On Wednesday, a white racist and Trump supporter triumphantly carried the hideous Confederate flag into the halls of the US Congress, something that even the Confederate Army had not achieved amid the horrors of the Civil War. Four Americans were killed and many more were wounded on the site of the sacred US Capitol building. The building was destroyed, soiled, desecrated and literally stained with the blood of those who wanted to dismantle American democracy. All of this happened at the time when the country's elected representatives were performing their duty to confirm the election of a new president. It was terrifying to see.
After four years of seemingly endless outrage, it's time. US President Donald Trump must go, and the Vice President must save the country's democracy by leading the cabinet in invoking the 25th Amendment. After a long line of criminal offenses – a list that would exceed the space available here – the height of Trump's criminal election rigging and incitement to insurrection on Wednesday led us to an inevitable national reckoning.
After the 25th Amendment, the Vice President can remove a President who is incapacitated or physically or mentally incapable of performing his duty if a majority of executive officers approve. The President can then appeal to Congress. The appeal on the 25th amendment today is about the incapacity of a president who refuses to accept the result of the presidential election of November 3, 2020, who has failed to put credible legal challenges to the results and who is one Theft has aroused a sense of choice among its gullible supporters, causing a crisis of confidence in the sanctity and integrity of the US electoral process. It's about a president who, over the New Year's weekend, deliberately and deliberately tried to intimidate the Georgia electoral officials and force them to fabricate enough votes to change the state's number in his favor.
Yes, there is also the impeachment option, which must be seen as another legal avenue to bring Trump back to account. But that will just take too long to avert an impending disaster.
What else could Trump be able to do in his last two weeks as president? Nobody could have imagined what happened on Wednesday, and with Trump, worse is always possible. Given the immense power of the Office of the President of the United States, including the command of the most powerful military in the world, Trump's ability to inflict even greater harm on the United States and the world still remains within his grasp. After the events of January 6th, he must be immediately separated from the authorities entrusted to him as the nation in chief. Only by invoking the 25th Amendment can this happen quickly enough to prevent the next outrage, not to mention its access to the nuclear arsenal.
Trump's swift removal would send the clear message that US democracy remains intact as a form of government, just as a shaken but intrepid Congress acted in the immediate aftermath of the uprising to confirm Joe Biden's impending presidency. Our children and grandchildren need to see both dimensions of democracy at work: that the United States remains intact as a constitutional democracy and that no one is above the rule of law. The world – including allies who share this moral view, the illiberal leaders who have taken control of their own democracies, and the authoritarian and totalitarian – must recognize that America is about the higher principles of liberal representative government, the Human rights and rule go by the law. The recent decision by Facebook and Twitter to ban the president from their platforms – indefinitely in the case of Facebook – speaks precisely in favor of these principles.
After Trump's brutal civil rights violation of protesters in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, I wrote in June last year: “The United States' descent into illiberalism may have begun on June 1, 2020. Do you remember the date. It could well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment. The President of the United States stood in the rose garden of the White House on Monday, railing against weak governors and mayors who he believed were not doing enough to control the riots and rioters in their cities, and threatening to dispatch the US military against American citizens. It was a breathtaking moment. "
When I wrote these words, I could not imagine what would happen on January 6th. The reasons for some Americans' discontent and anger are complex and deserve our full and undivided attention, especially if we are ever to seek the path of national healing, reconciliation, and unity. However, the president's actions on Wednesday require collective outrage and swift action. He should not be given the privilege and honor of terminating his term in office. The Vice President and Cabinet must act – act now.