American Democracy Asphyxia
In plain view America is asphyxiating either from climate change or political incapacitation from excessive use of fossil fuels and from demographic racism taken to edge of the knife by Trump and his followers.
Crime and punishment by the rule of law has been ridiculed and disregarded by the Trump doctrine. Unfortunately, the U.S. Constitution does not have any provision for dealing with a rogue un-American President and going forward changes need to be made so that it never happens again. A political mechanism is needed that prevents or stops the problem when it happens.
Trump was impeached twice by the House but found no guilty of any crime by a partisan, cynical, Senate. So, avoiding partisanship in instrumenting the rule of law to isolate the Executive Branch from politics is the core concern.
Under these circumstances America needs to have either a new Constitution or modify the current document without major changes to insure continuity of tradition. The President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has the power to issue orders of destruction on foreign or domestic enemies but no soldier is obliged to follow illegal orders. The problem with the scheme is twofold: In his/her dual role of Head of the Executive Branch and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces s/he wields the power to give any order and fire those who do not follow the order down to the foot soldier willing to carry the command. The second fold is in whose judgement is an order illegal? Or who is ultimately entity to determine when an order is legal or not?
The idea of legal order or not came as a result of the trials at Nuremberg after WW2 because it was used by the Nazis as defense for their actions to commit genocide. It is proposed that the principle of “illegal orders” is noble but the logic is flawed because is based on human nature being honorable.
Instead, why not restructure the current system in such a way that the power bearers have proportional participation in crime and punishment. With this in mind the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces must be accountable to both civilian law and military code of justice.
If our systems of civilian control of the military all pinnacles of powers have to be proportionality apportioned of responsibility in the process of crime and punishment of one of their own considering that a civilian crime is equivalent to a military crime and vice versa to balance the system of justice.
The House of Representatives could start the process by indicting and impeaching the President which in the military system would be equivalent to stripping him/her of rank who can then be tried by a military tribunal defended and prosecuted by a partisan Senate. A two panel of judges by docket rotation could administer the sentence If found guilty by his civilian and military peers including the harsh sentence of a firing squad or life in a military prison.
Behavioral scientists state that the fear factor is a prime modulator of conduct and this concept applies In the wild natural world as well as in our civilized societies.