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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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MacDonald: Trump impeachment will positively affect CSU students

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The House of Representatives voted in December to impeach President Donald Trump on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate will hold a trial later this month to determine if he will be removed from office. That fact alone has sparked a political debate that rages online and in person. These debates surrounding President Trump’s impeachment trial are positive experiences for students. 

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Politics and debate tend to go hand in hand. Without discussion and evaluation, there wouldn’t be a question about any ideology or function in our government. It’s good to have an opinion, and it’s even better when people can defend their own — that’s what makes it work.

My colleague Katrina Leibee states that impeachment is something that we shouldn’t strive for. I agree; it’s not a proud time for us in the United States to become divided like we are. However, we can’t just ignore it. Learning to communicate and speak clearly about our opinions is something we should be striving for.

This is, of course, the bright side of the impeachment of Trump. With the internet drowning us in a flood of information and disinformation, it can be hard to find the facts. Algorithms following our media encourage us to follow the cycle of our own beliefs and see the things we want to see. We’re not as engaged with opposing opinions online as we used to be — it isn’t until we specifically search it out that we engage with other perspectives. 

In order to impeach the present, it must be voted on in the House of Representatives. Then, it is passed to Senate, where they must have a two-thirds majority to remove the president from office (Courtesy of Statista).

The eeriest part is that our generation knows this. Growing up in the technology boom and being accompanied nearly our entire lives by social media has taught us that we aren’t going to see the entire search when we look something up on Google.

We know the political content we engage with is partisan when it comes to social media too. So, the unfortunate truth is that the algorithm prevents us from seeing everything.

But the good news is that we’re not blind to this fact. We know that when politics surface as trending hashtags, we’re likely going to see the same thing over and over and rarely see any opposition. We know we need to see the other side. 

We should be interested in learning what the other party has to say and seek it out — no matter what side we’re on. Being surrounded by the same side encourages mob behavior, and not listening to the talking points of the opposing side promotes ignorance. Ignorance and mobbing are like a match and a stick of TNT, yet they’re not as uncommon as you’d think. 

Trump’s impeachment trial is great news for students of higher education around the country because it provides them with a subject they can use to strengthen their opinion, educate themselves on our government and defend their Constitution, however they interpret it.

This is all because President Trump’s impeachment trial is beginning to shed light on the unwavering political division in this country. With tensions like those seen in the hours-long impeachment hearings — live streamed by the New York Times perhaps the reason people stay out of the political debate is fear. But that’s not a feeling that gets in the way of a public four-year university student, according to Caroline Harper of the National Center for Institutional Diversity. 

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Without discussion and evaluation, there wouldn’t be a question about any ideology or function in our government.”

Harper explained that college students want to be engaged in making a change. In order to do that correctly, you can’t just jump into things and shout your uneducated opinion. Nobody will want to sit through that lecture.

Also, college students have been more eagerly coming to the polls in recent years according to a Tufts University report on U.S. college and university voting, with voting turnout growing about 3% between the 2012 and 2016 elections. 

Without examples of tumultuous political action, we wouldn’t have anything to engage with but the printed text in our textbooks.

Alexandra MacDonald can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexandramacc.

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