A lot of people seem distraught right now because they believe we are watching the end of the Republic. Many drama queens seem as if they want the United States to end, perhaps because they imagine setting up something new that they’ll like better. You know, they imagine setting up something new and untried.
Not me. I say, fuck that.
This country has survived far worse than Donald Trump and the current GOP. By the time the country was being established, we had already been keeping Black people as property for a century and a half, for example. And throughout the history of this country, we have always sought to stigmatize immigrants from various countries at one time or another. Yet, we have always survived and even learned to thrive.
I don’t know about you, but no entitled asshole like Donald Trump and no political party as anti-American as the current Republican Party should ever be able to wrest this country from us by sowing fear and discord. This country is better than that and so are we. For Chrissakes, Hitler and Hirohito made the biggest mistakes of their lives by underestimating the United States of America; a group of racists and anti-American reprobates who hijacked a perfectly respectable political party and turned it to shit shouldn’t stand a chance.
“We, the people” can and will take this country back, and we can do it using the tools the Founders gave us. The last 25 years or so, since the “Republican Revolution” and their “Contract on America,” have revealed major fissures in our system. And with Trump cheating us out of the first woman President and denying us a competent president, we are also learning that, while a two-party system is preferable, it is also necessary that both parties have to be capable of dealing with the American people in good faith.
We are also finding out just how hard it is to get rid of a president who shouldn’t be there. That’s a good thing, in a way. It shouldn’t be too easy to overturn the intent of the electorate. However, when a “president:” is as openly corrupt and incompetent as Donald Trump, it shouldn’t be this difficult to find grounds for removal. Of course, it doesn’t help that the Republican Party is so obviously corrupt that they have been going along with everything Trump tries to do, no matter how ridiculous it is.
When we take back the government beginning in 2020, we have to make a commitment to rid the government of the current Republican Party. If they are going to continue to exist, we have to make them reconstitute into something resembling what they used to be, which used to be a loyal opposition party, even back when Democrats dominated federal politics, which resulted when “we, the people” decided to exile the Republicans to the woodshed after they caused, then refused to fix, the Great Depression.
That will have to be the biggest thing we do, but it can’t be all that we do. We have to change many of the rules and then make sure they’re enforced. For example, this past week, it has become clear that the Trump DOJ has come up with a new definition of “emoluments” as a way of clearing Trump’s obvious Emoluments Clause violations. According to an upcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal by Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University, several Trump-era Justice Department filings “would permit the president — and all federal officials — to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official.” (Source)
All I can say is, “oh, HELL no!”
When we replace the current piece of shit who is pretending to be “president” with a sane Democrat and the Senate with a sane Democratic majority, led by someone who has regard for the Constitution and who understands what their oath of office means, (meaning NOT Mitch McConnell!), we will have to change some laws and clarify certain things. For example, we have to make clear that ALL federal officials should be forced to divest of any businesses they own when they agree to run for elective office. I mean, look at the above; if someone is buying a piece of property or making a commercial transaction with you, and you are presumably making money from that, it is human nature to treat that person or entity differently.
Congress should make that requirement absolutely clear, to the point of refusing to seat a federal official until they divest themselves of any business that is making them money. The reason for these rules is to make sure a federal official is loyal to the country, but it’s also for their protection since it prevents them from being compromised. When a government official is dependent on a foreign government for hundreds of millions of dollars, it is easy for that foreign government to use money as leverage to get what they want.
Another change that must happen, apparently, is a law spelling out what actually qualifies as an impeachable offense. For some reason, we seem to be wholly focused on “high crimes” and ignoring the concept of a “misdemeanor.” In 18th Century language terms, a “misdemeanor” just refers to an incident of “bad behavior.” And God knows, using that definition, Trump hasn’t gone a day without a misdemeanor. According to some, he is fast closing in on 10,000 lies told to the American people (Source). One of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon was for lies told to the American people. And something tells me when it came to that article, Nixon had nothing on Donald J Trump, who has shown himself incapable of telling the truth.
Therefore, what the new Democratic Congress must pass and the new Democratic President must sign is a law detailing what qualifies as an impeachable offense, ending with a “10th Amendment” style clause, in which the list is exposed as no exhaustive, and saying that almost any example of incompetence, or bad or corrupt behavior can qualify a president for impeachment. In fact, there should be some way to penalize a Congress that ignores clear violations of the rules, since we will have actual solid rules at that point.
Related to that, there should be another law that clarifies, in no uncertain terms, that any government official, up to and including the President, is subject to the same rules regarding investigation, probable cause, and indictment or arrest as any other American citizen. Presidents who use their office to commit crimes are more despicable than an average citizen who shoplifts baby formula so his child doesn’t starve. Our Founders wisely chose to avoid a monarchy, and there is no way a president or Vice President should be treated more royally than their employers, who are the American people.
Our new government should also amend the Constitution to make voting an absolute right for all citizens that cannot be taken away without cause. That means everyone is automatically registered in their state and must have to opt out of being included in the voter roles. No more purges without due process and no more Voter ID. You don’t have to prove your right to speak and practice your religion, why should you have to prove your right to vote?
There is a lot more that will need to be done, but these will have to be the first thing our new government does, to prevent another abomination like Trump from happening. And yes, this is an abomination; the biggest mistake this country has ever made. If you had told me ten years ago that someone worse than George W. Bush would rise to the presidency, I’d have called you crazy, but the asshole currently occupying the White House is the embodiment of everything this country should never stand for. He is an embarrassment, no one likes him and it simply shouldn’t be this difficult to get rid of someone who is both corrupt and who flouts his hate for American values every chance he gets.
In the meantime, we have to make sure this never happens again, which means taking back the democracy and voting in high numbers next year, when it’s your time. We are losing our rights because we have not been doing anything to protect it. Voting in every election protects our rights, and it gets people in government who give a shit about us. We need that now.