Trump exploited that divide by positioning himself as the leader of people who feel the country is changing in ways they don’t like. It is the politics of resentment, interspersed with delusion. And even with Trump back among the ranks of everyday citizens, the politics he exploited remain potent.
Yet, this impeachment should not be an issue of party politics and party loyalty. This should be about what we are as a democracy, and whether our vaunted constitutional safeguards are worth the paper they were inscribed upon.
Unfortunately, the outcome of the Senate trial seems to be a foregone conclusion. The necessity of holding a rogue president accountable for his abuses is being overwhelmed by Republican senators’ fear of their own electorates — members of which heeded their president’s call to action and physically invaded the Capitol five weeks ago — and by a poisonous embrace of party loyalty ahead of political responsibility.