In a meeting on Capitol Hill with Republican leaders, Donald Trump was asked if he would stand up for Article I of the Constitution. According to many accounts, he stated that he would stand up for not only Article I, but also the missing Article XII, not to mention number 8 through 11. We can maybe excuse this faux pas as akin to saying, “I support that 110%,” which everyone with a brain knows is a mathematical impossibility. Perhaps, I am giving him too much leeway here, but the evidence points to Trump being truly obtuse when it comes to the Constitution.
Most people can be excused for their ignorance/stupidity. But, if you aspire to the office that requires you to take an oath supporting something, one would think that the person had a modicum of understanding of that “something.” Sadly, when Khizr Khan stands before the DNC with a copy of the Constitution in his hand asking a very legitimate question of Donald Trump, Mr. Khan is more of a Constitutional patriot than the Cheeto Jesus.
Likewise, when an obscure Marquette student asks Trump at a town hall telecast on CNN what the three most important roles of government are, scoring 33% is not good enough to cut it as President. At a minimum, one knows that education and health care are traditionally not natural federal functions. It is the whole theory behind opposition to Common Core and Obamacare!!! National security? Yes- he got that one right. But how about foreign relations, or interstate commerce, or any other of the enumerated powers in Article I? Perhaps education and health care are in the mythical Article 12.
A perfect example of his idiocy was the suggestion at one point that he- the master deal maker- would lower the national debt by negotiating with creditors to give them pennies on the dollar; in other words, use the same business strategies he employs in bankruptcy courts to screw investors and vendors. But even if he did violate the Constitution and do this, it would wreck the world economy. The very reason people and countries loan the US money is because it is a low risk investment. They expect to be repaid in full. It is why bonds have such low interest rates- it is a safe place to park your money. Obviously, Trump failed Economics 101 besides Constitutional Law 101.
Since at least 2010, we have heard a chorus of true conservative voices yelling displeasure at Obama’s disregard of the Constitutional checks and balances and separation of powers. But, what is so different between those complaints and what Trump has said, other than the party affiliation? Let’s look at some Trump solutions to problems:
- he proposed deporting the American-born children of illegal immigrants;
- he considered shutting down mosques;
- he suggested a database of Muslims;
- he suggested deporting those believed to be illegal immigrants without due process;
- he endorses extensive campaign finance laws that would render the First Amendment obsolete;
- he suggested taking away Second Amendment rights for those on the no-fly list, again without due process;
- he had advocated that Muslims not be permitted reentry into the US;
- he supports eminent domain and supports the Kelo decision;
- he has threatened to open the libel laws to make it easier to silence dissent;
- he has suggested that the families of suspected or actual terrorists are legitimate targets for criminal action or worse;
- he has intimated at a judiciary subservient to him, not independent;
- he has revoked the press credentials of many outlets because of perceived negative coverage;
- he has criticized Pamela Geller for sponsoring a “Draw Mohammed” contest and criticized the French publication Charlie Hebdo;
- he has supported a ban on assault weapons and has called for longer waiting periods;
- he openly embraces Vladimir Putin and his authoritarianism as well the Chinese response to protests in Tiananmen Square.
All of these actions indicate either an ignorance of the Constitution at best, or a disdain for the Constitution at worst. On very rare occasions, I agree with Obama, but when he says that Trump is unfit to be President, score one for Obama.
One cannot tell if Trump is ignorant, stupid, or just bats%[email protected] crazy. Take your pick, but each one is equally scary. The argument is that he would surround himself with the best minds, but in reality all the best minds are abandoning and distancing themselves from him. His cabinet is likely to resemble the RNC convention’s list of celebrities- C and D-list stars. And if his campaign is any indication, even if he did draw some decent people to his cabinet, he would not listen to them anyway. Trump either follows no advice, or that of the most sycophantic advisers.
In reality, Trump is not only a Constitutional ignoramus; his ignorance involves other areas as well. What is disturbing is that after seven or so years of hearing conservatives complain about Barack Obama expanding the powers of the Executive Branch and ignoring the separation of powers, the Republican nominee for President exemplifies Barack Obama on steroids in this area.
Conservatism, I thought, was not a bloodthirsty lust for power, but a very healthy respect for Constitutional government where each branch knew their role and carried out that role. Obama’s minions were not worried about Bush’s Executive power grabs; they were worried that he was winning. If anyone believes that Trump will return the Federal government and the Executive Branch to it’s proper constitutional roles, then I have a bogus university and some beachfront property in Kansas for them.
Ignorant? Stupid? Ill-informed? Intransigent? Take your pick- they all apply to Donald Trump.