What would make Democrats absolutely crazy?

Five to eight / USA: What helps against this president?


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Some of Donald Trump's opponents like to bring the 25th Amendment to the American Constitution into play these days. It stipulates that a president can be removed from the Oval Office because of incapacity to act, for example because of mental derangement.

Indeed, Trump no longer seems to be in control of his senses. Apparently, even some employees are now worried about his state of mind. He recently recommended in a press conference in all seriousness that Covid-19 sufferers should be bombarded with "extremely strong light" because scientists have discovered that UV rays could kill the coronavirus. Since disinfectants and chlorine bleach can kill the virus, the president also advised them to be taken or injected. By return of mail, the president sparked a storm of indignation among doctors, health authorities and people who ticked halfway normally.

The discussion about the application of Additional Article 25 is not new. It broke just a few months after Trump's inauguration when his erratic governance first became apparent. Despite a denial, the rumor persisted that even the Deputy Minister of Justice Rod J. Rosenstein brought up the possibility of impeachment. And Trump's former government advisor, the far-right Steve Bannon, with whom the president is still in close contact, is said to have said that the greatest risk to Trump's presidency is not the impeachment process, but the 25th Amendment.

Hollywood has made this constitutional rule an issue again and again, because wonderful films can be made from it. In Madame Secretary For example, consideration was given to using Article 25 to get rid of the fictional President Conrad Dalton, who had become unpredictable due to an undetected brain tumor and had ordered a military attack. In the famous television series Homeland Vice President and Cabinet removed President Elizabeth Keane from the White House because she was deemed completely incapable.

The constitutional article does not aim at incompetence

In the real world, however, Amendment 25 is not intended for such cases. So not for the fact that a president like Donald Trump is visibly incompetent, ruled erratically and erratically. According to the law, the Vice President should only replace him - and usually only temporarily - if the President is absolutely no longer able to exercise his office due to his medically determined physical or mental state of health. For example, because he has lost consciousness or has gone clinically insane.

And even then, high hurdles have to be overcome, for example the vice-president and the majority of ministers assuring Congress in writing that the president is no longer able to carry out his official duties. And of course the President can disagree. Article 25 therefore does not go any further in this case. If you want to get rid of Donald Trump as president with good reason, you have to do so with the ballot paper.

The United States of America has become a tremendous test field for democracy and for the democratic consciousness of the Americans, not just because of the Corona, but reinforced by the terrible consequences of the pandemic. In other words: will the majority of voters draw conclusions from the permanent madness in the White House? So will she vote out her democratically elected, but often undemocratic himself, president on November 3rd? And will the state and its institutions succeed in regaining the trust of the citizens?

The pandemic exacerbates the crisis of confidence

Democracy is based on trust, on trust in the efficiency of the state, in its leadership and in the functionality and compliance of its institutions with the law. This already broken trust has suffered further, major damage in the Corona crisis. The government reacted to the pandemic far too late and inadequately, putting the lives of thousands of people at risk.

The health system has been cut to the ground and is not only poorly equipped for the less well-off, but - like the health insurance system - extremely unfair. The poor, blacks and Latinos are far less well cared for. In addition: Anyone who loses their job - and this affects millions of people in the pandemic - quickly loses their health insurance. For many, being sick is a huge risk of poverty. Over the years, money and staff in the social welfare and employment offices have also been cut, and the scarce workforce is unable to cope with the onslaught of requests for assistance. There are existential delays in the payments.

This is not just Donald Trump's fault. The politics of the red pencil go back decades to the 1980s when Republican Ronald Reagan ruled and declared the state the enemy of the individual and of freedom. Democratic presidents such as Bill Clinton have also cut state benefits.