An impeachment conviction might have brought a degree of justice and felt good, but it would have only delayed addressing the totality of the problem. We should not be taking for granted the potential for the return of an authoritarian leader for the Republican base, and we should have a sense of urgency to prevent this. It will be dependent on the success of the Biden administration, and also on whether strong conservative voices will rise from both inside and outside the Republican Party to rise above the bigotry Trump so deftly manipulated. If this occurs, some of the very legitimate anti-government anger of Trump’s more persuadable voters could dissipate and move away from Trump and towards a more rational Republican Party or whatever replaces it.

On top of that it will be necessary to curb presidential powers so that the ability Trump had to bring us to the brink of martial law on January 6 will not be available to any future president. If you don’t believe we were close to martial law, read The War After the Election. The article also contains legislative proposals to prevent a future president from having such powers; as well as a strategy to hold Trump accountable post-impeachment with a censure, perhaps in conjunction with section 3 of the 14th Amendment (which would prevent him from running for office again). This would only require a few of the seven Republicans who voted to convict regarding impeachment to vote to censure, as this approach would only require a majority, not the 2/3 supermajority that impeachment does. This strategy is actually politically possible and I am continually updating it along with other ways to curb excessive presidential power as events evolve in The War After the Election [].

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