Unpresident Donald Trump

August 12, 2017



Steve Klinger



Every single scenario ends badly, some catastrophically. Donald Trump is bad news for his party, not to mention for Democrats and progressives of all stripes. He is a nightmare for the poor, the disenfranchised and minorities of every sort. Most conservatives would privately acknowledge he is a disaster as a leader for the conservative agenda. Chaos aside, he is not even good for his puppetmaster, Vladamir Putin, because he couldn’t derail new Congressional sanctions or establish the Russia-friendly policies Putin expected.


In a language even he can understand, Trump has damaged the United States brand in countless ways, both with our allies and the rest of the world, including his anti-climate/pro-fossile-fuel agenda, his juvenile unpredictability, and now a very frightening game of nuclear oneupmanship with Kim Jong-un. If his bluster is backed by actual intent or somehow goes off the rails through misunderstanding or miscommunication, two of Trump’s premier skills, he could end human civilization long before the climate change he denies does the job.


All the fears that even rank-and-file Republicans had when Trump steamrolled to the presidential nomination—and then defied expectations by winning the election—are being realized in a dizzying cascade of events so beyond the concept of “normal” politics and leadership that the choices facing this nation and the world are truly unprecedented (or, as Trump himself would have it, unpresidented).


After six months in office, the time has come to unpresident Donald Trump. One way or another, he has no future as president, and it is in no one’s interest that the rest of us watch as he rolls the dice every single morning when he wakes up and starts tweeting and otherwise spouting his insane vitriol.


Let’s examine a few of the scenarios before we proceed to the inevitable conclusion. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, professional, relentless and indefatigable, is building a powerful criminal case that could include treasonous collusion charges against Trump’s inner circle and possibly the president himself. Especially if Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn should flip, the Trump family is in dire legal jeopardy. Even if collusion charges don’t reach him, Trump’s own actions and his business history indicate a strong probability that Mueller will uncover a vast money-laundering operation, likely involving Russia. Even if neither of those legal avenues comes to fruition, Mueller has an extremely compelling case for obstruction of justice; Trump adds evidence on nearly a daily basis.


In the months ahead, a movement toward impeachment will only build. Either Trump will attempt to fire Mueller (what has he got to lose?) or he won’t, but that will affect only the details and the pace, not the end result. As Trump antagonizes one Congressional leader after another, his support in the Capitol will continue to erode as even members of his own party increasingly see the light that he is bad news, not only for the nation but the GOP.

But impeachment is a laborious and highly political process. Quite frankly, we don’t have the time.


Fortunately, there is another way to get rid of Trump: the little-known 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under Article 4, the president can be removed temporarily for reasons of mental or physical incapacity, which then can become a permanent removal after sufficient legal due process. The amendment has not been used to remove a president from office permanently, and to be honest it would be a difficult procedure, requiring assent by the vice-president and a majority “of the principal officers of the executive department” (the Cabinet), or “of such other body as Congress may by law provide.” To make the removal permanent, assuming the president would contest it, a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress would need to judge the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”


There is ample psychological evidence of Trump’s unfitness for office, and it shouldn’t be difficult to get healthcare professionals to testify to the pathology of his volatile narcissistic disorder once a commission is established to examine the evidence. His total inability to admit wrongdoing, to accept even the mildest criticism, his vicious attacks on members of his own Cabinet, Congressional leaders and others, are not only demoralizing and destabilizing, they portray a mentally ill man unsuited to his office, a man who poses a real and present threat to the future of sentient beings on earth.


Granted, finding the members of Congress and persuading Vice President Pence to remove Trump is a very tall order and highly unlikely to happen without overwhelming pressure from public opinion. Former Republican senator from New Hampshire Gordon Humphrey has been waging a campaign to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, urging his state’s Congressional delegation to introduce legislation that would set up a commission to determine President Trump’s mental health, according to the Boston Globe.


Though it seems like a stretch at this point, the time has come for Congressional leaders of both parties to put partisanship aside, stand tall and throw their support to this movement before it is too late. Nothing good can come from waiting or deliberating further or worrying about political consequences. The human consequences are too enormous, not only on the Korean Peninsula and the Pacific Theater but across the entire planet.


Removing a sitting president will be ugly; we hate to have to do it. But the risks of letting him destroy life on earth as we know it are far uglier.




2 Responses to “Unpresident Donald Trump”

  1. Larry Gioannini on August 13th, 2017 5:57 am

    The warning is ancient. “Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.” The rhetoric would change with the departure of Trump but do you want a President Pence? Pence has many of the same views as Trump plus religious fanaticism and the political and legislative experience to move policy changes through congress.

  2. admin on August 14th, 2017 4:33 pm

    True, and yet…. Much as I despise Pence and Ryan (if succession got that far), I am looking beyond the rhetoric in the wake of Trump’s inflammatory ultimatum regarding North Korea. There are too many ways this or another potential nuclear confrontation can go catastrophically wrong with Trump that I just don’t see happening with Pence (or Ryan) as president.In other respects, I would hate it, but a loose cannon packing plutonium simply must be neutralized in any legal way possible.

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