In the United States of America our constitution outlines procedures to oust from office a president that breaks the law. This procedure has only been enacted against three presidents, none of which resulted in the required two-thirds vote in the Senate and the removal of the president from office. This republic, its system, and its constitution has never told a president to step down, and therefore we have never seen what may happen if that president refused to do so.
One has to consider who would force a president from office if an impeachment demanded it. Congress, nor the judiciary, have an enforcement agency that could march into the Oval Office and escort the president out. All enforcement power is directly under the office of the presidency.
The presidency has the executive branch which includes:
- The NSA
- The CIA
- The FBI
- The Pentagon and all the armed forces
- The SS (Secret Service)
- The IRS
- Homeland Security
- US Marshals Service
In our current administration we have seen scandals in the presidential bodyguard agency (Secret Service) allowing the president to hand pick his most “loyal” replacements. We’ve seen many high level generals, including those over ICBMs (nuclear weapons) be removed for ambiguous reasons. So again consider what would happen if a president was impeached, and chose not to resign.
It would require the Secret Service to follow the Constitution and do what the legal authority of Congress dictated. But would a hand picked force of loyalists do so, or support their “leader”? If they chose the latter, bloodshed would ensue if any other force tried.
Which other forces would move without an order from their commander-in-chief, against the commander-in-chief? Which agencies would stay with a president that would likely have staffed these agencies with loyalists? Exactly what would Congress or the judiciary do to enforce their impeachment?
Much like other elected officials that became dictators, laws would change, liberties would be suspended, and opposition would find itself under scrutiny and ouster. The media and entertainment industries would become part of the propaganda machine. Citizens would be under constant observation, and led to be suspicious of one another. The loyalist forces (agencies) would stockpile arms and ammunition to prepare for defense of power.
So as I see a growing call for the impeachment of our current president, I have to consider what would happen if it did happen. Consider, what would happen if any president refused to leave office. How quickly would that president shed the mask of constitutionality and reveal the true dictator within?