Romney’s support and experience make Trump’s call for his impeachment risky.
In the first corner, former governor of Massachusetts, former presidential candidate and current senator from the state of Utah, the challenger Mitt Romney. Standing opposite him, the Pennsylvania graduate with indeterminate SAT scores, with no prior political experience, the President of the United States of America, reigning champion Donald Trump. The two have been at odds at times before, but it seems that they may finally be ready to duke it out once and for all. Romney criticized Trump for his pressuring of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the foundation for the newly-birthed impeachment inquiry, and Trump fired back with a suggestion that Romney should be the one impeached, a thinly veiled call-to-arms for Trump’s supporters to back him during the impeachment business. But what is really happening here? This is the president’s last battle cry to determine his fate in the next general presidential election, now roughly a year away.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump has very much established his supporters as “the best.” Instead of trying to speak to all Americans, he very obviously speaks directly to those who already support him, preaching a get-with-it-or-get-out rhetoric. Of course, in not trying too hard to appeal to voters who didn’t like him in 2016, he really needs his main support group to arrive in droves at voting booths.
His quarrel with Romney is merely part of an attempt to consolidate the entirety of the Republican Party, as he cannot afford only part of one major political party when he has shunned the other. By proposing Romney’s impeachment, he’s simply begging conservatives to answer the question: him or me? In all honesty, it’s a really good question. Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee in 2012, Donald Trump in 2016, so it is really time to decide which edifice will be allowed to be the adopted belief system of the GOP, as the two are clearly at odds with one another.
There is a problem, however. Mitt Romney may be the most powerful politician that Donald Trump has challenged. The man was elected into office at-large in both Massachusetts and Utah and won a presidential nomination between the two, he is clearly a well-liked party member. He may be the first person to actually survive a battle with Trump, as most of those who stand up to him seem to find themselves out of favor not long after. At the very least, Romney could keep his strong base of support in Utah, a state that Trump carried with 45.5 percent of the vote in 2016 and that Romney won in his Senate race with 62.6 percent of the votes in 2018. Trump may have finally gotten in over his head with his latest feud.
The fight even has a place for Democrats to join the fun. It is potentially a unique chance to unite parties against Trump, which is certainly something that the Democrats should be interested in doing. If they were to embrace Romney as a symbol of forgotten civil discourse in politics and banish Trump as a loon who only wants to label dissent as treacherous, they could potentially provide shelter for Republicans who want to go against Trump but not at the expense of their job. There is strength in numbers, and Romney may be the leader that anti-Trump conservatives needed. He could be revered in a manner akin to that of John McCain, who famously defended Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, saying, “He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.” Romney could be the new poster child of peaceful disagreement over the tumultuous hate-spewing that has begun to dominate U.S. politics.