Professor: Protests can’t change outcome of election

#NotMyPresident protest in downtown Grand Rapids on Thursday

Protesters gather at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for #NotMyPresident rally. (Nov. 10, 2016)
Protesters gather at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for #NotMyPresident rally. (Nov. 10, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As protests erupted across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the White House, a crowd gathered in downtown Grand Rapids Thursday for a #NotMyPresident protest.

The protest at Rosa Parks Circle was organized by a Grand Valley State University student who says the U.S. can do better than Trump.

Protesters gather at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for #NotMyPresident rally. (Nov. 10, 2016)
Protesters gather at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for #NotMyPresident rally. (Nov. 10, 2016)

“We’re hoping to maybe take a stand and see if there’s any way that the system right now can be changed,” organizer Megan Bardenhagen said.

So can the angry voices change the outcome of the election? The short answer is no, not until the next time we vote for a president.

“It will not change the outcome. But I think it will give vent to some strong frustrations,” GVSU Political Science Professor Erika King said.

Our system doesn’t provide a route for the public to recall a president, King explained. But Congress can impeach him once he’s in office.

“It’s something that is very, very unusual and it has to be something along high crimes, misdemeanors, just completely not following what you should do as president,” King said.

The only two presidents impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives are Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, both of whom were acquitted by the Senate, which essentially acts at the court. No president has ever been convicted during the impeachment process.

The bottom line is a president can’t be impeached just because you don’t like him.

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But you do have a right to free speech.

“A number of the people who are protesting feel as though they have been very much criticized, called out, in a sense really run by the truck of Trump’s words,” King said.