Prompt 096: Presidential Resignation
96. President Richard Nixon was the only President to ever resign from office in 1974 after he was implicated in the Watergate Scandal. How might you have felt back then if you'd voted for Nixon? Do you think a similar incident could happen in this day and age? Why or why not?
I doubt resignation from that office will ever happen again. The current sitting president has set a precedent (wait... Yeah, that's what I meant) that outrageous behaviour, obvious duplicity, outright lies, emolument, close to 200,000 preventable deaths via a public health menace, incomprehensible blathering, stoking of religious prosecution and race hate, blatant sabotage of public services, ridiculing people with physical disabilities... None of these things - either alone or in combination, apparently - would be sufficient to encourage his resignation.
Of course, it didn't start with him (I can at least be objective enough to admit that, though I still find him to be likely the absolute worst president in my lifetime). I would be remiss had I not mentioned that war crimes haven't been prosecuted either. Not just the current sitting president. I can go back as far as the president I most remember: Bush the first. Pretty much every president since then has committed war crimes, has appointed and promoted those who have done war crimes, and nothing has been done in the way of consequences. Congress hasn't pressed charges for war crimes on any of them.
People think that perjury or "lying in court" is the worst crime ever. That seems like the only crime that Congress feels like "conducting a hearing" or "making an inquiry" about. Compared to fabricating a cause for war, or bombing innocents with drones... Really, is lying such a big deal? People think Clinton's a snake for lying about having "sexual relations with that woman." But that's not as big a deal as NAFTA and what that had done to foment inequality in the US, and across the world.
The current president isn't anything more than what the presidents from the 70's onward allowed to happen. They allowed the political class to be bought off by the financiers, placing the priority of their personal fortunes above that of the economic, social, and even spiritual health of the nation they professed to govern. You really can't lay all the blame on the shoulders of the current president: the latest iteration of a political machine that's been churning since before I was born.
The phrase, "You know you can do better," seems to have been rendered impotent by the political class. Resignation just won't happen.
Maybe Nixon was just a trigger. After he resigned, the politicians all convened and agreed that they would always find a way to allow the true insiders to never go under again. Because since then, I really can't recall any major political scandal, any war crime, being punished. Hell, Nixon was to be implicated on espionage against the Democratic Party. But nowadays the two parties are so much alike (in deed, while not in words) that it's like the pigs and the humans shaking hands at the end of Orwell's "Animal Farm."