Let’s be realistic: Trump will never be impeached. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve it — there could be an argument worth discussing — but a Republican Congress will never do it, and the GOP will be hard-pressed to give up its majority in 2018.
The Constitution permits impeachment proceedings on the grounds of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” but as I’ve previously written, the term “misdemeanors” refers not only to legal infraction but, as Michael Stokes Paulsen describes, to “the broader sense of misconduct or misbehavior — literally of not demeaning oneself properly (‘misdemeaning’) in the exercise of an official capacity or position.” Or, as Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist 65, “the misconduct of public men, or…the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Trump’s opponents could easily present an argument that the president has abused or violated the public trust at least once.
In other words, Trump could be impeached, but he won’t be.
The only other options, then, are that 1) Trump completes his first term, 2) Trump is assassinated, or 3) Trump resigns. Trump won’t be assassinated — I’m sure many a lunatic has attempted to murder every president in modern history, but Secret Service is too competent to allow that to happen, I think. On the other hand, Trump may very well finish his term, but I don’t know if the country can handle this kind of strain for three and a half more years.
All that said, we at least have to consider the possibility that Trump resigns. There’s plenty to be said about the potential causes: frustration with low approval, discouragement about not getting anything done, conclusion that it’s the moral thing to do for the country’s sake (that’s never going to happen), or discovery that the presidency isn’t as much fun as he’d anticipated. The list goes on. But I’m not as concerned with exploring what would cause Trump to resign; plenty have done so already. Instead, I want to consider the consequences should his resignation occur.
These consequences will occur in the form of three C’s: Cabinet, Congress, and Culture.
If Donald Trump resigned today, Mike Pence would become the 46th president of the United States. I’ll save my predictions for how the country would react to this transition for the cultural discussion, but I think it’s safe to say that a Pence presidency would be far more stable and secure than the current Trump regime.
Among other things, we could expect a reduction in the quantity of tweets coupled with an increase in quality. In all likelihood, Pence would carefully craft prepared statements before addressing the public on major events, and he would stick to his notes. Trump’s ad-libbing has gotten him into trouble in the past, but he can’t seem to quit. Furthermore, rather than just announce policy ideas to the Twitter-verse without any follow-up or forewarning, Pence would implement changes through the proper channels with the approval of corresponding cabinet officials. The travel ban, Comey firing, and transgender military ban all suffered from Trump’s dismal implementation.
I believe Pence would put an end to the White House leaks. Trump’s cabinet is still riddled with Obama-era staffers whom Trump will never fire because he agrees with them on policy. Trump has always been a big government guy; his only problem with Obamacare, for instance, is the name “Obama.” He openly supports single-payer and countless liberal platform points. Pence doesn’t. He would oust the Obama holdovers and establish a uniform cabinet.
As for Pence’s potential vice president, it wouldn’t be a popularity contest for reasons I’ll explain under Culture, so you could expect to see a somewhat principled conservative like Pence as first mate. I doubt we’d see Cruz, Lee, or Sasse abandon their valuable Senate influence, but you never know. Honestly, I don’t think it would really matter. I foresee that should Trump resign, Pence would set up a strong cabinet and a mature presidency. Think what you will about whether he’d be a successful president — we should at least be able to acknowledge that his persona would be far more presidential than the man-child in chief.
What happens to Congress, specifically in regards to the 2018 election, depends greatly on the timing of this hypothetical resignation. If Trump follows the Nixon route and steps down three months before the ballots begin, we could see a Democratic upset à la 1974, in which Democrats picked up 48 formerly Republican seats in the House, extending their majority from 242 -192 to 291-144. But if Trump resigns tomorrow, such a turnaround would be unlikely, as there would be enough time for Pence to establish himself as president before voters instinctively lashed out against the establishment. There’s still a chance he could be unpopular, but the vote would be about Pence and Congress itself, not anger at Trump.
Back to impeachment briefly: if Democrats had a majority, impeachment might be plausible. But since the only way they’d obtain a majority is through Trump’s poorly timed resignation, that’s a moot point.
Pence would pursue conservative policy (as he did as governor of Indiana) and most likely put more pressure on Congress to pass more/better legislation. And if they didn’t listen, he could reasonably claim that he had done what he could and shift the public’s blame to Congress.
The previous two points have been largely positive; I think Pence would make a comparatively tremendous president after Trump — almost any conservative would. But this is where things get dicey: I know we’re already in a volatile situation, but I’m not sure if Trump’s resignation would make matters better or worse.
According to a recent poll, 24% of Americans claim that absolutely nothing imaginable could cause them to disapprove of Trump’s presidency. So if Trump resigns, no matter who succeeds him, at least a quarter of the country will be unhappy.
On the flip side, 28% said in the same poll that Trump couldn’t do absolutely anything imaginable to make them approve of his actions, “other than resign.” So would that 28% be happy about a Trump resignation? Maybe for a few days. But they wouldn’t like Pence any more than they like Trump, and Trump actually agrees with the Left on a number of policies. Pence doesn’t. If the Left can despise the first presidential candidate in history to openly support same-sex marriage, imagine how much rage they would direct at the man who won’t eat dinner alone with a woman who’s not his wife.
By that same token, it wouldn’t matter to the Left whom Pence chose as VP; they would hate them anyway, unless it were a Democrat or a RINO, which simply isn’t going to happen. And Trump stumpers wouldn’t be satisfied by any VP pick either, since they’d be too upset by the loss of Trump. As it stands, if Trump stays in office, 28% of the country is guaranteed to be unhappy. If he resigns, 52% will be.
But let’s be honest: the solution to our cultural polarization has little to do with the president, whomever it is. Trump has legitimized the Alt-Right just as Obama validated Black Lives Matter. But I don’t care how we got here; we’re here now. People are angry, riots are happening, and the president alone can’t put an end to the inevitable clash, neither Trump nor Pence.
That said, the chaos will be inestimably worse if Democrats are in control, pledging to rescind our basic freedoms and demonizing the very institutions which protect us. If Trump resigns next year, momentum could dramatically swing in the Left’s favor. If Trump resigns within the year, we could almost certainly recover from the initial blowback in time to preserve a congressional majority. We might even be better off.
Mr. President, if you can get your act together and ride out this term, creating actual solutions and improving the political climate, that would be wonderful. But if you can’t, and if you’re planning to resign, please, Mr. President, do it soon.
Armbands and the death of a Republic
Weeks ago, David Hogg and sister unleashed a new fashion statement for “their” movement. In an attempt to copy Tinker, they want people to protest guns by wearing armbands. The movement Lauren Hogg named #ArmbandsForChange encourages students to make their own armbands, a surprising move for people trying to capitalize off of the death of 17 students. Nonetheless, obvious criticism and comparisons to Nazis ensued. However, I believe Corey Stallings of LowderWithCrowder correctly opined:
Before you break out the hammer and nails to crucify me, I’m not saying the kids are Literally Hitler. I’m not a leftist, after all. I know their choice of armbands wasn’t intentional and they’re copying student hippies from the ’60s. Alls I’m saying is a group of armband-clad underaged lemmings marching in the name of big government isn’t the best look, regardless of their intentions.
We have to cut the kids a little slack on account of their ignorance. They lack experience and perspective to understand the complexities of issues and their actions. This is also why it’s silly to let them dictate American gun policy.
Also, while we’re on the subject, armbands, ribbons, and other grandstanding gestures don’t do anything for a cause. I have yet to find a single person who changed their opinion on a subject thanks to a clever Twitter hashtag. Facts and stats, on the other hand, are effective like Michael Moore taste-testing for Little Debbie. Unfortunately for anti-gunners, facts to back up their views are scarce. Which leads to the dependence on superficial gestures. Which might accidentally harken back to Nazis.
The March for Gun Confiscation is taking place, and while armbands aren’t a major theme, the implications of what they are doing are a reason for liberty overs everywhere to brace themselves. Mob mentality has a dark history and they compare to a little-known story that impacted the Founding Fathers and our history.
Not Quite Tinker
Tinker v Des Moines is a case about students who wore armbands to protest US involvement in the Vietnam War. This is what 14-year-olds learn about in high school government classes. In both cases, armbands are involved; however major differences arise. For Tinker, it was a passive method of protest. Also, Tinker was honest, in that, the Vietnam War was the subject of protest. The Hoggs, on the other hand, want major gun restrictions, to put it mildly. They mask this intent under the guise of protesting gun violence, a term coined by gun control activist in the first place. The scopes of these respective protests are vastly different. One protested a poorly executed military misadventure, the other wants to take away the rights of the people. The latter is quite aggressive. As Stallings noted, the facts aren’t on their side, so they rely on emotions to dictate policy and conversation. They are trying to awaken the mob. Emotions and intimidation are all part of a time-tested means to advance evil. The Nazis are only one example. Another brought down a Republic.
The Dutch Republic
Before the United States, the Dutch had a Republic. The Dutch Republic was a maritime empire dominating Europe in world trade. They even had the world’s first stock market. But all the while, the Dutch struggled with a division between people who believed in the ideals of Republicanism(Republicans or Patriots) or the people who wanted a strong government leader, the Orangist (monarchists). The Orangist supported the royal family, in this instance is William III Orange.
There’s a Dutch movie on Netflix called Admiral. It’s about how Admiral de Ruyter, one of the greatest admirals of all time, navigated both war and politics. Better action scenes than most of Hollywood. It features Charles Dance, who played Tywin Lannister, so there’s some familiarity for the American viewer. Anyway, in the movie, the Orangists are depicted wearing Orange armbands.
In history, Charles II made an alliance with the French and German states to coordinate an invasion of the Netherlands. The statesmen, Johan de Witt had long helmed the Republic and through multiple wars, but this war would be his last. The alliance caused such a panic, that mob rule took over. The Orangists seized Cornelius de Witt, Johan’s brother for “conspiring against William III” and tortured him. Violent demonstrations took place. Johan de Witt resigned. He shortly after went to see his brother. The mob seized the de Witt brothers and tore them to pieces and hung the remains against a lamppost. 1672 was the fall of the Dutch Republic. Though the rise of William III, the eventual King of England following the Glorious Revolution, would save them from England, the Dutch Golden Age was ending.
The mistakes made in the Dutch Republic were noted by the Founding Fathers. In Federalist 20, James Madison critiques the Dutch Republic as an example of a failed confederacy. He refers to the United Netherlands as “imbecility in government.”
A weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution, for want of proper powers, or the usurpation of powers requisite for the public safety. Whether the usurpation, when once begun, will stop at the salutary point, or go forward to the dangerous extreme, must depend on the contingencies of the moment. Tyranny has perhaps oftener grown out of the assumptions of power, called for, on pressing exigencies, by a defective constitution, than out of the full exercise of the largest constitutional authorities.
The Founding Fathers put in place many precautions in order to prevent mob rule or imbecility in government as seen in the Dutch Republic. The confederacy, Madison argues was ineffective, and true patriots know that we must avoid the same mistakes.
Hoggs and Mobs
Whether it be larger forces than them or they themselves, their actions are dangerous. I don’t believe that these kids were trying to be Nazis; however, they are, likely knowingly, trying to incite a mob. A more accurate comparison than Nazis would be that they are like the Orangists, wearing orange coincidentally used to protest guns every June. Their protest is assertive and, if successful, will strip the natural freedoms away from many Americans, especially their age group of young adults. Their armbands are identifiers in which they intend to normalize and further mobilize their calls to control the liberties of the people. Calls to actions such as theirs are why the people necessitate a Constitution empowering a unique federal system including a Bill of Rights to specifically protect freedoms from a single tyrant and or the tyranny of the majority.
Sheepdogs, Guardians and Liberty control
The issue of security is a serious matter, we should be following the realistic examples of what works to keep our children safe.
So what is the best way to protect people from evil? Taking a page from ranchers or other rural folk who need to protect their flocks from predation may be the best way of figuring this out. We know what doesn’t work, and that would be depriving the people of their liberty of self-preservation. But this doesn’t stop the left from obsessing over inanimate object control. This is a futile pursuit since even in an environments where the Liberty of self-defense is heavily controlled, shootings still take place.
It would be far better if we did not need these measures, but the Socialist-Left has insisted upon tearing down the country’s moral underpinnings to replace them with it’s vile collectivist ideals. So we have to decide the best way to protect from that which the enemies of Liberty on the Left have imposed on the nation. The fact of the matter is that these commonly held arms have been around for over 100 years while these attacks are of a more recent phenomenon. It also needs to be pointed out that Despite Heightened Fear Of School Shootings, It’s Not A Growing Epidemic as reported on Left-Leaning NPR.
Examine how is security provided in other fields to decide what Will Work.
As has been always the case, Liberty control will not work because evil will always find a way to kill. Witness recent events in Austin, Texas where bombs replaced guns in bringing on terror. Even if guns could be wiped from existence criminals, terrorist or governments would find a way to deliberately slaughter people. Therefore the choice is that of restoring our moral underpinnings or providing new guards for our security. While the national socialist Left still holds sway over the culture, media and government indoctrination centres that necessary restoration will have to wait. So the only realistic option is one of armed, on-scene responders to protect our most precious resource.
Similar circumstances teach the best forms of security: The example of livestock control and protection.
Law enforcement personal are often referred to ‘sheepdogs’. They maintain control over crowds of people in varying situations while also protecting them. We can extend this analogy further as a way of illustrating the way to keep people safe from predation. Ranchers have two main types of animals to assist them, for control they use the venerable herding breeds of dogs ranging from the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Corgi, Sheltie, etc. To protect them they also have animals commonly referred to as Livestock guardians. These range from special breeds of livestock guardian dogs to Llamas or Donkeys. They normally live with the flock to provide around the clock protection. They also blend in with it to a certain extent so that the predators cannot single them out.
Guardian protect the flock while sheepdogs maintain control.
In both situations it’s the guardians who blend in and are always on the scene in case of attack. With the ‘flocks’ of humans, the guardians are the people carrying concealed weapons. Those bent on evil don’t know who this may be, their numbers or location. The element of uncertainty keeps the human predators at bay. By contrast the sheepdogs usually stand out in a crowd. While they also offer a deterrent effect, this can be negated by their visibility. They can also be targeted first in an attack to defeat that layer of security.
In the world of the rancher attempting to both protect his (or her) flock, they have the sheepdogs to move and control the flock while the guardians protect it. The sheepdogs do offer a layer of protection, but they cannot be present all the time. It’s the livestock guardians who bond with the flock who protect it around the clock.
Recent events illustrated that it’s impossible to keep people safe by banning guns or any other Liberty control measures. The only way to keep them safe in the immoral environment brought on by the Left, is to have both uniformed law enforcement and those carrying concealed on site as dual layers of defence. Merely decreeing a ‘Gun-Free’ zone or banning firearms are dangerous notions that do not work. These fanciful Leftist constructs only serve to deprive the innocent of the Liberty of self-defence and do nothing but raise the body count.
When have the Enemies of Liberty on the Left ever compromised on the 2nd amendment?
The history of freedom always has been one of it’s enemies slowly ratcheting it down with restraints in the name of equality or security.
Everyone knows the drill by now, a ‘Serious Crisis’ takes place, the Left immediately demands the surrender of more human rights forcing the innocent to pay for the sins of the guilty. Meanwhile, those who dare defend those rights are pilloried with almost every pejorative in the book.
The history of Liberty Control has always been one of unending incremental infringements on our rights. The enemies of Liberty on the Left always follow the same progression. They begin with spurious claims over the ‘easy access to guns’, getting whatever they can, after which they reset the sequence for the next go around.
The Left’s idea of ‘progress’ is always one direction, with demands that the pro-liberty side give up as yet more of their freedom. Each time around it’s the same story, with only ever worsening regularity. But why is this the case? When have the Liberty controllers on the left ever compromised on the common sense human right of self-defence, or any other liberties for that matter?
Liberty Control down through the ages.
The dirty little secret of Liberty control is that it has it’s roots in racism, epitomised in the infamous United States Supreme Court case DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD, (1856):
It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.
Please note that it specifically mentions “the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”, as the partial rationale for the decision.
Further on, the past century has saw an inexorable sequence of infringements with the examples ranging from the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968 to the Brady act of 1993.
In some rare cases, the Republican party spearheaded some partial relief of earlier infringements, but these were always accompanied with other restrictions. The overall trend has always been ever intensifying restrictions on the rights that are supposed to be free from infringement.
The Left’s idea of ‘compromise.’
It should be obvious by now that the enemies of Liberty on the Left do not want anyone to have the basic human right of self-preservation. They have made that clear in many articles, editorials and videos on the subject of repealing the 2nd amendment or outright gun confiscation. Consequently, it can be presumed that anything short of that immediate goal is a ‘compromise’ to them.
The win-win eventuality for them is that their ‘compromise’ positions sets up for their ultimate goal none the less. Asserting government control over everyone’s private property with ‘Intergalactic’ Background Checks followed on with the governmental permission requirements in gun registration that will eventually lead to gun confiscation. They would also like to control free-speech with the expedient of ‘Political correctness’ or entirely undefined ‘Hate speech’. But for now they merely want to get people used to these restrictions on Liberty.
The Left’s increasing stridency towards Liberty has intensified as of late, which is quite odd given that they supposedly support the concept with the self-labeling as “Liberals”. The Left has become single-minded in their pursuit of gun confiscation(and it’s precursors), to the point of rejecting measures that would actually serve to protect the children. As is typical of the nation’s Left, they self-label their obsession with taking guns away from the innocent as being ‘reasonable’. Meanwhile, they vehemently oppose workable solutions to the problems they caused in the first place.
Their latest tactic is to exploit the victims of mass murder in a bid to shut down debate and impose their unworkable ‘solutions’ to the exclusion of anything else. Do they even sound ‘reasonable’ or ‘Liberal’ for that matter? They incessantly complain that the proponents of Liberty won’t surrender their principles and once again yield to their demands, but when will they ever compromise and defend liberty?