Some of you out there really, really hate President Trump.
Some of you despise the guy so much you want him impeached, and are looking for any reason to make that happen.
Heck, some of you were talking about impeaching him before he was the Republican nominee.
But there’s an old saying, and I think it applies here…
Be careful what you wish for.
Take a deep breath and step away from your social media rantings for a few minutes to learn how impeachment actually works, and what would happen if Trump were to be removed from office.
Second, consider who would replace Trump if he were removed from office (Do you want Mike Pence? Because impeaching Trump is how you get Mike Pence).
There are eighteen (yes, eighteen!) people in the queue for the job.
The Presidential Succession Act establishes the line of succession to the powers and duties of the office of President of the United States in the event that neither a President nor Vice President is able to “discharge the powers and duties of the office.” The current Act was adopted in 1947.
Here’s how the Succession Lineup looks under Trump:
1. Vice President Mike Pence
2. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
3. Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
4. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
5. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
6. Secretary of Defense James Mattis
7. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
8. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
9. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
10. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
11. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta
12. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price
13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson
14. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao *
15. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry
16. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin
18. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly
*Chao is not a natural-born US citizen, and is therefore ineligible.
Impeaching Trump would send us down a succession rabbit hole…
As you can see, it isn’t like impeaching Trump would lead to the candidate of your choice (Hillary and Bernie supporters, I am looking at you) miraculously being placed in the
throne Oval Office, suddenly making everything right with the world.
And, speaking of popular candidates…technically, “Nobody” won the election anyway:
Nick Gillespie of Reason offers some words of caution to those who are throwing the I word around:
But impeachment talk this soon and this thick is coming not from a place of seriousness but pure partisanship and ideology masquerading as disinterested belief in the public good. When the Republicans moved to impeach Bill Clinton back in the 1990s, it was the same thing and it didn’t exactly work out that well for many of the main conspirators, or for the country at large. Among other things, the impeachment push indirectly led to the ouster of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, which eventuated in an actual child molester being way high up in the presidential line of succession.
The impeachment of Bill Clinton was one of the major mileposts in the long, ongoing shift of America from a high-trust to a low-trust country, one in which faith, trust, and confidence in most of our major public, private, and civic institutions have taken a massive beating for decades now.
And, as Steve Chapman explains,
Forcing a president from office is among the gravest tasks members of Congress can undertake, and they should refrain unless he gives them no choice. To attempt it with so many questions yet unanswered would look like partisan revenge — not just against Trump but against the people who voted for him.
It’s crucial for impeachment to reflect more than a campaign against a president by the opposition party. Effectively overturning the result of a democratic election demands a national consensus that the president is guilty of serious offenses. Abusing his powers, behaving corruptly or violating his oath of office qualify. Ineptitude, folly and malignance don’t.
Under the best of circumstances, impeachment is a national trauma with lasting consequences, for good or ill. Trump made it to the White House because the nation was so divided. If he is removed, it should be because the nation is united.
It is important to understand that no matter how despicable you may find Trump (and perhaps rightfully so – I am certainly not defending him; I am one of the 46.9% who did not vote), impeaching him will have consequences – potentially disastrous ones.
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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”