The Constitution Is Not A “Terms of Service” Agreement

Thursday, the twice impeached, anti-Semitic, racist former president was indicted by a grand jury called together by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. This is the first time in our history that a former President of the United States was indicted. As of this post, the specific charges are unknown, something to remember amidst all the pro-Trump blather about how unjust the indictment is to the former president. A grand jury of ordinary citizens of the state of New York found that sufficient evidence exists to conclude that there is probable cause that a crime (or crimes) was committed. Trump will be given all due legal protections and is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the unanimous vote of a jury of his peers. While historic, this indictment is no different than that of any other citizen in our country. Keep that in mind when listening to the hyperventilating MAGA politicians and their hyperbolic accusations amplified by the court-proven liars on Fox News prime time talk shows..

It is the reaction of the MAGA politicians, probable 2024 presidential candidates and Republican members of the House of Representatives and Senate that really worries me. Obviously, Trump is stronger in his control over the Republican Party than I thought he was, but time will tell whether he keeps control in the coming months. But their reactions, statements and actions show that the majority of national Republican politicians are firmly in the Trumpist camp, even as he threatens “death and destruction” if indicted. I find that dangerous. (The Trump campaign put out an email where six governors, 26 Senators, 64 members of the House including the Speaker, and ten state Attorneys General stated their solid support for Trump following his indictment.) Whether or not Trump continues as the center of attention or ends up as a has-been, Trumpism, MAGAism or what I prefer to call it, authoritarianism, is the bedrock philosophy of many in the current MAGA Republican Party. Let me explain.

Many Republican leaders did not wait to see what the charges against Trump are before protesting his indictment in vile, radical and un-American terms. Their support is unwavering and full-throated. This deep support is for a man that attempted to destroy the Constitution and to stage a coup. (I feel confident that there are more indictments in his future.) No Americans who call themselves true Americans should in any way, shape or form support a coup. They took an oath to the Constitution, not to one man. Unfortunately, too many politicians seem to equate their oath of office “to support and defend” the Constitution with that of the terms of service on an electronic device app. In their minds, their oath seems to be just another box to be checked in order to get the job. They are cult-like in their loyalty to Trump and his authoritarian ways. Remember that last week the cult members attacked Mr. Bragg for his indictment of Trump when Trump was not even indicted. Trump declared he would be arrested on a certain day and all hell broke loose. He wasn’t. But he did make a pile of money for his so called “legal defense fund.” Apparently, to them, swindling people who can ill afford to pay for the legal fees of an alleged billionaire, when he was not even indicted, is okay. However, upholding the Constitution is only relevant when convenient.

Here is what I am most concerned about, with or without Trump. In a 16 March 2023 campaign video allegedly outlining his national security policies as president, Trump said the following (the transcript and capitalization are courtesy of the campaign):

“We have never been closer to World War III than we are today under Joe Biden. A global conflict between nuclear-armed powers would mean death and destruction on a scale unmatched in human history. It would be nuclear Armageddon. NOTHING is more important than avoiding that nightmare. We will avoid it. But we need new leadership.

Every day this proxy battle in Ukraine continues, we risk global war. We must be absolutely clear that our objective is to IMMEDIATELY have a total cessation of hostilities. All shooting has to stop. This is the central issue. We need PEACE without delay.

In addition, there must also be a complete commitment to dismantling the entire globalist neo-con establishment that is perpetually dragging us into endless wars, pretending to fight for freedom and democracy abroad, while they turn us into a third-world country and a third-world dictatorship right here at home. The State Department, the defense bureaucracy, the intelligence services, and all the rest need to be completely overhauled and reconstituted to fire the Deep Staters and put America First. We have to put America First.

Finally, we have to finish the process we began under my Administration of fundamentally reevaluating NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission. Our foreign policy establishment keeps trying to pull the world into conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia based on the lie that Russia represents our greatest threat. But the greatest threat to Western Civilization today is not Russia. It’s probably, more than anything else, ourselves and some of the horrible, U.S.A. hating people that represent us. It’s the abolition of our national borders. It’s the failure to police our own cities. It’s the destruction of the rule of law from within. It’s the collapse of the nuclear family and fertility rates, like nobody can believe is happening. It’s the Marxists who would have us become a Godless nation worshipping at the altar of race, and gender, and environment. And it’s the globalist class that has made us totally dependent on China and other foreign countries that basically hate us.

These globalists want to squander all of America’s strength, blood and treasure, chasing monsters and phantoms overseas—while keeping us distracted from the havoc they’re creating right here at home. These forces are doing more damage to America than Russia and China could ever have dreamed. Evicting the sick and corrupt establishment is the monumental task for the next president. And I’m the only one who can do it. I’m the only one that can get the job done. I know exactly what has to be done.”

Scary stuff. American citizens are a greater threat than Russia or China? Dissolve NATO? Allow Russian aggression against Ukraine to stand? Eliminating the Department of State, the defense establishment, the intelligence services and any member of government that does not kneel to Trump? His messianic message is that only he is worthy of leading our country. This is exactly what authoritarianism looks like.

The speech is also full of code words that resonate with white supremacists, Q-Anon believers, neo-Nazis and others that would violently destroy our diverse society. One example is the reference to “the greatest threat to Western Civilization.” This is the same phrase used by the authoritarian leader of Hungary Victor Orban and of indicted war crimes fugitive and child kidnapper Vladimir Putin of Russia. Their view, and those hard core followers of Trump, is that western civilization means preserving a society that is of western European descent, white, Christian, heterosexual and living in a nuclear family where the husband is in charge. If you are black, brown, an immigrant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, single parent, LGBTQ, or any of the “others,” then do as many Trumpists have said, “go back where you came from.” They do not want you in America.

Do not think that this speech was a one off. During his campaign rally in Waco Texas last weekend, he doubled down on all of it, almost verbatim, and adding names of people that need to be removed. In a stunt right out of the authoritarian handbook, Trump began the rally with an announcer intoning “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and place your hand over your heart for…”Justice For All” featuring President Donald J. Trump and the J6 Choir.” He then stood at faux attention with his hand over his heart while the J6 Choir began the Star Spangled Banner interrupted at various times by Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Thus, he has usurped our national anthem for personal monetization (one can buy the recording on line) and glamorized insurrectionists. The J6 Choir members are convicted insurrectionists and coup plotters serving time in jail. While the song played, giant video screens played recordings of the insurrectionists attacking the capitol. Glorifying violence. Calling for violence. The actions of the rioters are not considered thuggish or criminal. Pay attention to the language. The MAGA believers think that violence is justified, even patriotic. It will only increase as Trump and his lackeys in the Republican Party continue to incite it. All of it shows yet another sign of the authoritarian roots of the MAGA philosophy.

Whatever happens to Trump himself, there are just too many Republican politicians that have unabashedly embraced the tenets of his political movement. The movement’s efforts will to be create chaos, uncertainty and violence in order to sow doubts as to the efficacy of our democratic Republic. The chaos is added to by a refusal to raise the debt limit, by Trump’s speeches and willingness to provoke “death and destruction”, by Congress attempting to interfere with the Judiciary as they are with District Attorney Bragg, by the continued undermining of democracy through the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen, by the refusal to address gun safety legislation, by the apocalyptic language regularly used, and, a big “tell”, as they use the phrase “Biden Regime.” By dehumanizing those not in the cult, romanticizing criminals as “patriots” and using language that sounds like President Biden is a dictator, they are attempting to create a scenario where they and their followers can step in and restore order through an authoritarian leader.

Take these efforts seriously. Those pushing this agenda have no use for the Constitution. It is merely a prop. There are far more good people in these United States that believe in the system and believe in their fellow Americans regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation or any other factor. The good guys will win. But only if we pay attention and make our voices heard.

One Comment on “The Constitution Is Not A “Terms of Service” Agreement”

  1. says:

    Thank you, Tom.  I always look forward to your posts and learn from them.

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