The Need for a 28th Amendment on Abusing Social Media, Lying, and More

The Need for a 28th Amendment on Abusing Social Media, Lying, and More

The last Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1992, long before the rise of social media, and before the occurrence of the Trump Presidency of Lies. (Oddly, this 27th Amendment, about Congressional salaries, was proposed in 1789, and took 202 years to pass.). The more relevant 25th Amendment, passed in 1967, about the Vice President responding to Presidential disabilities, has proved ineffective in motivating a very supposedly moral VP from responding to moral violations in the category of “You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!”

Social Media did not exist in 1967, nor did full-time partisan Cable channels, which cover the President’s every word and appearance. These have changed the entire political system, and deserve to be responded to by a new Amendment.

The violations by a President to be curbed start with Daily insults of great Americans, world leaders, other politicians, the Justice Department, and the free press, using Social Media, currently Twitter.

The other violations, enhanced by the media, are constant Lying. Trump has over 4,000 fact-checked lies, and is on a pace to exceed 10,000 during his first term. Remember when President Bill Clinton was Impeached for A SINGLE LIE? Obviously, this is far greater than ever conceived of during our government of the 229 years of the Constitution. This is enhanced by constant media availability and coverage, and has to be controlled. This is no way to lead the greatest economy, the strongest military, and the most technologically advanced country in the World.

Rather than relying on the hand chosen VP or the toadying, obeisant Cabinet, to act as in the 25th Amendment, the new one must REQUIRE and INITIATE impeachment proceedings by the House and Senate for easily determined violation of political norms.

As an example, I would recommend that lies in a single Presidential term be limited to 1,000. And insults in media also be limited to 1,000 in a Presidential term. Also, attacks on the free press, such as FAKE News, should be limited to 1,000. And attacks on the Justice system, such as WITCH HUNT, should be limited to 1,000. Also, acting like you own every American industry, and sports team, and athlete’s contract, would be limited to 1,000 bossy and ridiculous incidents.

In cases of lies and insults directed at members of groups that have been historically devalued and discriminated against, when a President insults their members, it is much more serious since the consisten set of racial, religious, or gender insults accrue and are deeply felt by the entire group.  Hence, such insults or lies should count at least five times as much as those to individuals.  I did not initially realize this, but Trump’s actions this week brought forth this necessity.  When a President insults doubly sensitive people, such as a minority workman, they should count ten points.

The other aspect of Presidential inaction is temporal, again required by Trump’s actions.  For every month a President delays denouncing a racist or misogynistic group, it should count ten points.  Trump would lose 120 points for taking an entire year to denounce racist demonstrations.

Finally, attacks by a President on counter demonstrators or the press that result in violence, should cost that President 100 points.

The amendment could be called the “Impeachment by a Thousand Lies and Insults” Amendment. Trump likes to say that people internationally are laughing at us. This Amendment will produce international mass hysterical laughter. I am not responsible for such consequences of suggesting this Amendment, since it is a necessary act of Patriotism.

Unfortunately, insults and lies cannot be controlled during campaigning, when voters decide on Presidents, nor can insults and lies in private be covered.

Other Amendments should be formulated to prevent the Concentration in Presidential Hands of Military Power, of Trade Tariffs, and of Secret, Lone meetings with International Enemies.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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