Today, January 21, 2017, there are marches taking place across the country, and indeed in other countries, against the presidency of Donald Trump. As I write this, I am viewing images of an anti-Trump protest taking place in Paris.
What do these marches and protests accomplish? In my opinion they do nothing beyond giving their participants a chance to express their outrage to each other. No one else is paying attention. The marches are going to do nothing to remove Donald John Trump from office.
I was not in favor of Donald Trump’s wining the election (most Americans weren’t, as the popular vote shows), but he won the election fair and square according to our outmoded electoral system. He is legally in office, and railing against our dysfunctional Electoral College will not bring him one inch closer to the exit door. He is our legitimate president, no matter how loudly protesters insist that he is not.
I am convinced that Donald Trump will be such a lousy and dishonest president that he will not finish his first term. I believe he will be impeached. I also believe the his fraudster instincts are so ingrained that he will not be able to hold them in check. He holds a lease from the federal government of the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. that he is developing into a hotel, which is slated to open in September. The lease contains the clause, “No elected official shall be admitted to any share or part of this lease or to any benefit that may arise there from.”
Trump is an elected official, of course, and is therefore in violation of the lease agreement. However, he has made no move to remove himself from this conflict. If he were smart, he would sell his interest before it is taken away from him or is used as one of the grounds of a possible future impeachment. However, the only person of note who believes that Donald Trump is smart is President Trump himself. He will not give up the lease.
In an ethical world, the General Services Administration (GSA) would acknowledge that the terms of the lease have been violated and terminate it, leaving Donald Trump out in the cold. Why has it not done so? Because we are already seeing a drastic relaxation of presidential ethics. Donald Trump is in charge of the GSA, and its head serves at Donald Trump’s pleasure. There is no way that the head of the GSA has the ability to negotiate a lease termination with her or his boss. In other words, Donald Trump controls both sides of the negotiating table.
Until Donald Trump’s assumption of the presidency, the head of the GSA was Denise Turner Roth. I have no idea who President Trump has in mind to take her place, but I doubt if that person will stand up to her or his boss. We do not know what is going on inside the GSA, because the organization has refused to comment on the lease conflict. Perhaps Ms Turner Roth set the process in motion to terminate the lease before her term ended. We have no way of knowing if she did.
I am willing to give Donald Trump the chance to prove that he will govern in an ethical manner. So far, he has shown no sign of doing so. If Donald Trump’s ethical lapses continue to mount, the day will come when even members of his own party have had enough and vote to impeach him. If he is convicted, Vice President Mike Pence will take over. Mike Pence is a right-wing ideologue, but he does not share Donald Trump’s outsized ego that causes the latter to believe that he is above the law. I do not want a radical right-winger to be president of the United States, but I would prefer one to the fraudster who now occupies the White House.