Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was the greatest threat to American democracy to take place during my lifetime. The idea that fellow Americans would storm the Capitol building at the behest of a sitting president would be beyond outlandish if we hadn’t witnessed it ourselves. There is no level of spin to suggest that there are “two sides” to this mayhem, and nowhere else to pin the blame but squarely upon the shoulders of President Trump. He must go, and go now.

The 25th Amendment was introduced in 1965 because the Constitution was vague about presidential succession due to unexpected circumstances. The need for the amendment was made clear by Dwight Eisenhower’s heart attack in 1955 and JFK’s assisination in 1963, when there was no constitutionally mandated process for filling the vacant presidency.

The bar for the amendment’s invocation is high, requiring agreement by the vice president and the majority of the president’s cabinet. This is understandable, considering the monumental importance of such a move. However, it must be done. President Trump demonstrated a callous disregard for our Constitution and the electoral process, provoked an act of sedition, and did so unrepentantly. Whether he is mentally ill, an intentional seditionist, or simply not smart enough to understand the ramifications of his actions is irrelevant. He is a danger to our society like none other.

Some may argue that with two weeks remaining in his term, President Trump will pose little threat to the country, but he is still imbued with the power to pardon virtually any criminal, issue executive orders at his discretion, and command our military. He has demonstrated through his actions that he is not qualified to use these powers, and must be stripped of them before he does more damage.

Alex Salop

West Tisbury