Imagine you are a Republican senator and you believe that Trump should be removed from office. If you had any integrity you’d vote to do that right? After all, remove Trump and you get Pence as President. He’s as red blooded a conservative as you can find these days. The problem facing thoughtful Republican senators (I know, I know, just go with me here) is this isn’t about maintaining a conservative president, it’s about the senators staying in office.
Trump’s popularity really is a cult of personality. Neither Trump nor his supporters have shown any loyalty to Republican rank and file members. In fact, Trump has managed to convince all Republicans that their continued support from his base is vital to their continuing political lives. His supporters would be very upset if he were replaced by Pence. The problem facing Republican senators is that supporting, let alone voting for, Trump’s removal would most likely mean they would be summarily kicked out of office next election. Politicians’ lives revolve around staying in office so they can accomplish whatever it is that they think is important. After all, you won’t get anything done if you’re not in office so everything you do has to support that goal first.
Voting your conscience is a luxury afforded only to politicians that don’t care if they get re-elected. This is why Trump will not be removed from office through this impeachment trial. The result of this trial will be determined by the beliefs of the senators’ constituents not the facts in the trial. Politics, and political life in general, is no place for idealists.