In an extraordinary column that could be the first of many as the coronavirus pandemic continues, a presidential scholar has called for President Donald Trump’s resignation.
In just several weeks since Trump began insisting that the coronavirus was a hoax that the public should not worry about because his administration was on the case, over 600,000 Americans have been infected and more than 26,000 have died.
Furthermore, the stock market has tanked, unemployment filings spiked to record highs (over 16 million), sports leagues suspended their seasons, most businesses have closed and people across the country are panicking as we face severe shortages of supplies.
It’s utter chaos, and all because Trump neglected to take this outbreak seriously from the start and has utterly botched the response, including his recent decision to defund the World Health Organization.
And he is only making it worse by continuing to repeat propaganda and lies.
American University government professor Chris Edelson called for Trump to resign and urged other public figures to do the same.
“It’s painfully obvious that no normal person — let alone any typical president — would respond in the way President Donald Trump has,” Edelson wrote. “At each stage, he has lied, he has created confusion, he has made reckless predictions, and he has, once and for all, demonstrated his manifest unfitness to serve.”
“We may not be able to fix the damage that Trump has already caused, but at least we can stop him from doing any more harm,” he continued. “Public figures ought to be calling on the president to resign from office, to get out of the way and let competent people step in.”
Edelson conceded that Trump likely will refuse to leave office, but pointed out that more people are realizing that he’s unfit to lead.
“It is clear even to casual observers that Trump is in over his head and is interested mainly in public messaging that he thinks will mitigate personal political damage to him in an election year,” he wrote, going on to explain that while scientists and health professionals do their jobs, everyone else has a duty to help them by ousting an incompetent leader in favor of one who knows what they are doing.
“While scientists, doctors and other public health professionals deal with the day-to-day business of saving lives and mitigating damage, the rest of us — especially those with a platform that reaches the public — must say what is self-evident: Donald Trump cannot do his job. He must resign — immediately,” Edelson concluded. “In calling for Trump’s resignation we are refusing to accept the assumption that Trump exists outside of normal rules, and that this is something we simply must accept. We know he isn’t up to the job. The question is whether we, as citizens in a constitutional democracy, are up to ours.”
Trump’s resignation would be the best thing he could do for the nation. While he’s at it, Pence can resign as well. Because while neither of them is capable of responding properly like real leaders, at least House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is up to that task. As third in the presidential line of succession, Pelosi would take over once Trump and Pence resign. And then America can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that an adult is in charge.
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