The AIDS Presidency

Dispatched by Yoni Ariel in Israel.

Unless drastic, even unprecedented steps are taken to prevent Trump from assuming the presidency, in less than a fortnight a traitor will assume the presidency, infecting the American political system with the political equivalent of AIDS.

The latest revelations regarding the scope and aim of Russia's cyber-attack on the USA leave no room for doubt. Both American and British intelligence services, two of the Western world's best and most professional intelligence agencies have issued official reports that unequivocally prove the American presidential election was the target of an unprecedented Russian cyber-offensive.

Before going in to the details of this offensive, one point needs clarifying. The key word in cyberwarfare is warfare. This was an act of war.  

According to the reports, Putin personally ordered Russian intelligence to prepare and launch a multi-front cyber offensive against the US political system. The aim of the offensive was to try to rig the elections in favor of Donald Trump, and to erode and undermine the American public's faith in its democratic system, in order to achieve effective political subversion of the US, rendering it impotent to counter Russian aggression against US allies and their vital interests.  

The campaign welded traditional disinformation with state of the art cyber warfare capabilities. The result was a lethally effective cyberwarfare attack, which included both hacking and large scale dissemination of false information via a network of specially set up false news sites, and an army of social media trolls. The aim was to discredit Clinton, and reduce voter turnout in areas that could determine the outcome in several swing states. 

When it seemed that despite this campaign, Secretary Clinton would win, Putin ordered his intelligence organs to prepare a campaign specifically designed foment political instability. Russian intelligence had already completed preparations for launching a massive social media blitz called Democracy RIP. The aim was to disseminate vast amounts of disinformation justifying Trump's repeated claims that she had rigged the election. This is the context for those claims, and his notorious "second amendment talk". He knew that if he lost there would be this massive campaign to delegitimize the elections. His incendiary comments were part of this planned campaign to ignite strife and dissent, and possibly even civil war. 

This is why I have referred to Trump's impending presidency as the AIDS presidency. Like AIDS, which attacks the body's immune system, the cyberwarfare attack that rigged the election in Trump's favor attacked the political antibodies of the American democratic system. Just as a person infected by AIDS is vulnerable to a host of other, potentially lethal ailments, so a political system similarly infected by a political cyber virus loses its abilities to effectively ward off attempts by political bacilli to invade and subvert it.

Another reason I have referred to a Trump presidency as an AIDS presidency, is that it is highly likely to end in one of four possible outcomes, which range from bad to disastrous. These are Assassination, Impeachment, Defeat, and Secession.


I will start with defeat. The fact that Putin decided having Trump as president was a vital enough interest to risk an act of war to get it says it all. He clearly has reasons to believe that under Trump. He will be able to inflict a strategic defeat on the US, something no hostile power has ever achieved.

Next comes impeachment. This is the best possible outcome, as it is the only one in which the American political system is able to overcome the attempt to infect it with political AIDS within a constitutional framework. The danger is that if it looks like Congress is about to impeach him, Trump could take advantage of the fact that public trust in democracy and democratic institutions is at an all-time low, and attempt to become a dictator. This is Putin's ultimate wet dream, to defeat democracy itself, which he hates, despises, loathes and fears.  There can be no doubt Putin is already preparing another cyberattack to derail any possible future impeachment.

Either defeat, or impending defeat, when it has become obvious America's leader is subordinate to a foreign ruler, could trigger impeachment. If, at such a time, the President, with the help of his Russian benefactor, attempts to thwart this by illegitimate unconstitutional means, it puts the country in unchartered, very frightening waters. At such a point, some people might decide Jefferson's famous words about "the right of the people to rise up against a tyrannical government", and "the blood of patriots and tyrants is the natural manure of the tree of liberty" might apply. Given the circumstances, the A word should not be beyond the pale of the public discourse, especially  since it was originally put there by Trump himself, when he made his remarks about solving the problem if Clinton got elected by resorting to the Second Amendment.     

Such a crisis could also lead to secession. California is probably going to have a Calexit option on the 2018 ballot. If, by that time, the country is in the throes of an unprecedented constitutional and political mega-crisis, other states may follow.      

Either of these outcomes would be a train wreck from which it would take years to recover. At the moment the train is barreling out of control towards an unbridged canyon. There is however, still time to slow its momentum, and hopefully get a hand on the brakes before it goes over the abyss.   

Facilitating an AIDS presidency, in which democracy's natural antibodies are attacked and neutralized, leaving it vulnerable to subversion and destabilization, possibly to the point of secession, is another of Putin's ultimate wet dreams.  

The virus is still in its incubation period. It will only begin to infect America's body politic on the 21st of January. Until then, there is still time to neutralize it.

Two possibilities for achieving this still exist within the spirit, if not the letter of the constitution. One is for President Obama to declare the election null and void. While there is no precedent for this, it is not specifically prohibited either, since obviously the Founding Fathers could never have foreseen such circumstances. As he has to leave office on Friday the 20th of January, he would resign a few days earlier, enabling Biden to succeed him. Biden could then, in consultation with the Republican leadership, appoint a Republican as Vice President, and form a bipartisan cabinet, half Democrats, half Republicans. Such a consensus- based administration could govern for four years, until the next elections.   As part of the deal, Supreme Court nominations would have to get the approval of at least two thirds of the Senate.

Another option is to have Trump immediately arrested on treason charges. There is more than enough evidence to prove Trump and his people were in-cahoots with Russia throughout the period Putin was orchestrating and launching an act of war against America. Swearing in a treason suspect as President in a non-starter. The result is similar to the scenario previously outlined. Biden become President, and forms a bipartisan cabinet.

I realize that both these options stretch the constitution somewhat, but a stretched constitution is better than one that has been ravaged by an AIDS presidency. The constitution is not a suicide pact. Allowing Trump to enter the Oval Office would be turning it into one.

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