Presidents Day, 2017, saw Not My President’s Day rallies in some 30 cities across America. The national holiday was used as an opportunity by many Americans to peacefully express their collective sense of discontent, by those who are not able to accept the reality of the man who is now the forty-fifth President of the United States. Expressions of outrage against the new administration, the policies being pursued, and the statements being made, are necessary and protected First Amendment freedoms. Now where do we go from here?
Strong feelings exist on how to view the new occupant of the White House. Many well respected writers and political commentators support the refusal to refer to the forty-fifth President as our president or as my president, while others have the view that the use of those terms is counterproductive.
Because the 2016 election is official and the new president has taken office,
“Now is the time we take our outrage and turn our anger towards something productive with tangible results.”
Perhaps something is being missed in the effort to oppose the new Republican President, by the refusal to acknowledge that a new President was sworn in on January 20, 2017, thus becoming the forty-fifth President of the United States. Like it or not, this is a fact. References to the new President not being my president or not being our president are reminiscent of the disrespect and abject hatred directed by millions over the last eight years towards our last President, Barack Obama. Recall as well the same sentiments directed towards President George W. Bush, who won with the help of the Supreme Court of the United States in 2000.
This new President clearly does not represent the majority of Americans who bothered to vote in 2016, as he won the presidency with 45.9% of the vote compared to 48% for Secretary Clinton, and 6.1% of the vote going to other candidates. Then there is the fact that only 54.7% of eligible voters bothered to vote for president in 2016, the lowest voter turnout since 1996. The victory by this new President who won the electoral college with 304 votes, was nowhere near the narrow five electoral college vote margin by President Bush in 2000. The new President was crushed in the national popular vote compared to President Bush who lost the national popular vote by over 540,000 votes in 2000.
Emotions are still raw. There was the fact of FBI Director, James Comey, having inexplicably appeared to have interceded with days of the 2016 election to depress the vote for candidate Clinton. There was also the fact of Russian intervention also intended to depress the Clinton vote, and the suggestions of complicity by the Republican candidate’s staff, or the candidate himself, with the Russian intervention into our elective process. It is easy to understand the upset of so many.
Heads have already rolled with the removal of General Michael Flynn as the new President’s national security adviser. Multiple Congressional committees are investigating the Russian interference and the potential participation by the President’s campaign and the President himself. Six separate United States government agencies were investigating those matters, at least at the time that the new President took office.
Given these unpleasant and disturbing facts, the question becomes, now what? The easy answer for many is to support every protest, especially those that allow the expression of unfettered anger and insults directed towards the new President. The answer for many others also includes the obstruction of everything the new administration wants, much like what the GOP decided to do to President Obama the day he was first inaugurated on January 20, 2008. While there are some Democrats in Congress who have also begun to suggest removing the new President though impeachment, and others out there, such as Lawrence O’Donnell, suggesting that the new President might be removed through the 25th Amendment, these suggestions are premature absent an appetite for these Constitutional tools from the majorities in Congress and from the Vice President.
What then to do? Since the keys to removing the elected and inaugurated President are in the hands of the GOP controlled Congress and the President’s selected Vice President, the tide of public opinion must turn such that the holders of the keys to his removal understand that their own political survival depends upon using those constitutional keys. We, the American people must deliver this message to the GOP members of Congress, particularly the members of the House Judiciary Committee, where an investigation leading to Articles of Impeachment must start.
We must also deliver the message to the Republican members of both the House and the Senate, that once all of the ongoing investigations into the President’s and his administration’s links to Russia and into the use of the apparatus of the United States government for their financial benefit, if they reveal high crimes or misdemeanors, https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleii will require that action be taken. That action will be articles of impeachment passed by the House, and a trial in the Senate.
So let’s get busy and start making those calls to the Republican members of Congress, (202)-224-3121, and contacting the Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee by telephone and by mail. We should start calling and writing today demanding that these investigations continue, and when they are done, that these members do what the facts dictate.