What are we waiting for?
Now’s the time — not tomorrow, not the day after — to start purposefully planning for the day when Donald Trump will surely be deposed by voters, the legal system or his own resignation.
Nothing’s changed since he took office, indeed since before then. Polls show that most Americans not only despise and viscerally distrust the man but increasingly so, while his enraptured “base,” about a third of the electorate, continues to adore him and ignore mountains of factual evidence that he’s simply playing them for fools.
When the president said, “I love the poorly educated,” to anyone other than the poorly educated it was crystal clear he was saying exactly the opposite, in the most disrespectful, patronizing way possible.
The president’s personal traits that his detractors say are dangerous and corrosive to American democracy show no signs of changing, including racism, lack of empathy, venality, criminality and amorality.
When Trump aficionados say the president is working feverishly and in good faith to make America great again, the rest of us, who know better, ask, “What parallel false universe do you live in?”
So, trying to change the man or his ominous political trajectory seems foolhardy at best, because he speaks to (albeit with forked tongue) and is motivated by his base only as it can bestow glory on him. All others can go pound salt.
Those of us who are not only appalled but genuinely frightened by how this president is causing our democracy to implode, are hopeful it’s approaching a flame-out. Reason and logic hint that the end of Trump’s days in power are nigh, if we look at his increasing paranoia and panicked behavior, at the walls of the Mueller investigation relentlessly closing in, and the electorate slowly abandoning him as the thin veneer of his base starts to flake off.
Therefore, now is the time to consider what we should do, what changes we should make when Donald Trump is not at the helm mucking things up.
I just happen to have a few ideas to consider while we’re waiting for Mr. Trump’s inevitable demise:
Establish a ‘Department of Veracity’
I know this sounds way too 1984-ish to be even seem remotely appropriate for America, but I’m dead serious and have posted about this before (here).
For the past year, we have all watched and read pundits throughout the media spectrum (except government house organs like Fox News) wringing their hands, gnashing their teeth and beating their breasts over the tsunami of lying that has been relentlessly flooding American political and cultural discourse. Because of free speech and the Kings-X rules allowing our governors to say whatever they want, they can spew deceptions everywhere without accountability, even bald-faced falsehoods and laughably deluded misinformation (e.g., press secretary Sean Spicer’s infamous claim, “This is the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.”).
Having to wait for an election to correct a deep corrosion of American institutions, values and rules of law is a wait too long.
So, in my view, that this kind of unstoppable mendacity is not allowed to occur in the future, we need a new institutionalized “checks and balance” entity that can prevent public officials from gratuitously lying and deceiving the electorate even when the party in power (i.e., the Republican Congress) refuses, for political expediency, to employ existing restraints.
Toss the Electoral CollegeJust junk it. It’s a relic of the forgotten, discredited past. The popular vote should suffice. If various states need fairer representation in the business of the nation, adjust the numbers in Congress as needed. Don’t allow presidential candidates with only minority support to sneak into office on arcane technicalities, like the Electoral College.
The first clue this institution needs to be thrown onto the ash heap of history is that even after it’s purpose, function and structure are fully explained, still virtually nobody truly understands it.
I’m certain hardly anyone but Trump supporters will miss it when it’s gone.
Create a fourth branch of government
Clearly, the executive, judicial and legislative branches of federal government aren’t adequate.
The evidence for this deficit is today’s Republican-controlled Congress, which has shamefully abdicated its responsibility to be a check and balance — a separation of powers — on the behavior of the executive branch, including the president.
Our Congress, despite more than 60 percent of the country opposing many of the executive actions of Mr. Trump and his abysmal personal behavior as president, has so far refused to hold hearings or otherwise hold the president accountable for his flagrant and endless lying to and deceptions of the American people, the compounding ethical and criminal allegations (some prosecuted and proven) against him and his administration, and his curious cozying up to the leader of an enemy of the U.S.
In fact, congressional committees investigating potential collusion between the president and his people and Russian agents, before and after his election, have been corrupted by political malfeasance among senators and representatives trying to protect the president rather than — as is their constitutional duty — to oversee him.
To avoid this kind of political situation again, where the party in power can circumvent and frustrate the conducting of Congress’ responsibility to hold accountable the executive branch, we need an independent branch whose primary duty is to make sure other branches carry out their mandates without political chicanery and self-serving machinations.
Granted, these remedies I propose are novel and may be difficult if nigh impossible to execute in the nation’s current divisive environment, but if there’s better options, I’d love to hear them.
If Democrats Democrats retake the House of Representatives in the mid-terms, as Democrats and 60 percent of all Americans hope, it could be a whole new ball game for our president. A Democrat-controlled House could, as the current one won’t, hold the president’s and his minions’ feet to the fire and finally hold them responsible for how they’re selfishly endangering the republic.
If President Trump is removed from office prematurely or defeated in the 2020 general election, one of the first orders of congressional business should be to weigh options to ensure that no president with such breathtaking unfitness for the office can ever be elected thereafter without adequate legal and moral guardrails being firmly in place. And that Congress will not be allowed to be complicit.
But let’s not wait for the rush. The time to start weighing options is immediately.
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