The Special Counsel's report and Robert Mueller's May 30 statement have brought calls for immediate House passage of Articles of Impeachment of Donald Trump. America is not yet ready for such action. More important, Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues would assure that Trump was not removed from office at trial in the Senate.

The grim truth is that unless Trump defies a direct order of the United States Supreme Court, the 22 incumbent Senate Republicans up for reelection next year will not risk incurring the wrath of Trump's supporters in their respective home states. Trump's blindly loyal base will use the primary process to unseat any GOP incumbent who questions or opposes Trump's excesses.

A partisan impeachment effort now will become the centerpiece Trump's lie-laden, fear-mongering reelection campaign. That spectacle will further alienate already frustrated independent voters. They will rightly conclude that America's elected representatives in Washington-both Republican and Democrat­ are simply bent on blocking and annihilating each other and are blind to all else. They may boycott national politics altogether. That is a recipe for complete national dissolution.

It is time for the opponents of Trump to stop hoping that a porn star, a "flipped" henchman, a two-volume Special Counsel's Report or a federal court order will somehow convince millions of Americans who voted for Trump that they made a mistake. Unless millions of those minds are changed any effort to end Trump's presidency prior to January 2021 will end badly. A partisan impeachment vote and a futile trial will leave so many Americans disgusted and angered that civil order could disintegrate.

As the "case" now stands, there is only one way for Democrats to purge Washington of Donald Trump and his criminal cronies. That is by earning the votes of American citizens in the 2020 election in enough numbers in enough states to reclaim the Senate and to secure the number of electors needed to prevail in the Electoral College. Winning that fight starts with nominating candidates and proposing a legislative agenda that appeal not only to liberal ideologues on the East and West Coasts, but also to moderates in Middle America.

Forcing passage of Articles of Impeachment on a party line vote now will harm more than the Democratic party. It will end any prospect of bipartisan government altogether.

Randall Burg

Bemidji