In the People's Interest

The erroneous assumption of presidential infallibility


Many natives of the pacific island of Tanna (formerly New Hebrides) in the Pacific believed that the recently deceased Prince Phillip was god-like. There is speculation that Prince Charles may be the next incarnation of the islander’s deity.
Many of the Jan. 6 rioters and their supporters have indicated that the 45th US President was likewise divinely chosen to the office and is therefore infallible. His claim that the 2020 election was stolen must therefore be true. What else would motivate the Jan. 6 rioters to a frenzy of desecration, destruction and killing other than that they were fulfilling the will of their deity? Forty-three
US Senators, including Montana’s junior senator, obviously hold that conviction. Why else would these senators declare the 45th’s innocence after he substantially incited the riot? Their divine ruler could obviously do no wrong. Daines’ claim that a former president can’t be convicted of crimes committed while in office if the senate trial is held after the defeated incumbent is replaced
is beyond ludicrous. That renders a significant time at the end a defeated president’s administration to commit criminal acts without threat of conviction and sentencing.
The revolutionary war was a contest between loyalists who wanted rule by the divinely sanctioned English monarch and the patriots who wanted rule of law under a constitution. Our constitution provides means to check mistakes of fallible presidents and all 46 have been fallible.
The erroneous assumption of presidential infallibility seems to have taken substantial root during the 1980s during the term of the 40th president, again somewhat during the 2000’s under the 43rd, perhaps by some early in the term of the 44th but seems to have ballooned under the 45th. Can this unconstitutional trend be reversed without another, hopefully nonviolent this time, revolution?
Max Deibert

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letter to the Editor 5/2/21

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