My Turn: Remove Trump from the White House immediately

For the Monitor
Published: 1/12/2021 6:00:26 AM

I am distressed to hear objections to the use of the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office.

To those who say it would take too long, I say, read the amendment. Removal is effective as soon as the vice president and the majority of the cabinet concur and send a letter to Congress.

If the president objects, Congress must reconvene within 48 hours but has 21 days to vote on the president’s objection. However, the president remains out of office until Congress rejects imposition of the 25th Amendment. Therefore, Congress could simply let the time run out on Trump’s term, with Mike Pence at the helm until the inauguration.

To those who say that two-thirds of Congress will not agree to invoke the amendment if Trump objects, I say, so? As above, all Congress has to do is simply put off the vote. Mitch McConnell is certainly able at that.

To those who say that Trump will be out of office in less than two weeks so why bother, I say, really? What evidence do you have to believe he will actually leave? All evidence is to the contrary.

I watched his entire speech at the so-called “Save America” march. He repeatedly exhorted those assembled to “fight like hell” or “you won’t have a country,” to “defend the [his] government” to show the “boldness” and “strength” to “take back our country,” to stop “the people who illegally take over the country.”

He proclaimed that their “boldest endeavors” and “greatest achievements” are “yet to come.” I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that last week’s mob was Trump’s Blackshirts. I don’t think I am being an alarmist, but a realist, in believing that it is imperative that Trump is removed from office and evicted from the White House to avoid violence at the White House that may prevent Biden from entering there. Invoking the 25th Amendment could prevent that.

To those who say that members of his staff, or the Republican Party, should talk with Trump about resigning, I say: Trump has shown us that if you’re not with him, you are against him, and he and his followers damn anyone who is not on his side.

At the rally, he continued to call the election a “criminal enterprise,” and blacklisted everyone from RINOs to his Supreme Court appointees to Mike Pence, in addition to his usual vitriol for the media. Watching the attempted coup at the Capitol, he refused to call out the National Guard and, in fact, did nothing. Hours later, with the Capitol looted, windows smashed, and four people dead, he validated everything his Blackshirts did when he told them, “We love you” and “You are very special.”

What relevance is it that he also told them to “go home.” What had to be done that day, they had already done. Just hours earlier, he told the rally crowd that he had a 96% approval rating for four years, and he tweeted that his “ landslide victory” had been “viciously stripped away.” A Republican intervention a la Richard Nixon is a fantasy.

If a majority of the cabinet and the vice president do not invoke the 25th Amendment, impeachment and any other feasible action should be taken before the inauguration. History teaches us that too often failing to act has disastrous consequences. Trump said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and people would still vote for him. He has shot holes in the Constitution, and, yes, people will still vote for him. It is time to take decisive action now.

(Sheila Zakre lives in Concord.)

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