Republicans have always promoted themselves as being more patriotic than the Democrats, concerned about the state of the military, wanting to spend more on defense and intelligence agencies, and more interested in keeping tabs on the nation’s adversaries. They were also more willing to place sanctions on adversaries if they acted in ways detrimental to America’s interests. Internally, the GOP was more attentive to the possibility of spies and foreign agents infiltrating the nation, stealing military secrets and defensive measures planned by the military.
These considerations by politicians to prove their patriotism and love for America seem pretty straight-forward and would have raised questions if they acted in any other manner. Currently, however, there is a real opportunity for GOP politicians to display their patriotism and love for country. This situation is somewhat unusual in that it forces Republicans to make difficult decisions to choose whether their political party or America is more important to them.
The person causing these problems is President Trump, whose behavior and verbal assaults and insults, by tweeting and by ‘normal’ interactions, has made it clear to thinking Americans that he should not be occupying the presidency. Whether he has a personality disorder, a more severe psychiatric disturbance, or a cognitive impairment of some kind, he should not be president. Trump has said many things during his time as president and during the campaign that should give all Americans pause for thought. He constantly tells the world and his constituency how smart he is and how something he has done is evidence of his brilliance. The need to reaffirm his intelligence shows his insecurity and his realization at some level that he doesn’t belong in the position he is in.
The information that has come out of the White House is confirmation of his inadequacies. He doesn’t read at all. When he is briefed by cabinet officers or other officials, he wants very short summaries of the pertinent information. If the briefing is longer, he either has difficulty absorbing the data, or is bored. He has engaged in a twitter fight with sexual overtones provoking Kim Jung-un and is totally inappropriate when a nuclear war with North Korea may be hanging in the balance. Needing constant praise from his entourage, he also wants affirmation that he is doing something great or brilliant. He himself is willing to tell journalists that his latest political move was particularly smart.
Word has escaped from White House personnel that Trump is not very smart, has difficulty understanding how the government works and why certain things must be done in certain ways. Complex data is beyond his comprehension and he needs help deciphering it. He often acts spontaneously in his communications with other world leaders, and may ignore the advice given to him by experts in these areas. Numerous people in and out of his entourage have said that he is incapable of being president, is like a child at times, and does not always recognize the ramifications of his of his actions. He is very moody, erratic in his behavior, arrogant, and uninterested or incapable of learning.
Trump’s response to the recently released book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, which reveals a totally dysfunctional Trump White House with an incompetent president, was to proclaim that he is a ‘stable genius’ who knows what he is doing. He tried to have his lawyer quash the book, but was unsuccessful. Much of the data in the book came from interviews with White House personnel, including withering reports from Steve Bannon who labelled Trump Jr’s, Kushner’s and Manafort’s meeting with the Russians as treasonous and unpatriotic. Trump’s advisors were noted to have called the president ignorant, an idiot, a dope, dumb as shit, a moron, and so forth. He watches television for hours at a time and according to the book, doesn’t know what he is doing.
Since Trump’s inauguration, the Republican Party has been standing behind him, recently attacking Comey, Mueller and his team, and Democrats who have been vilifying or mocking Trump. Nunes and some members of the Congressional investigating committees have been passing secret information to Trump that their committees have uncovered. They have also stopped their investigations of the Russian connections to the Trump campaign far short of the point where they might have obtained important information, in an effort to protect the president. The Senate investigation goes on but we don’t know how deep they will be digging. GOP attacks on Mueller, a Republican stalwart with an impeccable record on law-enforcement, are attempts to discredit him and his team before they release any data that will tie Trump to the Russians.
It is clear at this time that Trump is incompetent and does not belong in the presidency. The likelihood is that he, or at least his campaign team did collude with the Russians to tar Hillary Clinton and help Trump win the election. In this mid-term election year, will the Republicans show their patriotism and impeach Trump, or use the XXV Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office on the basis of disability. There is little question that Trump is impaired, either psychiatrically or neurologically and cannot function appropriately in the office of president. At his age he could have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease, or his psychiatric problems could be responsible for his difficulties.
Another option might be for Congress to establish a panel of neurologists and psychiatrists to test and examine Trump in depth to determine whether he has any deficits and whether he is capable of handling the presidency. Trump would certainly object to this probe, but Congress could insist on it, the alternative being impeachment. If cognitive deficits were discovered, Trump could be removed because of disability under the XXV Amendment.
If the Republicans continue protecting him, they are choosing party over country as they have been doing for nearly a year. For a party that proclaims patriotism as one of its qualities, the fact that they are going out of their way to protect Trump, whose actions border on treason, is disquieting to say the least. When there is a choice for a politician, it should always be country over party in what one says or how one behaves.