America is on the brink of a historic moment.

Democrats in Washington are beaming out what they can only hope is a clear urgent signal – that Donald Trump abused his power and must be stopped.

But what message is actually being received, and who is listening?

There are a few places where impeachment is more contentious than Wisconsin – one of the rust belt states that propelled Mr Trump to the White House.

Racine County has swung between Republicans and Democrats for years.

It’s a national bellwether that last time went for Mr Trump.

Wesley Rosenberg set up his own plumbing business eight years ago. He started solo out of his garage and now employs 30 people.

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“Since Trump’s been in office, this place has taken off,” he said. “He’s allowed us to put more money in our pockets and keep more money in our pockets.”

Wesley Rosenberg says his business has 'taken off' since Donald Trump took office
Image: Wesley Rosenberg says his business has ‘taken off’ since Donald Trump took office

Mr Rosenberg’s bookings calendar is jam-packed – he can barely keep up with the work that’s coming in.

I put it to him that the Democrats say Donald Trump abused his power, that he pressured a foreign government to interfere in a US election – crucially, for his own political gain.

He’s having none of it: “Not at all. Why can’t Donald Trump have an investigation into Joe Biden? Into whoever he thinks is committing a crime.”

Any other president might wear the burden of impeachment more heavily – not Mr Trump, says Mr Rosenberg.

“That guy’s invincible. We’ve got a wildcat in there. We’ve got a guy who’s out there swinging. I love it. He thinks like I do. He’s a survivor. I think he’s kind of Teflon Don right now.

“If you want to break it down real basic, the only thing I really have to go by is how he’s affecting me in my personal life, in my community, my people around me, and things are on the up and up.

“Why would I want to bite my nose off to spite my face? It’s a big dog and pony show. They’re just trying to bring doubt into voter’s minds that you got yourself a crook in there.”

I ask him – what if it is true – what if Mr Trump has done something wrong?

“I think that they’ve all been a little shady Democrat and Republican side, you know, I really do. No one’s perfect.”

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Mr Rosenberg is ready for four more years of a Trump presidency.

“My objective is to build this business as big as I can and sell it in the second year of his next tenure. Impeachment is not going to stop him.”

Mr Rosenberg is not alone.

Plenty of businesses in Racine County feel they’ve prospered under Mr Trump.

So to them, by going ahead with impeachment, the Democrats are just trying to ruin the good times and stop the boon that they felt in the last three years.

Carole Exner raised her four children in Racine where she’s lived for 33 years.

She’s been glued to the whole impeachment process which some say has lacked pizzazz and failed to deliver the necessary blockbuster moments.

“I disagree. I think there’s been several moments that were very stunning. Like when Trump tweeted – attacking Marie Yovanovitch right when she was testifying. I think they’re there. Either you’re open to them or you’re not. Either you’re listening or you’re not.”

Ms Exner is not one of Mr Trump’s fan – she says she felt sick to her stomach when he was elected.

She runs a construction design company with her husband, and says Mr Trump has had no positive impact on them.

“Our business has steadily improved probably since 2014.”

Carole Exner said he felt 'sick to her stomach' when Donald Trump was elected
Image: Carole Exner said he felt ‘sick to her stomach’ when Donald Trump was elected

She says the Democrats didn’t have a choice when it came to impeaching Trump.

“When you talk about history and ‘what did you do when this happened, I think that they can feel like they did what they could to hold him accountable’.”

But for Ms Exner – impeachment comes with a heavy heart.

“I think I would be relieved and sad at the same time. I mean it’s a sombre moment.”

Ms Exner is one of the few people we met with a clear understanding of what the case for impeachment is.

It’s a complex one – a lot of Americans don’t have the time or the will to absorb it.

Shea Leech, Sue Lynch and Ryan Birdsall are members of Racine County’s Republican women’s group formed in the face of an enemy.

“The lack of respect that I have seen from the Democrats over the last several years towards this president is shameful,” says Ms Lynch.

Ms Birdsall adds: “They’re treating him differently and I don’t think they’ve done that to any other president in the past just because of who he is. I don’t think it’s fair.”

Ms Leech says the Democrats have been trying to impeach him from the start.

Shea Leech has said she doesn't care 'what the truth is about the Ukraine'
Image: Shea Leech has said she doesn’t care ‘what the truth is about the Ukraine’

Ms Lynch agrees saying she’s seen no evidence of wrongdoing.

“If any one of them in the judiciary or the intelligence committees use words like ‘bribery’ and ‘abuse of power’, they had better damn well have documentation to support them because those are real serious charges.'”

I put it to her that multiple witnesses have corroborated that case.

She dismisses them as Democrat witnesses.

Efforts to present the likes of Russia expert, Fiona Hill and Purple Heart veteran Alexander Vindman as non-partisan career officials have not convinced her.

I ask Ms Leech – what’s the truth?

Racine County has swung between Republicans and Democrats for years
Image: Racine County has swung between Republicans and Democrats for years

She replies: “I don’t know, I really don’t even care. I don’t care what the truth is about the Ukraine – I really don’t. I care about what is happening in my house right now. That’s what I care about. I care about what I’m paying in taxes. I care about the childcare. I care about how this is going to affect my children and their future and the economy and that, that’s what I care about.”

All three women are utterly convinced that Mr Trump can be impeached and go on to win the 2020 election.

In this whole process the Republicans have been accused of putting party before country.

I ask if their party is on the right side of history.

Ms Lynch says absolutely, adding: “You will find that Donald Trump probably is one of the greatest presidents at the United States of America has ever seen to this point in time.”

Sue Lynch says she has seen no evidence of wrongdoing in relation to Mr Trump and the Ukraine
Image: Sue Lynch says she has seen no evidence of wrongdoing in relation to Mr Trump and the Ukraine

The Democrats have gone to such lengths to present credible witnesses, hours of testimony, transcripts, text messages – but for people like Ms Lynch and her friends, it will never be enough.

They are with Mr Trump no matter what. The two different Americas are dug in.

At the local college, a communications study group gather to talk impeachment.

Michele Douglas is studying to be an accountant.

“I see all these Republicans trying to get in the way of everything and it’s gonna be a battle. It’s going to be a bitter fight.”

Her fellow student Jessica Bertzyk says: “He’s just not a good dude.”

“That’s what my students say,” adds Professor Donnetta Davis.

“I don’t know if you can run the country successfully having all of these hidden agendas, especially when you are against women and people of colour.”

For many of these students – the 2020 election will be their first time voting.

They say it will be on their minds when they cast their ballot – but its just under a year away – a lot will happen between now and then.

Impeachment will be a distant memory.

Ryan Birdsall
Image: Ryan Birdsall believes Democrats are treating President Trump differently

Professor Davis said: “I think the entire world is watching what’s going on here right now. I really do.”

“People are like, oh my gosh, what is going to happen? I almost feel like (Trump) thinks that he is honestly above the law.”

For the people who despise Trump, this whole impeachment thing is just a continuation of the scandal, the controversy that’s dogged him from the very start.

They’ve had enough, but they’re not under any illusion that he’s going to be removed from office, that impeachment will actually stop him.

Many Americans see impeachment as just background noise, a dry side show to their daily lives, which are more focused on gearing up for the holiday season.

At Racine Zoo’s Christmas lights display most people we ask say they’re not watching the hearings. They’re busy with work and family – it’s all just yet more fractious politics.

Wednesday night is league night at the Racine bowling alley.

People have worked hard all day – they’re here to unwind.

They’re not obsessing over the latest out of Capitol Hill.

Washington is wrapped up with impeachment.

Michelle Douglas has said 'Republicans are trying to get in the way of everything'
Image: Michelle Douglas has said ‘Republicans are trying to get in the way of everything’

Wisconsin is getting on with life and something really interesting that people have been saying to us here is that they used to be able to talk about politics when they came out with friends, but now things are so volatile, so toxic – they just don’t go there unless we ask them of course.

I ask Paula Palladino how she feels about Trump.

“He is definitely not my favourite person.” She says she wouldn’t cry a river if he was impeached.

Her friend Aaron Carruthers disagrees.

“‘Impeach him for what? We give a lot of money to a lot of countries and I think if they should be doing what we ask them to do, if they want our aid. If they’re not going to help us out, screw you! Go somewhere else.”

Clearly agitated he leaves the bowling alley.

Ms Palladino sighs: “I don’t want to have these arguments. The rift between is so much greater now – I’ve seen it in families. I’ve seen people not talk to each other – brothers and sisters.”

Like Ms Palladino and Carruthers – America will move on from this moment.

Each side has entirely different ideas about what history will make of it.

Donald Trump will most likely be impeached, but by next Christmas he may well be settling into the White House for a second term and could have the people of Racine County, Wisconsin to thank.