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Do what the Senate won’t: Vote Trump out on Nov. 3

There’s no denying throwing the president out of the White House through impeachment right now would have been incendiary. But you can finish the job later this year.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
AP file photo

If you read nothing more here, read this: Get out there and beat him in November.

President Trump is sure to be acquitted next week. Game over. He will claim total vindication and troll his foes. He will call them childish names on Twitter and strut and crow when he delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Every word he says will be about as true as most of what he says, which is to say hardly true at all.

He will say he was tried by the Senate and found not guilty, but there was no real trial. A real trial seeks the truth.

He will say the charges levied against him were phony to begin with, but the evidence of his guilt remains overwhelming. You can be sure that most of the Republican senators who will vote to acquit him have known this all along; there’s just nothing in it for them to vote the other way.

GOP bald self-interest

Sure, it would be nice if even a single Republican senator set aside bald self-interest and reached for something noble and voted to convict. Because, honestly, there is no place for a president who would sell out our nation’s best interests for personal political gain.

But it’s easy for us to talk. We admit it. Our job’s not on the line.

For dozens of Republican senators, voting to convict Trump on Wednesday would be like submitting a resignation. The next time they stood for reelection in a Republican primary, they would get pounded.

Would Democrats be any less spineless if the situation were reversed?

So much for facts

Our own miscalculation was a painful one. We put too much stock in the power of facts.

For a long time we disagreed with the lefties who constantly called for Trump’s impeachment, odious as the man is. We shared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view that the American people just weren’t on board. To attempt to drive a president from office without widespread public support could tear the nation apart.

But then came the news of that “perfect” phone call, on July 25 of last year, between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, which was quickly corroborated by a wealth of additional evidence. Trump had withheld military aid and a coveted White House visit in an effort to force Zelensky to announce an investigation into a political rival, Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter.

That, to our thinking, was the epitome of an impeachable offense. And we felt mildly confident that a strong majority of Americans, once apprised of the damning facts, would share our view.

How wrong we were.

The percentage of Americans who support Trump’s impeachment, according to an analysis of multiple polls by FiveThirtyEight, has grown from 38.7% on Sept. 24, 2019 — the day Pelosi announced an impeachment query — to 49.4% as of this Friday.

But the percentage of Americans who oppose impeachment remains an imposing 46.5%.

The American people never came around. Not enough of them.

‘Gasoline on cultural fires’

We continue to believe Trump’s impeachment was necessary, despite the deep divide among Americans, and that the Senate should find him guilty. But there’s no denying impeachment is as much a political exercise as a constitutional imperative, and the fallout from throwing Trump out of the White House in this way could have been incendiary.

As Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told the New York Times on Friday, while openly acknowledging Trump’s guilt: “It would just pour gasoline on cultural fires that are burning out there.”

So what’s to be done now?

Get out there and beat him in November.

Trump is still the most unfit person ever to be president of the United States. He is still an object lesson in low character, the person we raise our children not to be.

He’s still a policy train wreck as well, stirring up hate against immigrants, separating refugee children from their parents, stiff-arming allies, cuddling with autocrats, rolling back environmental protections, trashing judges whose rulings annoy him, abandoning the global fight against climate change, extolling conspiracy theories about stolen elections, spreading lethally false claims about the dangers of vaccinations, pushing our nation to the edge of war with Iran, making a mockery of a serious two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians, imposing travel bans on people from predominantly Muslim countries, and showering tax breaks on billionaires while the federal debt soars.

When not watching Fox News or golfing.

There’s an election coming up on Nov. 3. The choice is yours.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.