President Trump “certainly believes he has the power” to fire special counsel Robert Mueller III, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press conference on April 10th, 2018 (reported by CNN). This is yet another one of the Trump’s Administration’s methods in trying to undermine the legitimacy and importance of Robert Mueller, and his investigation into money-laundering and possible Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 election. It is no alternative fact that President’s can fire special counsels, as they can do so by ordering the Attorney General to (in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation – smart move, Jeff).
If the President of the United States fires an investigator who is investigating the possibility of money laundering, collusion, bribery, or even treason, that is a big signal. Obviously, he is trying to hide something from being revealed. Right now, Donald Trump is just ever so closely inching towards doing just that. He has continuously barraged the Justice Department on Twitter, and has berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions on numerous occasions.
He is obstructing justice without blatantly crossing the line. We now have an executive branch with the ability to stop investigations of itself, an executive branch that can go to war without an approving Congressional declaration, and a White House that can undermine justice and simultaneously hide within the drapes of executive privilege.
Can the Presidency be controlled? Or is the nation barreling towards an authoritarian government where its elected body of representatives can’t keep up with their original constitutional duties of checks and balances? This current moment in American history will be remembered and referred to as a crossroads of its destiny. Will we allow such a demagogue undermine our republic, our democratic values, and our justice system?
I believe that with the Presidency of Donald Trump, we need more regulations on who can run for President. If we can’t change the Constitution via amendments, then we can turn to our states to legislate and craft specific requirements on how you can get on the national ballot and earn that state’s electoral votes. Of course, these are just suggestions, they are opinions.
1. First, whoever is running for President and Vice President should release his or her tax returns. Maryland was the first state to require this, by passing a law in early March 2018 that requires Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to show their tax returns. Donald Trump hasn’t paid taxes in about 18 years, yet he complains some companies (Amazon) don’t pay enough in taxes, and passed a corporate tax cut… he finessed all of you who bought into that scheme.
2. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates must take a mental health exam from three different, independent, doctors (not your personal physician), and be deemed stable and sane to be on the ballot. Remember when Donald Trump claimed that a woman like Hillary Clinton would be too emotional to be President? That’s pretty interesting because almost everyday I get a CNN alert about something stupid Trump says or does, complaining about something or someone.
3. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates must have held political office for at least four years to be on the national ballot. Teenagers need tens of hours of driving practice to get their drivers licenses. Most careers today require you have a high school diploma. Why is it that to hold the highest office in the United States, all you need is to be 35, a naturalized citizen, and have to have lived 14 years in the country?
One of the biggest battles between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016 was who had more experience? Both have been in government for decades, yet did different things. They were both qualified in their own right, yet here we have a TV reality star billionaire representing the 99%. Just doesn’t make sense. So, spend some time in lower levels of government, get your hands dirty, work with the people. Get a taste of what its like to lead, and we’ll see if you’re ready to move up in the chain.
4. Give Congress back its power of war/peace-making, and when to use nuclear weapons. Recently, Bernie Sanders introduced a bill called the War Powers Resolution to rein in the Presidency, and get out of the war in Yemen. It didn’t pass. The fear of letting Congress decide when to go to war is that there’s too many people to make a swift and quick decision. It would take more than an hour to get 535 members on Capitol Hill, not enough time to respond to an incoming nuclear warhead.
One solution could give that power of nuclear bomb usage and war-making to the Armed Services Committee of the Senate. The Senate Armed Services Committee has fourteen members, composed of senators from both political parties. Within the fourteen member committee are seven subcommittees, smaller groups tasked with more specific agendas; such as the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Subcommittee on Personnel, and Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. One potential subcommittee could be the Subcommittee of Nuclear Action/Response, whose sole responsibility is when, where, and how to use nuclear weapons.
We should be aware by now that the Electoral College, which was a system to prevent the election of demagogues, has failed. We should be aware by now that the US has gotten itself into a myriad of crises and military conflicts that are lasting years, because of Presidents’ choices. We should be aware by now that if a man with significant wealth, and a talent in appealing to your anger/frustration, can become the world’s most powerful leader. A man that can wipe his own, dirtied, slate clean…
You can read more about the Senate Committees here: