Profs. from UK, other Ky. colleges call for Trump’s removal

Several Kentucky political science professors have publicly criticized and called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump after a mob of the president’s supporters overwhelmed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

At least three professors from the University of Kentucky have joined a group of political scientists who have signed an open letter calling on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the President’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment or act to impeach the president by impeachment.

Anneliese Russell, a professor of public policy in the UK, wrote by email on Thursday about why she signed the letter: “Yesterday displayed, in the most ruthless and exciting way, the power of the letter.” The president’s words contributed to a violent mobilization that put our country’s political institutions and decision-makers at risk.”

Knowing that her research spoke of the violence and political fallout from the Capitol breach, Emily Beaulieu-Backoos, another UK political science professor who signed the letter, said she felt it was “irresponsible” to keep that knowledge to herself.

“When you see a moment in time where things are clearly not good, and are likely to get worse, and you know your business can speak to you that you have to do it,” Beaulieu-Bacchus said.

Beaulieu Bacchus said she was careful not to share specific political views on questions of politics in class, after she was weary of stereotypes of professors as “liberal authors – something I find funny, and I can’t even convince my students to read the syllabus”. She said she does not care about the political positions her students hold or who they support. But the current political situation “no longer revolves around political differences between Republicans and Democrats.”

“We are in a moment where it is not about whether you want higher taxes or lower taxes. It is not about whether or not you want abortion legal,” said Beaulio-Bacchus. That is, do you want to be able to have an upcoming election to vote Where? This is the area we are in.”

In an online post on Thursday, Russell wrote that she trained on Capitol Hill in 2012 for CQ Roll Call, a D.C.-based media organization that closely covers Congress and the White House.

“I still can’t wrap my head yesterday, watching the rebellion degrade what the professor looks like and the person I am today,” Russell wrote on Twitter.

Beaulieu Bacchus said seeing the news of the Capitol breach on Wednesday reminded her in part of her own research for a book she’s writing about physical political altercations — focusing primarily on the bickering between Taiwan and Ukraine politicians in legislative circles. She said the data collected through this research showed that most people feel bad about democracy and legislation after those incidents – with the exception of the perpetrators of this violence. They won’t condone violence publicly, but they may appreciate that democracy works better afterward.

The letter was signed by three professors from Center College, two professors at Union College, and at least one professor from Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, Campbellsville University and the University of Louisville, along with hundreds of other political scientists. The message was started on Wednesday by professors at Dartmouth College, Inside Higher Ed reported.

“As a political scientist, I feel a responsibility to protect democracy when it is under attack by a president who has shown nothing but contempt for elections and the democratic voice of the people,” Mark Bevely, another UK political science professor who signed the letter, via email. “When the loser in an election refuses to acknowledge the approved results and urges a rebellion to intimidate members of Congress, our democracy is in great danger of becoming a cult of personality.”

Josh Douglas, an outspoken British professor and specialist in election law, has also called on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings – a move many senior Democrats have promised to start if the amendment does not go through. used.

“Congress, after completing the counting of the Electoral College votes, must begin impeachment proceedings immediately so that Trump cannot tear the fabric of our democracy, even during his last two weeks until President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Douglas wrote in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday:” Trump’s impeachment and conviction will also make him ineligible for a future office.”

UK President Eli Capiloto also issued a statement about the events at the Capitol on Thursday, writing that today “was an unsettling day for our country as most of us ever remember it”.

“We have been reminded once again that violence is never a response to disagreement,” Capillotto said. “But as a long night began to succumb to a new day, we were also reminded that core values ​​remain: belief in free and fair elections, a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power, and the basic idea that the responsibilities of democracy should prevail in our society. In the successful completion of presidential elections, we have witnessed once again The genius of our system of self-government – our capacity for reflection and our commitment to constant renewal as part of the project of building a more perfect union.”

This story was originally published January 8, 2021 11:06 am.

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