Brown stated that Trump’s policies mostly benefited the economy for the wealthy, while leaving lower class Americans in the dust. Furthermore, he says that having the President be the butt of many world leaders’ jokes is a disgraceful look for the country.
Finally, Petoski gave Trump credit not just for the economy and “bringing the employment rate lower than it has been in 30 to 40 years, “ but also for “holding people more accountable for crossing the border illegally.”
Opinions on the matter differ here about as much as they do out of school. America is a very divided country, there are no two ways about that. The chaotic political climate is only amplified by the major issues facing our world today, especially climate change, something the president and most of our leaders seem unable to deal with.
Overall, America is a divided nation, and the executive office is a perfect example of that. Where one sees failure, another sees success.
Either way, Presidents’ Day remains a holiday for all parties concerned.