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HORIST: Will impeachment lead us to a parliamentary system?

HORIST: Will impeachment lead us to a parliamentary system?
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One of the great advantages of our republican form of government is that we avoid a lot of the political chaos that inflicts many other nations – especially those with parliamentary forms of government.  For more than 200 years we have generally operated with fixed terms of office.

We peacefully transition government leadership through free elections.  Our domestic tranquility was founded on the acceptance of election outcomes.  Elections to even our most powerful office – President of the United States – have been accepted even when the outcome has led to a dramatic shift in national policies – and even when the popular vote failed to produce the winner.

Many democracies operate on a parliamentary system in which elections can be required over and over again.  We have seen Israel heading into yet a third election to settle the issue of which party will govern – and who will serve as head-of-state.  In just a matter of months, Great Britain had to conduct two elections for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party to gain a clear victory – and even at that, future “no confidence” votes by Parliament can force another election.  A generation or so ago, Italy was famous for a quick succession of elections and prime ministers.

The increasingly frequent – and lower standards – of impeachment in America is threatening the very stability of our national government.  In 184 years since the founding of our Republic to 1973 only one President was impeached by the House of Representatives – and he was acquitted by a single vote.

In the 47 years since 1974 – less than the span of my adult lifetime — three Presidents have been submitted to impeachment.  President Nixon avoided the impeachment by the Democrat-controlled House and subsequent Senate trial by resigning after the House Judiciary Committee voted Articles of Impeachment.  He most certainly would have been impeached by the House.  He was accused of criminally covering up a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.  Whether he would have been convicted by the Senate is an unknown.

Regardless, the impeachment process drove Nixon out of office shortly after his Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign due to corruption charges and Michigan Congressman Gerald Ford was confirmed as the new Vice President – soon to succeed Nixon.  Had it not been for the recently enacted 25th Amendment enabling a President to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency, the Democrat Speaker of the House would have become President.  That would have turned over the Oval Office to the party that was defeated in 1972.

The next impeachment of a President occurred only 26 years later when, in 1999, President Clinton was impeached by a Republican House.  Like Nixon, Clinton was accused of a real crime – perjury.  He had lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky to a Grand Jury.  But unlike Nixon, Clinton’s actions and crime were of a personal nature – not directly associated with his office.  That is largely the reason he was acquitted by the Senate.

Now we have the impeachment of President Trump – just 21 years after the Clinton impeachment.  Unlike Nixon and Clinton, there has been no allegation of a crime by judicial standards.  It is arguable that the charge contained in the Article of Impeachment is highly subjective and political in nature.  Not a single witness testified to absolute knowledge that Trump encouraged the investigation of the Bidens FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE of gaining leverage in the 2020 election.  Without that confirmation, it is just as likely – maybe even more likely – that Trump’s request was due to the involvement of Hunter Biden with a corrupt company in Ukraine.  If that is the case, then the entire impeachment has been politically based on trumped-up charges – no pun intended.

Without getting into a debate on the Trump impeachment – that is already in full force – it is irrefutable that impeachments are happening sooner and sooner – and that the nature of the “crime” is diminishing.

From the edges of the political forum, there are also calls for the impeachment and removal of Vice President Pence.  That would result in the ascension of Pelosi to the presidency.  While that is extremely unlikely the fact that it is been proposed reveals the political nature of the impeachment proponents.  They seek to take over the White House despite the vote of the people.

Contrary to the wishes of our Founders, impeachment is being weaponized as a partisan tool.  Even in cases in which removal from office is virtually impossible, impeachments continue because they are used to weaken opponents and opposition parties in elections.  That is exactly what the Founders prayed would never happen.

This can lead the United States into a quasi-parliamentary system that will undermine the entire concept of “terms of office.”  Future Presidents may well be judged on policies and personalities.

The Trump impeachment is an outlier because it was hatched right after he was elected.  It has been a political impeachment looking for a reason.

Should this trend continue, the meaning of our elections and the stability of our federal government will be compromised.  It will refute the saying that “elections have consequences.”

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

8 Comments

  1. Kurt Walker

    I don’t foresee a change in our government system. But I do see a chance this impeachment will lead to a self execution of the democrat party. These democrat politicians, with their threats, are acting like mafia. I’m an independent and have voted both sides over the years but I will NEVER vote for another democrat. I talk to many people every day and most all of them have the same feeling. This congregation of democrats have stood before us and lied constantly. And now they expect us to believe they are doing it for US. Well, it’s not working.

    Reply
    • Waka Sasha

      Very interesting that you would liken the (socialist)democratic party to the mafia, Kurt. Because the Mumbler of the House Nancy Pelosi is daughter to the Don of Baltimore, MD. arrested while mayor. She learned at his knee the mafiosa tactics she uses to this day. Like allowing illegally elected “congresswomen” Ilhan Omar & Rashida Tlaib to remain in congress. It suits her reign of secrecy & terror tactics to have her underlings dirty. And condones & even echoes the lying of her other congressmen = Adam Schiff basing this faux election farce on his own PARODY of President Trump’s/President Zelenskyy’s phone call & Jerry Nadler passing off a FAKED VIDEO of the President as real in Judiciary & having his asinine scholars (in lieu of even ONE fact witness) discuss it as if real. Pelosi echoed the “false words” of the president concocted by Nadler. These & other dishonest tactics have marked the diminishing democrat party as mafiosa types, as you point out; and has caused the biggest #walkaway from their party in history of that movement. They would do well to clease their party of the socialists among them & try to return to the ideals of JFK & Carter’s party of yore – the party that took us to the moon & of fireside chats & solar energy. No longer are they that party anymore.

      Reply
    • Rivahmitch

      Forget “self execution”. Far better if the American people do it for them. Semper Fi!!

      Reply
  2. Poorgrandchildren

    A major source of our problems is that leftists have been successful in selling us the lie that our republic is a “wonderful democracy”. Even our 5-4 DC Supremes ruled in the Obamacare case that it is not their job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices. That is, a majority of voters are now allowed to overrule our Constitution, and our only defense is to develop the best organized mob so we can force everyone to march in lockstep with us. Since government schools don’t teach the difference between a de-mob-ocracy and our republic, see http://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic

    Reply
  3. Cheryle

    This impeachment is an atrocity. Why is A.G. Barr allowing the Democrats to continue this witch hunt. They have lied, drummed up false accusations, slandered, threatened and demeaned a standing President. What exactly does this person get paid for? And what about the Supreme Court? A normal American citizen would be sitting in prison if we were doing these things. They (politicians) are supposedly American Citizens but we continually see DOUBLE STANDARDS. Why do they commit crimes and never prosecuted for them, especially the Democrats? Why do they get paid thousands of dollars a year to sit on their duffs and do nothing while we bust our butts to make ends meet?

    Reply
  4. Daniel Mount

    Well, If the United States becomes a Parliamentary system that would be great because that will mean that President Trump would then be crowned King Donald J. Trump and good-by all you evil Democrats.

    Reply
  5. David Jewel

    Just being a bit anal retentive but somebody didn’t proof read this article. Clinton was impeached in 1999 not 1989.

    Reply
    • Joe Gilbertson

      fixed, thanks…

      Reply

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