Let’s Have a Public Debate Now, For and Against Replacing Trump by Pence

Eric Zuesse

Here is an argument for replacing Trump by Pence.

Here is an argument against replacing Trump by Pence.

The public needs now to become engaged in this debate, because otherwise the only people who will be participating at all in this incredibly important decision as to whether to replace Trump by Pence, will be the members of the Congress and of the Administration, neither of which body is trusted by most Americans.

It’s now, or never, for this issue to become debated by the public. That public debate has started, with those two articles. It will either be joined now by the public-at-large, or else the existing, and widely distrusted, power-structure will make the decision with no real public participation in it. Is that the way a ‘democracy’ would function? Is it the way a democracy would function? Would the public, in a democracy, keep quiet while elected and unelected officials of a distrusted federal government make the decision as to whether the public needs to be even consulted about this matter, and whether to replace Trump by Pence until a new U.S. Presidential election determines, with the public’s input, whom the the next occupant is — and the public not be consulted before then about whether to replace Trump by Pence during that interim?

What would a real democracy do, in such a situation? Would it simply let the distrusted Government replace Donald Trump by Mike Pence — and with no input from the public? Why? Would Mike Pence be a better President than Donald Trump is? Or worse? That’s what now needs to be debated amongst the public, and not ONLY amongst the members of the Congress and of the Trump Administration (as now is being done). If the public debate doesn’t start now, then the ‘solution’ will be an imposed one, by a government that the public overwhelmingly do not trust. If the public care so little as to passively allow that to happen, then they don’t care about democracy at all — because that wouldn’t BE democracy.

When I originally posted this article at washingtonsblog, the first reader-comment said “The debate needs to be about when we start jailing some of these people for aiding and abetting terrorists and the enemies of this country both foreign and domestic.” So: that person doesn’t want there to be a public debate right now about whether or not to replace Trump by Pence.

The second one said “It doesn’t matter, because the President is only the face of the U.S. regime, not the leader.” So: that person also doesn’t want there to be a public debate right now about whether or not to replace Trump by Pence.

The third one said “with Pence — things would either be the same or else get worse.” However, that person didn’t present a reason for that opinion.

If this is the way that the public will deal with the issue, then the public will continue to ignore the issue until the dictat comes down, from the widely despised rulers, announcing their decision about it. Steve Bannon has allegedly said that the likelihood is 70% that the decision will be to replace Trump by Pence. He also said that the 25th-Amendment route — the allegation that Trump is incompetent — will be the route they will probably use, in order to ‘reach’ that decision. Apparently, the public, in any case, don’t really care much whether the President is Trump, or else Pence. So, the dictatorship will probably encounter no significant opposition — not even in words, much less in any deeds.

Somehow, I find this situation exceedingly depressing. Not only is America a dictatorship, but it’s one where the public don’t care whether it is or not.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • LostInTheStars

    If Trump were to be replaced by Pence, most of my Democratic friends would celebrate, give a huge sigh of relief, and most likely quit watching or reading the news for a while. They are nuts, because – with Pence – things would either be the same or else get worse. I say forget Russia-Gate and forget impeachment. Forget the 25th Amendment. Forget armchair analysis as to whether or not Trump is mentally ill. Devote attention to rebuilding the Democratic Party – or else to building a third party. Begin by moving towards a rapprochement with the working class. As it has existed at least since the election of Bill Clinton, the elitist Democratic Party is not worth saving. It is nothing more than a politically-correct Republican Party. It is a facilitator of corporate greed and endless war. It has lost interest in telling the truth.

    • Eric Zuesse

      Although you don’t deal with the article’s question (to replace or not to replace Trump by Pence), you make clear that you dislike both of them. But so do I — and so what? Do you want or not want to replace Trump by Pence, and why?

      • LostInTheStars

        I see no sense in replacing Trump with Pence. Pence is a hard-core right-wing neocon and a cultural warrior. I don’t know what Trump is (except for being a jerk), and I’m not sure he knows what he is either. If Pence becomes president the Democrats will foolishly think they have won. But at least they might stop wasting everyone’s time with their insane talk about Russia-Gate. I think the Republicans also want Pence to be president. Why give them what they want?

        As to a public debate. We are all powerless. It doesn’t matter what we think. There are forces in Washington, D.C. that are beyond our control. So why bother. I’d rather spend my time trying to build a new progressive coalition that rejects Clintonism and neoliberalism.

    • nomadd

      good one-

      ‘It is nothing more than a politically-correct Republican Party’
      perfect description

  • kimyo

    If the public debate doesn’t start now, then the ‘solution’ will be an imposed one

    the solution will be ‘imposed’ regardless of the presence or absence of ‘public debate’.

    ‘public debate’ overwhelmingly chose affordable healthcare. ‘public debate’ overwhelmingly chose no more middle east wars, no more trade agreements and no more banker bailouts. ‘public debate’ overwhelmingly chose labeling of gmo foods. ‘public debate’ overwhelmingly chose sanders over clinton.

    is it by chance that you always pick the least effective approach to solving america’s problems?

  • Sharon Marlowe

    It doesn’t matter, because the President is only the face of the U.S. regime, not the leader.

  • MrLaughingWolf

    The problem I’m seeing with this talk of replacing Trump is that I didn’t vote for Pence. I voted for Trump. Pence was chosen as the VP to sooth the GOP hardliners. That was and is his only function. Shutting up the people who think they own this country because they happen to be Party bigwigs.

    Many of the claims being made against Trump are easily disproved as being nothing more than sour grapes from the DNC dirty deeds squads and their media accomplices. The Russia collusion for example is based on the Dirty Dossier that the DNC hired foreign nationals to compile which is essentially a soft porn google search tarted up with Russian names and locations. The second part is the alleged hack of DNC servers that no US law enforcement or intelligence agency has been able to examine. We have to take the words of the DNC and their operatives for both events being true.

    Then there is the media that has an approval rating that is as comparably low as congress’ approval rating. The media that threw all in for Hillary and repeated every single lie the DNC put out about Trump because he dared to run as a Republican against their anointed queen.

    Let’s not forget that the DNC has been pitching a collective hissy fit since the election ended. They had all their little sub groups out stomping around with their funny little hats and their signs screaming all the usual propaganda slogans. They also had their military arm ANTIFA out causing problems too. How many assaults have there been on people just for wearing the wrong color hat?

    IMO the conversation needs to be about who exactly is a traitor to this nation and the Constitution. Who is in violation of their oaths of office by crafting laws that violate the first through tenth amendments? Who is calling for more and greater violations of our standing immigration laws?

    The debate needs to be about when we start jailing some of these people for aiding and abetting terrorists and the enemies of this country both foreign and domestic.

    • Eric Zuesse

      I agree with you. Except with your punchline: “The debate needs to be about when we start jailing some of these people for aiding and abetting terrorists and the enemies of this country both foreign and domestic.” You ignore the necessity for the public to debate whether or not to replace Trump by Pence. That’s the subject of this article: Is that public debate essential now? You’re not addressing that question.

      Do you want the debates such as you propose, to be instead of, or in addition to, what this article is about and proposing — the public debate about whether to replace Trump by Pence?

      In other words: your comment wasn’t relevant to the question that is here proposed, but does seem to favor the position, in that public debate, which would be opposing the replacement of Trump by Pence. (However, even on that, you’re not clear.)

      • MrLaughingWolf

        I really don’t see what was unclear about any of that unless you start playing “It depends on the meaning of if.” games.

        The entirety of the ‘need to replace’ Trump comes from the sour grapes of the DNC and it’s pet media and RINOs. The same people who are using every and any means at their disposal up to and including libel, slander, and violence to effect their regime change because Hillary lost.

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  • This SiteUsedToBeGood

    Eric Zuesse, I wish this site would stop hosting your trash.

    • cettel

      How are my articles ‘trash’?

    • wunsacon

      Sure, I find myself quietly critiquing the articles of every author on WB. So? Do I write better? No. Not without taking a month to write a few paragraphs that I’m not embarrassed about.

      Well, how about you? Do you write articles that might interest WB readers? If so, let’s see them. Do you recommend WB publish the work of other authors? If so, who?

      Regardless of your answers, don’t shit on people’s work. Offer constructive criticism or say nothing at all, to avoid wasting the authors’ time that could instead be spent productively reading legitimate reader replies, questions, etc.

      • sometime

        hey….your above and that you responded to…did not shit on any writer…it said get your trash off this site. trash is just that! Trash….nothing further to say

  • ICFubar

    “…it matters not who makes the laws.”

  • sometime

    what’s the point of this article at all? Trump has not been impeached or challenged by the US Congress for his job. Until he is…he is the President of the US.

    • cettel

      The “point” of it is news that the press aren’t reporting but that needs to be reported in order for the public to be able to understand what the real agendas are, and not merely to be uninformed of that by the ‘news’ they are reading, such as is the case.

  • Army of Addicts

    The separation of church and state is one of the essential foundation stones of the United States, and without it we would not enjoy many of the freedoms we share today, far from it.

    We should give no consideration whatsoever, to anyone who we believe might work towards as president, the fusion of church and state to any degree. It should be viewed as a traitorous act. We can’t afford to compromise.

    Mike Pence seems to fit that description. In that case, it’s a no-brainer.

    • Jed Grover

      The same is true for the separation of corporate and state. Inverted totalitarianism with an authoritarian feudalistic twist is far from democracy. Its enslaving and demeaning.

      • cettel

        The aristocracy demands to rule. But if they can’t, they want the theocracy to rule, because the clerics are especially dependent upon and greatly respect the aristocrats. Throughout the Ages, this has been the situation.

    • cettel

      I agree, and I can’t think of any counter-argument to what you have just stated. This is the reason why I find terrifying the apparent swell of propaganda favoring “impeach Trump!” or “Use the 25th Amendment!” In our ‘press’ or ‘news media’ I see lots of articles advocating both forced removals of Trump, but all avoid discussing Pence’s record as a public official, which is far longer than Trump’s, and, to me, even more frightening than Trump’s yet is. In fact, almost all of them fail even to mention Pence’s name. That’s a ‘news media’? That’s a ‘press’ institution instead of a propaganda-institution?

  • jimmyk520000

    The best bet is tossed the clowns in Congress Mitch and Paul are two jerks that need to go.

  • thomas h

    Nobody is getting replaced.

  • Carl_Herman

    Hi, Eric. Here’s what I see:
    1. Behind every question, we need a shared understanding of definitions and enough facts to discuss. In this case, “President” is key. The definition is something like an elected chief executive of federal law enforcement, along with public duties as the “face of the nation.” The actors posing as presidents fail to meet this definition because presidential elections fail to meet the definition of “election” due to unaccountable electronic voting machines and several other areas of .01% and corporate media criminal election fraud. “Presidents” are also not what they represent because they fail to enforce our most important laws, including lie-started and illegal Wars of Aggression, bankster looting, and lying about damn-near everything of public interest.

    2. The challenge of asking a direct question, such as you do with whether Pence should replace Trump, is to welcome alternative frames of the topic. In this case, there’s a legitimate rejection of the two choices you present with the facts that both persons are War Criminals as the topic that should be the focus of conversation.

    3. So! In response to what you ask, I say that Pence should not replace Trump, but both should be replaced as obvious War Criminals. Of course, this admission/discovery of fact changes everything about the current political process, as all other “official” leader candidates are equally guilty of voting for and funding such illegal wars for decades. That topic, of how the public should respond to these facts, is an entirely different topic than the specific question you ask 🙂

    • cettel

      Carl, as always (or nearly always, if not 100% always) I agree with your conclusions, but here I take issue with your argument. Though I agree with you that “Pence should not replace Trump, but both should be replaced as obvious War Criminals,” I would replace your “but” by “and.” However, I don’t even think that “both should be replaced as obvious war criminals” is practically speaking relevant here, because that outcome won’t even possibly happen, but either Trump WILL finish out his term, or else Pence WILL complete his term; and, the only real question here is, therefure: Which outcome would be preferable to the other? One of those two WILL happen; and, so, I think that whether or not the public (here and in whatever other honest news-media exist in this country) express in a public forum (such as in the reader-comments here) their views regarding which of those two options they prefer, is important, even though we live in a dictatorship where the people in power (the billionaires and their armies of agents) will ignore the public’s opinions (or at least the opinions they disagree with) on this as on any important public-affairs topic. I believe that simply to make a public record of the public’s views on this crucial issue is important. Of course, I very much hope that polling-organizations will publish polls on it, but I suspect that they won’t do that unless the momentum to oust Trump prior to the end of his term has already become so big as to be already unstoppable. So, I am trying to get something on the record about this, earlier than that.

      • Carl_Herman

        I appreciate your intent, Eric. The “masters” behind Trump and Pence will use their puppets as they see best, and manipulate public opinion through corporate media with their own “polls.” Do you remember the polls during previous primary seasons that during live presidential candidate debates showed Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich as winning or strongly placing, then the following day corporate media “reporting” they only won ~2% of the votes?

        This is our past, present, and future until enough agreement is withdrawn from “chosen puppets”, and with enough bite that leads to .01% arrests.

        And again, you should ask whatever you see as most important. Perhaps you can get something covered in a total number of outlets to be helpful for public engagement 🙂

    • Jill

      I agree with Carl. Both Trump and Pence are war criminals and as such, both should be impeached. If you are asking whether Pence is the more terrifying president my answer is I’m not sure. As a “Family” member, Pence is going to institute the policies of his fellow Family member, Clinton. He is much more competent that she is and would be likely to succeed quickly in all his plans. However, Trump isn’t in charge of anything and the people running him have the same goals as Pence. They are just as likely to act like Pence and they can get-r-done if they want to. In effect, Pence policy is already in place under Trump. The policy is larger and deeper than either man. Both are tools for its implementation.

      I am frustrated that those of us who say we have to try something different altogether are automatically rejected as not answering the question. We are answering it. There is deep illegality in our entire system and we need to go a different way to deal with it, period.

      • cettel

        So, you want President Paul Ryan. Well, I don’t.

    • nomadd

      yes. indict the entire system.
      i used to think pence as president would be worse than trump. but trump is so incredibly reckless -has proved to be so incredibly reckless and deleterious to life on earth – i’d be willing to see him impeached. maybe set a standard for impeaching war criminals and war mongers. impeach trump. impeach pence if he is trumps replacement. keep on impeaching these bastards til they get the message. let these elite psychopaths know that those of us americans who are still human have had enough.

    • nomadd

      ‘The moron Pence is a danger to all of humanity. Pence is not a patriot
      protectiong us, he is an idiot who should be impeached for his utter and
      total irresponsibility before he destroys us all.’

  • Bob

    Trump was never a card-carrying member of the political elite, who commit the crimes, know the crimes being committed, aid and abet the criminals, or help cover up the crimes. Thus, both parties want him gone. He cannot be trusted with some of the secrets. Pence is a different story. Anyone thinking he would be an improvement needs his head examined.

  • diogenes

    No, let’s play pin the tail on the donkey. That’ll be even more fun and accomplish just as much.

  • LostInTheStars

    I think the general public doesn’t know enough about Pence to make an informed judgment. I am shocked at how little the vast majority of people screaming for impeachment actually know about Pence. Impeachment or removal using the 25th Amendment would be an emotional catharsis for mainstream Democrats who are angry Hillary was defeated. But neither action would accomplish anything – just as protests and p*ssy hats accomplished nothing right after the November election. The right-wingers are in control now, and they would still be in control if Trump were gone. Why traumatize the country with an impeachment when it wouldn’t make things any better? The only winners would be CNN and MSNBC.

    Before his election Trump seemed a much better choice than Pence, but those days are gone. Either Trump lied or else the Deep State now owns him. Choosing between Trump and Pence is like choosing between lung cancer and liver cancer. The general public won’t make that decision and neither will congressional Democrats, who don’t have the votes. Tump will be removed if and only if the Republican establishment thinks it will be to their advantage. I’m sure they are weighing their options.

    We value your insights and your well-documented research, Eric. I read everything you write. But it is time to move on. Thanks for interacting with us.

    • Eric Zuesse

      I agree with you.

  • nomadd

    ‘The Trump administration is threatening nuclear war against North Korea, escalating the assault on health care, demanding new tax cuts for the rich, waging war on immigrant workers, and eviscerating corporate and environmental regulations.’

    why would i be against impeaching him? impeach pence to, as a willing accomplice to this travesty.