Impeaching Trump, Anthropologically
Many eloquent statements have been written about why Trump should be impeached for ethical and legal reasons. It has been more than obvious since the 2016 elections that Trump was unfit for the office of the US Presidency and should have been stopped by the Electoral College. And an increasing number of US Congressional Representatives are filming video statements in favor of impeachment. In this post, I hope to describe the anthropological reasons for impeachment. From the perspective of anthropology, Trump should be impeached. And with urgency.
Anthropology on Migration & Impeachment
One of the first reasons that anthropology would support impeaching Trump is due to his treatment of migrants and refugees. The anthropological findings are clear that humans have been moving and migrating from the beginning of our species. Recent attempts to build walls on imaginary boundaries and foment xenophobic nationalism goes against over a century of anthropological research on immigration. Anthropologically, we cannot allow the Trump administration to continue building concentration camps in the United States.
As of June 2019, these issues acquired even additional urgency, as more information has been published regarding the inhumane conditions at the detention facilities. Whereas the United States was once supposed to be an example of humane treatment for migrants and refugees, it is now becoming an excuse for mistreatment that other regimes can emulate. Moreover, Trump has announced–via Twitter no less–plans for mass round-ups of migrants. The raids target people, rather than the companies doing the hiring.
And here are the results:
What this admin is doing to immigrant families is shameful. After yesterday's ICE raids, hundreds of kids are unsure when they'll be reunited with parents. The president should focus on fixing our broken immigration system, not tearing families apart. #FamiliesBelongTogether https://t.co/jPbtKToONA
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) August 8, 2019
Impeaching Trump & Global Community
From an anthropological perspective which strives for international dialogue and intercultural understanding, Trump’s presidency is disastrous. There really has never been any coherent international policy or a sense of living in a global community. Instead, we have a mess of incoherent responses coupled to a rotating cast of conflicting characters supposedly in charge of international relations. Trump has insulted most of the places where anthropologists traditionally study.
Once again, the issue of impeachment has acquired urgency in June 2019 due to more incoherence with regard to Iran. Anthropologically, we cannot allow the person in charge of the world’s largest military to be apparently ordering strikes and then calling them off minutes before launch, all without broad consultation of elected congressional representatives.
Impeachment & Climate Crisis
Another reason to anthropologically support Trump’s impeachment is the climate crisis. Anthropology joins with other scientists to urge action with regard to mitigating the effects of climate change before predicted cascades of extinction engulf our planet. Instead, Trump has pursued policies that send us all hurtling toward global ruin. Trump’s administration has featured officials in the Environmental Protection Agency at best behaving unethically and at worst criminally. Linked to the international issues already described, Trump explicitly supports authoritarian regimes that produce fossil fuels and bankroll his enterprises.
What can we do?
There are a few things you can do to support impeachment. One is simply to tune into Sarah Kendzior on Twitter. Kendzior is a writer and journalist who was trained as an anthropologist with a specialization in authoritarian regimes. She has been prescient about the course of Trump’s actions, and succinctly described Trump as part of “a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government.” Kendzior’s essay collection is The View From Flyover Country and she is the co-host of Gaslit Nation, a weekly podcast which covers corruption in the Trump administration and the rise of authoritarianism around the world.
Of course if you are a US citizen, please be in contact with your representative to support impeachment!
In some ways it seems likely that we will need a movement like Occupy Wall Street, in which people simply stay on the streets without leaving until there is impeachment.
Impeachment: Additional Resources
I hope this has helped explain a few of the reasons anthropology supports impeachment. There are many more–including Trump’s assault on women and hostility against understanding gender anthropologically. I’ll try to post updates here as they arrive.
Disclaimer: As noted in the footer, this blog is a personal project and does not represent the views of any institutions or employers, current or previous. The opinions expressed here are mine alone. I believe the opinions here are supported by anthropological evidence, but I never advocate for impeachment in my academic research or classroom teaching.