Although it may seem like ancient history, the impeachment was about the election. Trump was impeached for attempting to abuse the powers of incumbency to subvert a fair fight against Biden, his expected, and eventual, opponent. By his behavior, Trump made clear his willingness to cling to power at all costs. Democrats consequently argued for conviction because, they said, he was too dangerous to be allowed to remain in office.
Senate Republicans were correct to resist that move. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) argued to “let the people decide” the president’s fate in November, and I supported that approach. It does not help democracy to deprive one party of its chosen candidate.
The logical consequence of that acquittal is that Alexander and his party now shoulder a responsibility to ensure that their admonition is put into practice. Letting the voters decide now really means letting the voters decide — not attempting to subvert their choice. It means that if Trump tries to secure a second term despite a landslide against him, other elected Republicans must resist that move even if they have the raw power to help Trump’s effort.