In 2016, Donald Trump made a comment to describe how well his campaign was doing. He infamously said “You know what else they say about my people? The polls, they say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible.” Incredulously, neither Trump, his pollsters, nor his supporters have taken a real good look at Fifth Avenue, lately.
For those that haven’t had the opportunity to visit New York’s famed Fifth Avenue, it is a street that serves as a major artery in the borough of Manhattan. It runs from Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem and has long been considered a high-end shopper’s paradise. However, you can find people of every race, faith, background, and political ideology on Fifth Avenue. Although, Trump may be right in his assertion that his base would not abandon him for committing such an unthinkable act as shooting someone, the reality is the overwhelming number of Trump supporters have likely never been to Fifth Avenue. So, when the hypothetical gun is fired, the question really wasn’t about “who would be there to support Trump”, it was “who would be there to hold him accountable”.
Trump and his enablers have incorrectly believed, that the roughly 37 percent base of his supporters have always been enough to keep him safe, no matter how egregious his behavior. Fifth Avenue has become a metaphor for Stormy Daniels, Vladimir Putin, immigration policies, Syria and Russia. When Trump took aim at a political rival, using federal military aid as bullets, and placing the President of Ukraine in his crosshairs, a whistleblower showed up on Fifth Avenue.
However, the year before, in 2018, millions of Americans decided to occupy Fifth Avenue. Their presence stretched to Washington, DC and flipped control of the United States House of Representatives. For all its wealth and status, and like many other main streets across the nation, Fifth Avenue has started to showing some wear. Many of the famous flagship stores, like Ralph Lauren, have closed and boarded their doors. No matter how famous, wealthy, or protected people can believe they are, reality always has a way of catching up with you.
In the United States, no man is above the law. No matter how popular, revered, or feared, you can’t ignore the lawful powers of the varying branches of our government. You can’t abuse the power entrusted to you by the American people, for personal gain. You may be able to stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot someone and retain the support of your base, but the rest of us will make sure that you are held accountable. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, realism met Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue and impeached him.