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Sunita Sah argues that "norms can be shifted – even reversed – by activities like the House's impeachment inquiry."

House impeachment inquiry may help restore the political and social norms that Trump flouts

Sah is an associate professor of management and organizations at Cornell University,

President Donald Trump regularly uses blatant violations of long-established social and political norms to signal his "authenticity" to supporters.

Asking foreign countries to investigate and deliver dirt on his political opponents, which prompted an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives, is the most recent example in a long string of norm-shattering behaviors. Other examples of flouting the standards of his presidential office include defending white nationalists, attacking prisoners of war, abusing the use of emergency powers, personally criticizing federal judges and much more.

Norms are perceptions or beliefs about what we understand the rules for acceptable behavior to be. They are powerful predictors of behavior. By openly broadcasting his anomalous actions and views, Trump is shifting public attitudes about what is deemed appropriate – not only in politics, but also in society.

However, based on my research on institutional corruption, ethical decision-making and the power of professional norms, I know norms can be shifted – even reversed – by activities like the House's impeachment inquiry.

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