By Atty. Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
The entire world was shocked last week when an ugly incident took place in the biggest democracy when some individuals, now referred to as “Domestic Terrorists” stormed the Capitol Building, the seat of the US Congress as a protest on claims that the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump of the Republican Party, was robbed of the elections which took place last November, with the, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, emerging victorious.
During the incident which has received incessant condemnations, the rioters took over the building and caused damages to its facilities. One of them was even seen occupying the offices of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
US President Donald John Trump and a man photographed with foot on Pelosi’s desk during U.S. Capitol riot
As the incident continues to be denounced, others, have described it as an insurrection, while others said it was a coup, as it paralyzed the operation of the government. In the meantime, some have referred to it as a Trump-inspired riot because of his utterances since he lost the elections. As a result of inciting and inflammatory comments, some want the 25th Amendment to be invoked to remove the President who has less than few days to turn over to President-elect Biden, for masterminding such embarrassment to the United States, an incident described by the French President Macron as “UNAMERICAN.”
For his part, President George Manneh Weah, while in Accra, Ghana attending the inauguration of the Ghanaian President described as of concern, recent images of a mob entering and vandalizing what has come to be known as the symbol of American democracy, the United States capitol. While condemning the incident, the Liberian Leader assured Americans that Liberia still has faith in the U.S. democratic system of governance from which Liberia is modeled.
Liberia President George Manneh Weah
President Weah said he shares the sentiments of all those who have been adversely impacted by the violence and stated, “As my country’s foremost international partner, and drawing on our historical ties, Liberia stands in solidarity with the American people during these trying times.”
Furthermore, the Liberian Chief Executive also stated that he believes in the fundamental strength of American democratic institutions, and that the country still remains a beacon of hope for global democracy and governance.
On the issue of the 25th Amendment, regarding the removal of the US President, it states:
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President Pro-tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President Pro-tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President Pro-tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Today, I have decided to talk about utterances made; its power in terms of communication, especially when it concerns leaders. Let me emphatically state that with utterances made or comments to people, there is always the likelihood that the people who act positively or negatively depending on how they comprehend such “utterances or comments. “Utterances,” as it is said, is “something uttered, an oral or written statements, a stated or published expression, power, style, or manner of speaking.”
Additionally, utterance refers to the “act of uttering, or expressing by voice. The power or style of speaking. That which is uttered; especially, a word or words uttered, whether written or spoken. The act of uttering, or circulating.”
Noticeably, since the outcome of the elections, including that of the Electoral College, making the democratic candidate Bidan, as the winner, businessman-turned politician Trump continues to reject the results ferociously denouncing the results, claiming that it was characterized by fraud, something he is yet to substantiate. Interestingly, Mr. Trump started crying foul when the game had not even started. That is, prior to the polling, he alleged or claimed that there were plans to rob him of the process.
However, this piece is not to give a litany of events of the past, but to bring to focus the issue of leadership and utterances of leaders, as well as the effect on society. That is what the utterances of leaders can do to a society or the people they lead.
Advisedly, this is why it is said that leaders should be “careful and mindful of what they say and how they say it,” because if care is not taken, this could plunge the society into chaos or confusion, thus resulting to destruction or possibly deaths, as seen recently in the United States. It is believed that the mob action or act of domestic terrorism, on the Capitol was the sequel of utterances by President Trump on the elections, especially so when Congress was about to certify the results.
In all fairness, one of the problems I observed about the United States President in terms of communication, is his utterances on many issues that had not been good or healthy. I recall when the Coronavirus was reported in China, he downplayed it, stating that it was a “Chinese Virus.”
Today, this virus is taking toll of the United States. It is unfortunate that some leaders, like President Trump fail to realize or know that whatever they say is because of their status in society. It is not just about public officials, but all those who achieved or ascribed status in society, as we say in social science.
As it is said that “we learn from experience,” so should it be with what is happening against the American President about his utterances. Let leaders be careful and mindful of how they communicate to the people because if not done with maturity and civility, this could cause chaos to society, as was seen in the United States.
A hint to the wise is quite sufficient!
In Rest My Case