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Santa Maria Sun / Commentary

The following article was posted on May 16th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 11

Trump's mental health a real concern

By KEN MCCALIP

With approval ratings for the first 100 days at times as low as 38 to 40 percent, lower than any other new president’s ratings, President Donald Trump has managed to be the main topic around the large majority of American dinner tables as we all discuss ways to rid ourselves of this real danger to our safety and blot on American history. Our Constitution has left us with two main avenues to pursue.

First, under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, a president can be removed if he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” This assessment can be made by either the vice president and majority of the Cabinet or by a congressionally appointed body, such as a panel of doctors. If the president argues with this decision it is then decided by a majority vote of Congress.

As of this date more than 50,000 mental-health professionals have signed a petition stating that Trump is too mentally ill to perform the duties and should be removed under the 25th Amendment. He is the perfect example of narcissism. As we all know he has a need for self-admiration, unrealistic fantasies, and sadism coupled with grandiosity. These medical professionals feel that “too much is at stake to be silent any longer.”

An example of Trump’s inabilities is graphically shown by his April 11 “pathological inattention” with his description of an “armada” advancing on North Korea even though the ships were heading in the opposite direction. Gross missteps such as these can be devastating to our nation’s public safety. His unrestrained late night tweets only add to the countless examples of his mental inabilities.

His tweets reveal that on a regular basis he comments on topics he should wisely leave alone, but he frequently digs himself deeper into an ever expanding quagmire of needless controversy. Those on news beats have tried to discern logic or some master plan to his behavior, but none exists as he is driven by his self-admiration into his fantasy world. Let us all hope that his fantasy world does not collide with our real world in a catastrophic nuclear event.

Second, a more promising tool to protect us from a mentally defective president is the power of impeachment. For this to be a viable option, Democrats will need to work hard to take control of the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm elections. It would appear that treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanor charges will be readily available by midterms with Russian collusion and business conflicts possibly topping the list. Trump is now facing numerous civil proceedings including sexual assault and urging violence at a campaign rally. These civil proceedings and other actions may result in access to tax and business records, which may in turn open the door to corruption and abuse of power charges.

Looking back at past presidents who have been impeached, we need only look at the level of public disapproval. Clinton had an approval of 70 percent and survived impeachment. Nixon’s approval fell to 43 percent and he was forced to resign. So Trump has a long road to climb with a starting approval of only 40 percent. We can conclude that a high approval level protects a president from impeachment. No protection rating exists for this president.

We can also look at the mistakes made by predecessors facing the same circumstance of impeachment. Nixon thumbed his nose at the judiciary branch and refused to turn over tapes, and he topped this off by forcing out Archibald Cox the special prosecutor. Doing these things convinced the public that he had something to hide. President Trump recently started down the same path as Nixon by firing the acting attorney general and by refusing to turn over information about the hiring and the resignation of Michael Flynn to the House Oversight Committee. Most recently, he fired FBI Director James Comey, the man leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia on election meddling. These developments make the public ask, does he have something to hide?

Our situation with President Trump and his mental health problem far outdistances any historical precedent with prior presidents. These past events pale in comparison to our current situation and demand a local outcry to our elected representatives demanding action and removal from office!

So, the risk for President Trump is continuing the mistakes and the cover-up of past events that increases his poor approval ratings and ultimately may results in either the successful use of the 25th Amendment or impeachment proceedings. Both of these alternatives would be great for the future safety of the United States!

Ken McCalip is a North Santa Barbara County native who holds bachelor and doctorate degrees in history, cultural geography, and law from various California universities. He can be reached at kennethmccalip@yahoo.com or send your thoughts to letters@santamariasun.com.




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