Monday, January 16, 2017

The Illegitimacy of Donald Trump

Four reasons why Trump is an illegitimate President, in order of importance:

1. He lost the popular vote. The Electoral college is a anti-democratic vestige of the Constitution which violates the principle of the equal protection of the laws.

2. The widespread practice of voter suppression in key states which provided the margin Trump needed in the EC.

3. The participation of the government's internal security forces (the FBI) in an effort to swing the election, by selectively releasing and withholding information about its investigations.

4. Colluding with a foreign government's illegal collection of non-public information and receiving and using that information in its campaign communication.

Again, illegitimate is not illegal. Trump himself has trafficked in the accusation of illegitimacy. The most obvious is his birtherism about President Obama. Another was his repeated statement that Hillary Clinton should not have "been allowed" to run for President.

John Lewis is right.

If #Trump is illegitimate President, as per @repjohnlewis, then elevating Mike Pence isn't the solution.

The illegitimacy of Trump extends to the whole ticket, because the whole administration was elected together. The election of the President/VP together on a Party Ticket (recognized in the 12th amendment) effectively limits the impeachment of a President to cases of individual misconduct. There is no constitutional means for holding a political party accountable for cheating in an election. Yet that is the situation we are in.

What can we do?

I think that it is important to resist any attempt to assign meaning to the idea that "Trump won". Like when people say that Trump won because "the people" don't like Hollywood celebrities, but he didn't win. Like when people say that Trump won because people don't care about his tax returns -- but he didn't win! He didn't win because people don't like political correctness, because he didn't win! The only reason why he is being inaugurated is because our constitution is anti-democratic.

Analysis of why Trump won has to be limited to why Trump carried particular states, but not implying that Trump won because of broad national, cultural trends, because he didn't win. 


Accepting that "Trump won" is the gaslighting of America, trying to manipulate us to think that something happened that did not happen. And the "Trump won" gaslighting is based on the foundational gaslighting of the country: that white people know what is real, and others do not.

Is there a constitutional means to change the party holding the White House, especially when the party of the President controls the House and Senate?

In today's circumstances, it would require: 

1. The election of a new Speaker of the House, either a Democrat, or a respected centrist, by a coalition of Democrats and dissident Republicans.
2. The simultaneous impeachment of the President and Vice President.

1 comment:

Philip Douglas said...

Tom, I think your insight about having no constitutional method of impeaching a party is the most important thing, because the governed majority have no legal recourse. All the Democrats in the Senate need to stand against any Supreme Court nominee who is not at least a centrist. If that institution is also viewed as compromised, the American people may become ungovernable.