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Opinion: Will senators stop enabling Trump? Let's hope so
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, gets in an elevator Nov. 5, 2019, as he is followed by reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. - photo by Associated Press

The term “enabler” is typically used to label someone who contributes to the habit of a drug addict. The enabler is motivated by like or love, and his or her contributions are often camouflaged for legitimate purposes. This pattern continues until the drug addict winds up in jail, dead or quits using drugs. 

But enabling is by no means limited to drug addiction. It can occur when anyone supplies an individual with the opportunity to be somebody or do something, even when there are reasons that contraindicate the same. 

Currently, the House is engaged in an impeachment inquiry concerning our president. This was initiated following a whistleblower’s report regarding a conversation between Trump and the Ukranian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. The topic involved Trump’s request for a favor regarding an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Of course, millions of dollars of U.S. aid, already approved by Congress, had been put on hold. Without a doubt, a possible quid pro quo may have occurred. 

Although there are examples of negativity linked to our president, his base has consistently supported him. It should be noted that the crux of his supporters are white, rural, uneducated men (and, of course, ecumenicals). They enabled him in 2016 when he was elected president and will do so again in 2020, if he is not impeached.

If the House concludes on the basis of the inquiry that impeachment is appropriate, it will forward articles of impeachment to the Senate. The process in the Senate is very much like a trial. In order to approve impeachment, 2/3 (67 members) must vote in favor. The real question then becomes will 34 Republican senators vote to continue to enable our president. If they do, a process equivalent to that of the enabler-drug addict will occur.

If, however, the 34 senators face the reality of Trump’s long-term pattern of blatant narcissism, maybe they will quit enabling him. Let’s hope so.

Peter McDonald


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