The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer.

There are many different opinions regarding the imminent impeachment procedures against President Trump, and some people wonder whether there aren’t more important issues at stake, such as climate change, immigration, alternative energy, safety or education? Indeed, whatever the outcome of the investigations by the Democrat-led House will be, the Republican Senate might vote against it anyway. So why spend all that energy, time and money?

Sadly, in a certain way this seems to be exactly the point. There are highly urgent matters that need to be addressed by the U.S. government immediately, but all these political wranglings appear to sidetrack us badly. Why would our Founding Fathers even have considered the possibility of impeachment? Can’t we simply forgive our president for his probably illicit phone calls and move forward? Let him deal with the Russians as he sees it best; he is, after all, the sitting president, democratically elected. When he rules with a fiat, then this is simply his executive power. Be aggressive, bullish, hostile, if not brutal to NATO, EU, our Asian partners, to everyone; just fight for America first.

However, as numerous pundits have already observed, we the people are facing here a fundamental question that basically concerns the status of our democracy and the future of our country. Sadly, over the last three years we have heard just too many times, ‘so what?,’ Trump can do wrong. He can grab women at their private parts at will; he can launch a global trade war with no winners; he can pretend that the completely outdated coal industry will come back, contrary to all evidence; he can repulse and insult all the friends and allies supporting the U.S. worldwide; he can use his private golf-clubs and hotels for political purposes and thus make big bucks for himself; he can become good friends with some of the worst dictators globally, and reject democratically-elected leaders back home; so what?

There are more important things to worry about, right? Let him incarcerate infants and small children at the border, just too bad for their undocumented parents! Really? Let’s face it, the Trump government does not address the real problems, and only makes them worse.

Why would it be important to investigate the president in the first place? Imagine a police chief who appears to be corrupt. Of course, there are countless problems the city attorneys would have to deal with instead of those charges against the chief, but if corruption has entered the heart of the government, where will freedom and justice find refuge? Who will then still trust the police?

By the same token, our nation is currently at stake, we are facing a critical and dangerous bifurcation, either leading us to a strengthened democracy, or to a dictatorship. If we do not address the fundamental questions at stake here, with all the moral and ethical high ground possible, then soon there will no one be left to ask questions concerning much worse conditions affecting all Americans. Ethics and the law are fundamental principles; let’s not discard them for political ends.

No one should take impeachment lightly; it is an arduous, heart-rending process affecting everyone. It constitutes a soul-searching effort that is rather painful for all sides, but we must implement this process when it appears to be necessary. Indeed, it is sad that we are currently more occupied with Trump’s alleged criminal infringements than with climate change, for instance, but we must first get our own house in order before we start cleaning up the neighborhood.

Albrecht Classen immigrated to this country in 1984, became a U.S. citizen in 1994, and is a proud member of this great country. Contact Albrecht at aclassen4@gmail.com