Resignation is the easy way out

Tucker Ward, Staff Reporter

Residents of DC sit facing the White House on November 7, 2020, when major news outlets called the election for President-elect Biden. President Trump has since promoted conspiracies about election fraud, including in remarks at a rally that incited violence against the Capitol on January 6. Now, several Trump officials are resigning, citing President Trump’s role in the violence. (Photo by Sequoia Wyckoff)

On Wednesday afternoon, we saw one of the worst attacks on American democracy since our nation’s founding. 

The insurrection came as a result of years of President Donald Trump fueling white supremacy, extremist nationalism, and conspiracy theories. He directly put the lives of every congressperson, member of the capitol staff, and many others at risk by encouraging election fraud rumors and calling for this attack. 

After the horrific events of January 6, many government officials called for the invocation of Section Four of the 25th Amendment. This section allows for the immediate removal of a sitting president, deeming them unfit to hold office by the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet. Current Vice President Michael Pence would then assume the presidency until Trump had the opportunity to defend himself before Congress, which would then vote to uphold or strike down the cabinet’s letter.

In the days following the attack, three of Trump’s cabinet members stepped down: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. They join the nine other administration officials who have done so.

While they are showing that they cannot work under an administration that allows insurrection and domestic terrorism to occur, it is by no means an act of bravery. By stepping down, these cabinet members are avoiding their duties in voting on the 25th. 

Cabinet resignations at a time like this are acts of cowardice and self-preservation. If they truly wanted to show that they do not support the sitting president, they would hold their office and use their constitutional powers to remove a threat to American democracy.

There is a select group of people who can use this power to protect us from further domestic terrorism attacks. By stepping down, they are telling the American people that they are incapable of fulfilling their duties in serving our nation and defying a violently oppressive tyrant.

A motion was introduced to the House on January 11 that would call for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, but Republican Representative Mooney objected and delayed it. Many Republicans have once again shown loyalty to President Trump over the duties of their office.

Resigning shows a partisan loyalty and the prioritization of their own careers over the American people and democracy. If the remaining cabinet members are loyal to the nation they work for, they will not resign; instead staying and, if the time comes, voting in favor of United States citizens and democracy.

Opinion articles in The Lasso reflect the opinion of the writer(s). They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Lasso Editorial Board or of George Mason High School.