Donald Trump and the Twenty Fifth Amendment

Looking back America, you were so warned that Donald Trump was not fit to serve as president. Hindsight is always infinite wisdom. For those who voted him to the presidency here is a reminder of  what a few leading  newspapers from across America editorialized. The Columbus Dispatch on October 7, 2016 edited “Trump had proved himself a liar of epic proportion.  He is a bigot, braggart and an admirer of foreign thug such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

A sample of his tweets about Russia:

Trump is reckless and thin skinned.  He has demeaned Mexicans, demonized Muslims, insulted women and mocked disabled.

trump-grimacing

The editorial board of USA Today in September, 2016, unanimously declared that Donald Trump was” unfit for the presidency”. From his announcement fifteen months ago, Trump has” demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents. The editorial continued that “Trump had betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents and had expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for   constitutional protection.” As an addendum, the Dallas Morning News described Trump’s open admiration of Vladimir as one that should “horrify limited government advocate. And concluded that Trump was not qualified to serve as president.  Well,  America, you did not heed the many warnings.

Years before Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination he recognized a segment of American society he had tapped into through the birther movement. If you will recall,  those who supported birtherism were convinced that Barack Obama was not American born and thus not a legitimate president despite having been elected overwhelmingly in 2008. The birther movement  was rooted in ignorance and racial hatred, Trump recognized these elements would be effective in   helping him to expand a political base as leader of the birther movement Trump launched his candidacy and his base, composed of questionable groups in American society, served Trump well by  getting him elected to the presidency of the United States. Trump’s election was both a shock and a  stunning victory over his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, whom many believed was her election to lose.

We are now into the seventh month of a Trump administration. Promises made by Trump have proven to be not achievable or simply outright lies.   On issues and events, he has demonstrated he is a pathological liar. The New York Times and Washington Post documented over 1100 lies that Trump had told during six months in office.  Perhaps this is why he has earned the nickname of Dishonest Donald. His lying has  created a credibility gap between him and the American people. His erratic behavior and policy have caused leaders in both Europe and Asia much confusion and anxiety domestically, his behavior has  been questioned by Carl Bernstein, Watergate reporter and Senator Corker, Tennessee Republican, if Trump is fit to remain in office.  Recently a group of psychiatrists headed by Dr. Bandy Lee of Yale University issued a written warning to Congress that Donald Trump “was a clear and present danger to the world.”

In part, the warning cautioned both Republican and Democratic Congress members that   it is not  necessary to conduct an extensive examination to recognize in Trump there are “patterns of  impulsive, reckless and narcissistic behavior “that put the world at risk.

Here is a constitutional fact America should consider.  Part four of the Twenty Fifth Amendment states: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive  departments or of such of the body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall  immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

Given the erratic behavior and actions of Trump, perhaps it is time for Congress to execute the Twenty  Fifth Amendment.

Sherman Jackson, PhD.

American Constitutional History and Law

Professor Emeritus

Miami University

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