Opinion | USA 101: the rule of law trumps the rule of the ruler
November 8, 2018
The morning after November 6: Still sitting in the Oval Office is a president who views laws as a barrier to his power, a challenge to get around them or claim he can bend the rule of law to his benefit. He brought with him to the White House this scofflaw attitude, rooted in his business experience. His midterm election promise to reverse the 14th Amendment is only one case in point.
Throughout his life as an heir to a fortune which he nurtured into a greater fortune with a family run real estate enterprise, Donald Trump only needed his simple command to rule his business. Any challengers were to be hit back harder than they hurt him. For him, as expressed in interviews , fear is his power. His reputation was not good in the real estate field, already filled with con artists and puffing sales people and he shrugged off a long list of suits and bankruptcies as just another cost of doing business. He survived claims of fraud and misdeeds by settling disputes with money, as he did in the Trump University case or his problem with infidelities and abusive behavior with women.
When he became president, he tried to run the White House with the same attitudes and ethics as he had run his business. His TV reality show and real estate hawker mentality, his frequently uttered lies and exaggerations continued. He arose to political power by leading causes like birtherism, claiming Obama was an illegitimate president because he was born in Kenya, contrary to overwhelming evidence. This appealed to many who resented that their preservation of ethnic and racial power was constrained by the rule of law, political correctness (AKA civility), and the Constitution. Later he was claiming he was above the law because of his position as president. He asserted he could not be subpoenaed to testify in a criminal case and he could pardon himself.
He has made promises that would challenge the very supremacy of the Constitution. In a last minute midterm election promise, Donald Trump said he would sign an executive order to overturn the 14th Amendment. It guaranteed a person's children born or naturalized in the US would be US citizens. With a stroke of a pen signing an executive order, he proposed to change the constitution. He would destroy this odious birthright citizenship. It was obviously a promise made to appeal to his white nationalist base. If he had the power to change the Constitution by executive order, then he could also take action against his critics, the enemies of the people, the free press, and keep on going, until the rule of law, the Constitution, was not worth the parchment on which it was written. To keep some wannabe despot, king , or dictator from altering that fundamental document from which all laws flowed, the Constitution made itself very difficult to be amended, fortunately for democracy. "Amendments must be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures."
Subject to interpretation, the application of some Constitutional provisions are altered. However, the 14th is one of the most unambiguous amendments ever written. "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside" He was trying to pull off another con, counting on the ignorance of his devout followers. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com.
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