Take a breath, and get ready for trial and tribulations
If you are among the 86% of Americans who believe that our polarizing political environment represents a threat to our country, get ready; it's about to get worse. The announcement this Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that "the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry, (and I am) directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry," is one that many Democrats have been yearning for since President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016.
Pelosi was probably not happy when a Quinnipiac University poll (surveying 1,337 registered voters nationwide from Sept.19-23) released the next day that only 37% of voters supported an impeachment of Trump, with a clear majority of 57% saying Trump should not be impeached. While she may have made the base of the Democratic Party happy, her decision to proceed will not expand that base.
Many Republicans have concluded that the impeachment inquiry is a sign that Democrats in Congress are losing their minds; they predict that the resulting blowback will hurt the Democrats.
On Wednesday, the White House released the transcript of Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. While it did involve discussion of an investigation into potential corruption by Hunter Biden, son of Democratic primary presidential candidate Joe Biden, and a Ukrainian company, there was no quid pro quo.
You might be wondering how we got to this process. It started with the election of Trump.
Unable to come to grips with the reality that a New York developer, reality TV star and self-promoter had been elected president on Nov. 8, 2016, many Democrats took the next day off to console themselves.
While many on the right made fun of those who asked for days off, looked for safe spaces or hid in bathroom stalls for a quick cry, Republicans might have been better off if we had simply slowed down, asked them why they were concerned and listened to their responses.
Maybe we might have understood their fears, concerns or dislikes -- even if we did not agree with them. This understanding might have allowed us to change our strategic communications strategy. It might have left those we engaged with feeling heard and respected.
Instead, many of us made fun of them and cheered the Republicans' victory.
Then we had years of the Russia investigation, which turned up nothing.