As I watch the unfolding train wreck that is the Trump Administration, and talk with friends and colleagues, it’s increasingly clear that most of us are more mystified and appalled than angry. (Not that we aren’t angry…)
How, we ask each other, could anyone be so ignorant of the most basic rules that govern our society? How could someone whose background was entertainment and whose entire focus was ratings be so oblivious to massively negative public opinion? How can anyone get to the ripe old age of 70 without even a shred of self-awareness?
And of course, the recurring question: why would anyone vote for this ignorant buffoon? It’s not like his abundant deficits weren’t obvious during the campaign.
I don’t have answers to most of those questions, but I think a recent article in the Independent, a British newspaper, sheds some light on Trump’s path to constitutional crisis.
The article was one of many that attempted to evaluate Trump’s first 100 days in office; it reported on an interview with the President’s favorite source of “news.” (Note quotation marks.)
Donald Trump has blamed the US constitution for the problems he has encountered during his first 100 days in office.
In an interview with Fox News to mark the milestone, the Republican called the system of checks and balances on power “archaic”.
“It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”
Lest we shrug this off as just another “open mouth, let stuff come out” incident in Trump’s stream-of-(semi)consciousness mode of utterances, I would simply point out that everything he has done in office has been consistent with contempt for, or ignorance of, America’s charter, and his unwillingness to be bound by the rule of law–indeed, his clear lack of comprehension of what “rule of law” is or means.
I think I’m going to add a codicil to that question about American voters. Why would anyone vote for a man who quite clearly does not understand or even pretend to value the legal premises of the country he was proposing to lead–a man who is unwilling to give even lip service to the U.S. Constitution?
To date, I am unaware of any Republican criticism of Trump’s comment.
What happened to all the posturing bloviators who constantly profess their undying devotion to a constitution they clearly don’t understand? Why aren’t they registering shock and concern at the President’s airy dismissal of America’s founding document?
What happened to all those pompous assholes who whip a small copy of the Constitution out of their pockets at the slightest provocation? Where are the members of the NRA’s Church of the Second Amendment? Where are all the pious frauds who constantly promote their ahistorical version of the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty?
Surely they are all appalled. Where are they?
And a more pressing question: why are Congressional Republicans continuing to enable and defend a man who not only dishonors the Constitution by word and deed, but also poses an unmistakable threat to American democratic institutions at home and the country’s stature abroad?
Can you imagine their response if Obama had said or done any of these things?
Of course, Trump’s white. (Okay, orange, but close….)