Exactly one year ago today, Donald J. Trump, with two Bibles in hand, took this Oath of Office as the 45th President of the United States. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”. Alas, America today is awash in problems that defy simple comprehension and arouse rabid indignation. Externally, America’s image as a staunch defender of the rule of law and of human rights everywhere has become severely tarnished and the Republic is no longer trusted by either friends or foes. Starkly put, since the advent of this century, America has been lurching towards the brink of another world war, stemming from conflicts in the Middle East (provoked to a large degree by interventionist mis-adventures by European powers) and tensions in the Korean peninsula. Admittedly, the situation has significantly worsened in the Trump era because of the President’s wayward behaviour.
It is facile to try to crucify President Trump as being the only demon in this developing real-life drama. There is no paucity of opinions in the print media or the TV talk shows condemning him as being a liar, ignorant, illiterate, infantile, lunatic, racist, incompetent, undignified, etc, etc Does anybody really know Mr Trump well enough to hasten to these conclusions? And as for the Cabinet, Executive Departments and Agencies (and their myriad advisers) which are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement of federal laws under Congressional oversight, do they not share a responsibility for this sordid state of affairs?
The clear fact is that President Trump was never cut out to be the US President. He was, by all biographical accounts, brought up in the lap of riches, was a playboy, vainglorious, and capricious. He did not want to be the President of the United States and got elected by a combination of freakish circumstances mired in unproven lies, deceit and conspiracy theories, partly fuelled by himself but also a huge host of wilful players both at home and abroad.
What then is the solution to this political enigma? Impeach Mr Trump? Not likely. The Constitution allows impeachment of the President by a majority in the House and removed from office by a two-thirds majority in the Senate for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. The process, if initiated, will be long and slow, with doubtful outcome as unequivocal proof will be difficult to come by. An alternative is to cajole Mr Trump to step down graciously.He is a grown-up man but an errant, sulky boy still, who will not be pushed around. As a tried-and-tested deal maker though, he may likely be amenable to what one might refer to as “lolly-pop diplomacy.” A third and truly democratic approach would be to call for a nationwide “referendum” as to whether he should be asked to step down.The result would be self-evident. A fourth option, least preferred, is to provoke civil society (embracing all sectors of human rights) to launch a nationwide protest demanding his abdication. There will be no place to hide!
At the end of the day, what should matter most is the preservation of America’s leadership in maintaining a climate of international peace, security and harmony so that the denizens of the world may be allowed to live in dignity, in mutual tolerance and respect. For this to happen, the continuing pursuit of subversive partisan politics at home should end.