Woodrow Wilson Stroke

Trump With COVID 19 Creates Turmoil And Crisis, And Brings Up 25th Amendment And Succession Law

Donald Trump, having contracted the COVID 19 Virus, creates turmoil and crisis, and brings up the 25th Amendment of 1967, and the Presidential Succession Law of 1947.

Trump has been reckless in NOT promoting face masks and distancing, particularly at his close up rallies, but also in the Oval Office and at other White House sites, and his family refusing to wear masks at the Presidential Debate last Tuesday was totally irresponsible!

Trump should be sidelined for a week or more if he has a mild case, but if severe, it creates a real crisis, that requires the 25th Amendment to be invoked, and brings up the Presidential Succession Law, passed by a Republican dominated Congress in 1947.

If Trump is unable for a period of time to perform his duties, then Vice President Mike Pence can take over as Acting President, as George H. W. Bush did in 1985 when President Ronald Reagan had cancer surgery; and twice under President George W. Bush, having colonoscopies, Dick Cheney was briefly Acting President.

It should have happened when Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981, but it was not invoked.

Were Trump to fail to survive, Mike Pence would become President, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be next in line, followed by Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The fact that Pelosi is 80 and Grassley 87 is alarming, of course, and right after them would be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is 56, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin who is 57.

Whatever one’s feelings toward Donald Trump, we should all hope for his complete recovery, but it certainly upends the Presidential Election of 2020, and makes the likelihood of a Vice Presidential debate next week less likely, and would seem to lead to the cancellation of the two remaining Presidential Debates, which really should not be occurring after the disastrous first Presidential Debate, in any case!

Time will tell of course, never a dull moment!

Finally, it is truly ironic that the news of Trump having COVID 19 occurs on the 101st Anniversary of Woodrow Wilson suffering a paralytic stroke in 1919, five months after contracting the Spanish Flu Virus while at the Versailles Peace Conference in France after World War I.

Wilson was never as energetic after suffering from the virus, and it seems to have undermined his case for the Versailles Treaty. And once he had the stroke, his wife ran cabinet meetings, and Vice President Thomas Marshall and the American people through the news media were NOT kept informed about his condition, and we had the longest period of incapacity of any President, lasting until he left office 17 months later in March 1921.

Joe Biden Needs To Agree That He Would Step Aside If Unable To Handle The Presidency, Unlike Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Ronald Reagan

We have had three circumstances where a President was unable to handle the job due to health issues, but refused to step aside.

Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in the fall of 1919, and was basically incapacitated for the remaining year and a half of his Presidency, but refused to resign, and his wife conducted cabinet meetings.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had congestive heart failure in 1944, and should not have run for a fourth term, but did anyway.,

Ronald Reagan had clear cut dementia, noticed by 1986-1987, but his wife Nancy and his top advisers covered for him in his last years in office.

Also, Donald Trump clearly has signs of mental deterioration for anyone who wishes to be honest.

And now, Joe Biden has what some people think are early signs of dementia, but not clear cut at this point.

We are likely to face a situation where either Donald Trump or Joe Biden will likely be President in the next term, but might not be able to finish the term.

It is sad but reality that Donald Trump would never resign if he was incapable of doing his job, but Joe Biden needs to be willing to step aside if his early signs become more evident during a future Presidency.

Some would say we have the 25th Amendment to allow for the Vice President to be “Acting President”, but that is more useful for physical ailments than mental ailments.

Looking back, Reagan was the first President under the 25th Amendment situation, and now Trump, both of them the oldest Presidents in office.

Joe Biden, or even Bernie Sanders, would be easily the most advanced in age, and while the 25th Amendment could be used, it does not seem adeqate if mental deterioration is present.

If anything, this situation that we are now presented with is an argument for Joe Biden to pick the best possible Vice President, who could be fully ready to take the oath of office if Biden, at some point, could not handle the job of President.

95th Anniversary Of Woodrow Wilson’s Death: The Decline In Historical Reputation, Although Still In Top Quarter Of All Presidents

On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson, who had been in retirement only for nearly three years, died in his home, the Woodrow Wilson House, in Washington DC, at the age of 67.

Wilson had never fully recovered from the massive stroke he suffered on October 2, 1919, and he was unable to gain support of the US Senate for the Versailles Treaty and American membership in the League of Nation that he had fought for when he attended the Peace Treaty negotiations in France, the first President to travel overseas as America’s diplomat.

Wilson had accomplished much domestic legislation that was memorable, including the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the first federal labor laws.

But his record on racial segregation was horrendous, and he opposed the woman suffrage movement for a long time. He also presided over massive attacks on civil liberties during the First World War, totally intolerant of dissent.

And his mission to the Versailles Peace Conference ended in failure, as America did not join the League of Nations, and ratified its own peace treaty with Germany and the other nations on the losing side of the war.

Wilson’s reputation for his accomplishments kept him in the top ten of all Presidents for many decades, but lately he has come under fire, and his spot in the Presidential polls of scholars has declined. He is now out of the top ten at number 11 in the C Span Presidential Poll of historians conducted in 2017, after having earlier been number 6 in 2000, and number 9 in 2009. The American Political Science poll of Political Science professors had pegged Wilson at number 10 in 2014, and in 2018, he slipped to number 11, the same as the most recent C Span poll.

The troubling part is that Wilson fell behind Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson in the recent polling, and is only 15 points ahead in the C Span 2017 poll over number 12, Barack Obama, just as he left the Presidency.

So do not be surprised that Wilson will likely slip to number 12 in the next polling, with Obama surging ahead of him, as Obama looks ever better in comparison to Donald Trump, who ended up at the bottom of the APSA 2018 poll as number 44 out of 44.

Troubled Second Terms Of Presidents Common Theme

Sadly, it is much more likely that a second term in the Presidency will downgrade the historical image of that President, no matter how successful he might have been in the first term.

Below is a list of second term Presidents— including those who succeeded to the Presidency during the term, and then were elected on their own—who faced adversity big time in that last term in the Presidency, indicating the negative developments.

Thomas Jefferson—-The Chesapeake Affair, and the Embargo Act.

James Madison—The War of 1812, and burning of the White House and the US Capitol by the British.

Abraham Lincoln—Assassinated within six weeks of starting second term of office.

Ulysses S. Grant—-Exposure of Credit Mobilier Scandal, and the Panic of 1873.

Grover Cleveland (non consecutive terms)—Panic of 1893, Pullman Strike, Cancer surgery on the President’s jaw in secret.

William McKinley—Assassinated after six months of his second term in office.

Woodrow Wilson—-Controversy over Versailles Treaty and League of Nations, the Red Scare, and the stroke which paralyzed him in his last 18 months in the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—-Split in the Democratic Party over the Supreme Court “Packing” plan, attempted “Purge” of Southern Democrats, Recession of 1937-1938, and controversy over isolationism and World War II.

Harry Truman—After finishing the term of FDR, facing the Second Red Scare and the Korean War controversy.

Dwight D. Eisenhower—The Soviet move into space with Sputnik, and the U-2 Spy Plane Incident with the Soviet Union.

Lyndon B. Johnson—The escalation of the Vietnam War, and the invasion of the Dominican Republic, both highly controversial.

Richard Nixon—The Watergate scandal and the move to impeach, and the resignation.

Ronald Reagan—The Iran Contra Scandal

Bill Clinton—The Monica Lewinsky Scandal, and the Impeachment Trial.

George W. Bush—The Hurricane Katrina disaster, and the Great Recession.

Let us hope for better fortunes for Barack Obama in his second and last term!