While I disagree with your analysis, I most emphatically agree with your closing statement — “But democracy is the practice of learning to live with — and persuade — people who are different from you, with decency and respect, and without the threat of force. That — not the chanting of thousands on the public square — is ‘what democracy looks like.’”
I’m old enough to recall when that was indeed true. As the saying goes, “Some of my best friends are [fill in the blank].” One of my best friends was as far from me politically as possible (at the time). That did not prevent us from working together on many projects for the State of Iowa and others to try to make the US a better country. I long for those days.
Impeachment is a heavy tool. Recall the impeachment action against President Clinton. Burnt lots of time. Alienated huge portions of the country. Yet produced absolutely nothing.
I am all for getting to the bottom of these allegations. Let the Congress, DoJ and the FBI do their jobs, which they ultimately will, and let’s stop accepting the partisan pre-judgement of biased reporters (from whichever side). If crimes were indeed committed then. after due process, let the beheadings begin.