As the administration of President Trump continues to plunge, full steam ahead, into uncharted waters of lunacy, talk of impeachment is never far from the American water cooler. While I can hardly wait to see Trump make an hasty exit from the White House, I also have grave concerns about the potential fallout from an impeachment. I wrote of my concerns here. But there is another way to remove a president from office short of impeachment, and I believe it would be a much smoother and more peaceful process, should it come to that.
One positive side effect of the crazy presidency of Donald Trump is the fact that a lot more Americans are paying attention to what’s going on in our government. Also, more Americans are making themselves familiar with the Constitution. As a result, a formerly obscure bit in the Constitution is now becoming very widely known. It is the 25th Amendment–added in 1967–which could provide a path to remove President Trump from office if he is deemed mentally unfit.
I believe that option is far superior to impeachment. For starters, getting enough votes to remove a sitting president through impeachment is very difficult. It’s actually never been successfully pulled off. It was attempted on Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither case was successful in removing the president. It likely could have happened with Nixon, but he resigned before it got that far. So, while President Trump may indeed warrant impeachment–that in itself is debatable, given the wording of what it takes to impeach–it may not be the wisest path.
Another concern is that a successful impeachment spearheaded by Democrats could lead down a path of tremendous and violent reactions across an already tumultuous and divided nation.
That 25th Amendment provides what I think is a much better option. In that scenario, the President could be deemed unfit for service by those in his own cabinet and if the majority of them agreed, they could vote him out of power. Being taken out of power through such an “inside job”, I believe, would be much better for the nation. It would allow the right wingers to more easily accept it since their own were responsible for it. If “Joe Shotgun” from Mississippi had an issue with his man Trump being removed under this 25th Amendment provision, his beef would be with other Republicans, not Democrats.
Left wingers, it might feel good to see Trump sweating it out in an impeachment trial, but I guarantee you, Red America would be a huge pain to deal with in the wake of a successful impeachment–perhaps horrible domestic-terrorist-level-trouble–perhaps even civil war-level-trouble.
There is mounting evidence that the higher ups in the Republican Party are deeply concerned that Trump is going off his rocker. Why not let them take out the trash for us all?