(El Nuevo Día)

The American people, who have so often shown their reluctance to radical changes or to decisions that drastically affect their complex political balance, will have the opportunity to pass judgment on President Donald Trump's actions within a few months, leading to the most valuable verdict of all: the ballot box.

Though expected, the decision to acquit President Trump of impeachment charges -abuse of power and obstruction of Congress- is still impactful. Both charges stem from his talks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, asking him to investigate the son of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, which meant an electoral blow to one of his main rivals in the race for the presidency. In exchange for this investigation into the Biden family, Trump promised to release about $400 million to the Ukrainian government.

The last phase of the impeachment process was marred - and already decided - by the refusal of the Republican majority to allow the testimony of key witnesses, including the President's former national security advisor, John Bolton, who has been said to handle critical information about Trump's proposal to Zelensky, and the way President Trump allegedly tried to stop investigations against him.

President Trump's acquittal, received with anger and even perplexity by part of the American people, represents for another sector a necessary continuity in critical moments at the global level, when the nation is preparing to deal with the serious coronavirus epidemic, and with the strong tensions unleashed in the Middle East, following the killing of Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani.

The President took advantage of his State of the Union Address Tuesday night to make a veiled reference to the impeachment process, but also to tout achievements in economy, such as the more than two million jobs that, according to statistics, have been created during his term. Unfortunately, he intensified the tone concerning the painful issue of migrants, alluding to crimes committed by refugees who in no way represent the work dynamic and improvement that characterizes most of the people who flee from misery and violence in their countries. President Trump left to México the task of containing caravans coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, a task that falls to military personnel not always prepared to property and decently treat the tide of men, women, and children trying to cross the border.

An unprecedented moment in the history of State of the Union addresses came when President Trump left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with her hand extended as she was trying to greet him, an inexcusable action to which she later responded by ripping up her copy of the President's speech. Neither one nor the other lived up to a ceremony that has always been a model of political correctness. The State of the Union address usually generates expectation which this year came along with curiosity at the international level about the attitude that the President was going to assume, who until that moment was still amid the impeachment process that was seeking to leave him out the White House. It was up to both President Trump and Pelosi to prioritize the circumstances and to demonstrate that transcendental events such as the State of the Union address must follow a protocol of mutual respect. Both actions were childish.

With the impeachment stage behind, there is still a long way to go with primaries, which hopefully will be more normal than in Iowa. A climate of calm is crucial these months before November, for the American people to concentrate and, free of prejudice, think about their electoral verdict.

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