Can Restricting Two of Trump’s Presidential Powers Save Our Democracy?

The walls that protected Donald Trump from scrutiny are beginning to tumble down. Talk of impeachment is gathering some momentum. Still there is the caveat that 2/3 of the Senate would not likely vote to impeach a sitting president.

Well that’s not good enough in these dire circumstances. We have our democracy and way of life to save. We cannot allow loopholes in our own laws, many of which violate the spirit of our democracy, to destroy the American way of life. And yet that is exactly what Trump (and Putin) are counting on. 

Nearly everyone who ran the Trump campaign for presidency has now been indicted and/or has pleaded guilty – which means they are criminals! Are we supposed to believe that Trump surrounded himself with criminals but is himself an innocent angel who just has poor judgment in choosing associates? There are even known and documented entanglements with the Kremlin. But the two parties have split over Trump and until he is either found guilty or innocent this fissure will not heal. We are at a genuine crossroads in American history. 

The USA is now effectively in a state of civil war – left vs. right. The fight is over what kind of country we want to be. We thought that was decided long ago. We thought we were a representative democracy with a government by the people and for the people. Right?  “The people” means the majority of people – not the billionaires.  Our sitting president speaks about Democrats and reporters as if they were the enemy.  Something is not right with this and we all know it. 

It now appears that Roger Stone is going to stonewall the FBI and hope for a pardon.  Are we really okay with Trump pardoning his political operatives even if they are found guilty of collusion with the Russian state to fix an American election? Do you realize that if we are okay with allowing foreign states influence over our elections we are already a conquered state?

Our presidents are given absolute pardon power on paper, but it seems ridiculous in a situation where a president can effectively pardon himself.  It seems dangerous as well.  How would pardoning one’s political allies and targeting one’s political enemies not be abusing power? That is what Putin and Stalin did. How would that keep America safe? How would that be good for you?

So we are proposing that we not allow our country’s laws to destroy the America we grew up in. We’ll need to restrict just two of our sitting president’s powers while we make 100% sure his is not compromised. Bring this up on the house floor. 

#1. Trump cannot declare war until we are certain he is not compromised.

Until then, the Generals and Congress must inherit and share the responsibility of commanding our military. There is no loss therein. Most presidents listen to their generals anyway. We are not comfortable with Donald Trump having war powers in his current state of mind. We know we are not alone. He’s under a lot of pressure now too. If starting a war and letting people die can relieve some of that pressure, Trump is okay with that. He can tune out the suffering of others because he has very little empathy. 

We want to hear more about restricting Trump’s war powers on social media in the coming days. So get the buzz going. We can not sit idly by and let our own laws spell our demise. 

#2. Trump cannot be allowed to pardon anyone indicted and found guilty by Robert Mueller. 

This is just common sense. If witnesses believe they can lie for the president and get a pardon, they will lie for the president. Witnesses should know ahead of time that Trump is not allowed to pardon Mueller’s indictees. Allowing a pardon to undo the penalties for lying to the FBI, renders the FBI powerless. Clearly this was not the intent of the pardon power. This is why pardoning people found guilty in cases in which one is involved cannot be allowed for this or any president. It is abuse of power.  It is a clear case of the letter of the law violating its spirit. 

These two simple and  logical restrictions on Trump’s powers would go a long way to insuring that the whole truth about Trump and the Russians gets out. And that truth will go a long way towards healing the divide in this country.

This bill is also strategically very clever. This is not impeachment. The president stays in office and retains all his powers except the two that could be used to derail the truth from getting out. Burying the truth will destroy the fabric of our country in very short order. So I suspect most Dems and our majority constituency will like the idea of checking Trump’s powers while he is being investigated – potentially as a traitor. This is not a bill the president needs to sign either. 

If Dems can get 90% of their own in the house to agree on this idea, they can publish the names of the Republicans who do not agree to restrict Trump’s war and pardon powers while the jury is out on Russian collusion.  How is that going to play for career politicians? It’s damning as all heck and it should be. Those who would say no to this can only be suborned themselves, because no part of allowing Donald Trump to declare war or pardon his friends sounds right to any of us.

Who among us – on the left or right – thinks it okay for a POTUS to selectively pardon his friends for crimes they are found guilty of doing? What kind of justice would that be? 

So can we please get this post to: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Elizabeth Warren, Eric Swalwell, Amy Klobuchar and AOC? And yes, maybe Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell. Pass this forward please – for the sake of us all. I have started in my own way. But I need help to get this to the top. 

#1. Trump cannot declare war until we are 100% certain he is not compromised.

#2. Trump cannot be allowed to pardon anyone indicted and found guilty by Robert Mueller. 

I welcome feedback: josepharonesty@gmail.com