A political overview of the first months of 2021


Avery Hamlin, Editor

2020 very well proved itself to be a year of one chaotic event after another; with extreme crises such as the global pandemic of COVID-19, forest fires, the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, the BLM protests swarming the nation, the arrival of murder hornets and many more. Not even a week into 2021, we are in for another wild ride as we have already been living through the next major U.S. historical event. 

Jan. 6 marked a day that will be set in history forever when a protest for Donald Trump’s election loss quickly arose into a violent Capitol raid. Trump flags to Nazi and Confederate flags were being held high with pride while Trump supporters shouted vicious chants outside the U.S. Capitol. This sight-to-see shocked the nation when the windows of the Capitol began to shatter and the doors were busted open by an angry mob. This event was the kick-start to the Trump administration’s downfall, the removal of President Trump’s social media accounts along with the second impeachment trial Trump has faced in his four year term. 

Now February, Joe Biden has recently been inaugurated as the United States 46th President. With the inauguration of Biden, Trump was officially impeached, never to run again for President. Trump and his family left the White House the morning of the inauguration (refusing to participate in that day’s traditions and events) and flew to Palm Beach, Flor., where they will be residing.

The second impeachment trial and the banning of his accounts were all due to the protests on Jan. 6. “Inciting of insurrection” and the blame for what happened at the Capitol ultimately led to the end of Trump. His use of Twitter to “encourage” (or not halt) the mob of Trump supporters ultimately led to his Twitter ban on Jan. 8 and his impeachment on the thirteenth.

The impeachment trial and the removal of all of Trump’s social media accounts has caused a huge split and controversy between political parties. Was the social media ban a violation of the First Amendment? Was the impeachment of Trump really necessary only a few days before he was supposed to leave office? These are the questions the public are asking of this Presidential scandal.

Whether or not it is believed that the removal of his Twitter and other social media accounts was unconstitutional, the First Amendment has to be carefully analyzed and understood. The First Amendment (put in its most simple terms) is the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition. But, taking a closer look, some have found that the true interpretation of the text shows that it is, in fact, not a violation.

 The whole amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble; and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Given that the social media platforms have no correlation or tie to Congress or their rules, there are no violations of rights. 

Many Republicans, Trump supporters or others still believe, even with the close interpretation, that this is a clear violation. As for me, I believe that the removal of Trump’s social media accounts was not a violation of the First Amendment when taking a closer look at the wording and meaning of the amendment.

After the banishment on social media, next came the official impeachment of Trump. The only president with two impeachment trials and only the third president to ever face impeachment only a few days before leaving office, it’s obvious how this could upset and confuse many Americans. However, the official reasoning behind the impeachment (for “inciting insurrection”) seems viable for a punishment. The impeachment will disqualify him from any future office and leave a stain on his record that, frankly, is much deserved. 

The messy Trump scandal finally came to an end after the official inauguration of Biden on Jan. 20. Former Presidents such as Clinton, Bush and Obama attended this day to honor American pride and tradition. 2020 was quite a bumpy ride- 2021 arrived with a bang- but hopefully, clear skies are ahead.

Contact Avery Hamlin at [email protected]