Even if Trump himself is barred from office — a consequence of conviction — there are countless potential stand-ins who could seize the mantle of the aggrieved. And they will use Trump’s conviction to fan those flames — a narrative that the former president wi…
They've never stopped doing this, anyway! The difference is that neither they nor “citizen” Trump have the powers of the presidency behind them with which to threaten our democratic institutions. What Trump did goes far beyond "politics" – it was a direct attack on democratic procedures that could only have been orchestrated from the White House. (And I’m not just talking about January 6, but rather all of the events which led to it from the spring of 2020 up to that point.)
The War After the Election [https://medium.com/illumination-curated/the-war-after-the-election-545de96aa4ca?source=friends_link&sk=627c55d616d9296af3e398f1686493a4] summarizes the findings of the Transition Integrity Project, a group that included former Congressmen, United States Senators, previous cabinet members, White House Chiefs of Staffs, Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security and state governors whose “war games” in June of 2020 predicted almost exactly what happened leading up to the Capitol attack. Not only is impeachment justifiable in Trump’s case, but I also suggest in The War After the Election that if Trump isn’t convicted that censure in conjunction with use of section 3 of the 14th Amendment would produce the same result and is politically possible in a way that an impeachment conviction probably isn’t. The article also has suggestions for preventing ANY future president from having the powers that were available to Donald Trump.
A censure should be done in conjunction with a more thorough investigation of Trump’s conduct that was not done in either of his impeachments. I agree with you that impeachment would be divisive. But Trump’s conduct cannot be allowed to just “pass”; and the excessive powers of the presidency cannot be allowed to lie in waiting for a future president to abuse. A slow and thorough investigation would give time for passions to cool and for all of our perspectives to broaden and could build a consensus around a censure with legislative teeth behind it.