Lately the headlines have been unavoidable.
“Trump must be impeached. Here’s why,” published on May 13 in The Washington Post. This sort of talk has been going on for a while, at least as far back as “A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality,” which was part of the June 2016 issue of the Atlantic. And of course, the cherry on top of the week: his firing of FBI director James B. Comey.
According to the White House, “President Trump will have signed 30 executive orders during his first 100 days,” compared to President Obama’s 19 and George W. Bush’s 11. This makes him the “most accomplished” president since Franklin Roosevelt. That’s how the White House puts it, at least.
He has masterminded a vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare in the House of Representatives, signed a presidential memorandum withdrawing America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, directed federal agencies to make way for the “immediate construction” of a wall and signed an executive order to remove federal grant money from sanctuary cities, among others. And that was in just over 100 days.
Trump, the very name of the dividing force in our country, has alienated “aliens” (as he likes to call undocumented immigrants), plucking them from their families through deportation. Through his travel ban, he has cut America off from engaging in worldwide scholarship. All to “Make America Great Again.”
Even more dangerous than his firing of Comey, he “used the vice president and White House staff to propagate a set of blatant untruths — before giving an interview to NBC’s Lester Holt that exposed his true motivation,” notes Laurence H. Tribe, a Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. This should worry even his most ardent of supporters — imagine when his self-interested dishonesty bleeds through even more serious international issues. We’re talking about war.
“Ample reasons existed to worry about this president, and to ponder the extraordinary remedy of impeachment, even before he fired FBI Director James B. Comey,” argues Tribe, who is a strong advocate for his impeachment. The fact that Trump wanted Comey to “pledge loyalty” to him in order for him keep his position (when Comey was supposed to conduct an unbiased investigation) and that Trump sees nothing wrong about that request points to a larger truth: Trump has no idea what he’s doing.
And what can we do about it?
I think that this is a waiting game. The “screaming carrot demon,” as Samantha Bee likes to call him, will dig himself into a hole — one that he can’t get out of. Our approach should be a balance of sustained, targeted effort to keep measures in place that are important to us (access to affordable health care, adequate funding for the Pell Grant, etc.), balanced with patience.
And with time, maybe we’ll get lucky. America can look him in the eye and say his two favorite words back at him: “You’re fired.”
Contact Amanda Rizkalla at amariz ‘at’ stanford.edu