Anarchists smashed windows and burn cars on the day of Trump’s inauguration. Two weeks later, “Antifa” rioted at Berkeley, destroying property and beating innocent people, just because an alt-right extremist was planning on speaking (Ben Shapiro has a run down of him). In the White House, President Trump ignores multiple court rulings and continues to illegally enforce an immigration ban he unilaterally implemented that is likely unconstitutional.
America, in the eyes of many, is tearing apart at the seams.
Some would blame it on liberals or leftists who are unable to accept that Trump won the popular vote. But the thugs destroying ATM machines and punching people in Berkeley weren’t wearing pussy hats or “I’m With Her” shirts. Quite probably few of them voted for a “corporatist” like Hillary. Probably few of them voted at all in a “corrupt” system.
Donald Trump should be speaking out and changing his ways. He’s the president, and he needs to take leadership.
Rather than calming the fever, however, he seems intent on raising the temperature. After seeing coverage of the riot on cable news, Trump responded with his typical all-caps bluster:
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
Only, there’s no evidence that Berkeley (or even its students) caused the riot. Possibly they could be blamed for not having done enough to keep the campus safe. (They should have created a “safe space”, heh heh.) Trump is right to be angry about what happened, but his illogical overreaction will only make the problem worse.
Which is what he wants. His fans like to see Berkeley and other entities identified as part of the liberal establishment get what they deserve. Trump knows that by banning refugees and immigrants, by making outrageous comments, by antagonizing liberals, he’s going to provoke a response by liberals that will result in his supporters hating liberals even more.
Most of the time, liberals aren’t responding violently. There have been protests. Liberals arrived at airports to welcome refugees, often carrying signs calling Trump racist or something. Trump supporters conflate the violence with the protests into a narrative of “hysteria.”
Liberals must stop criticizing Trump! Democrats must stop opposing his nominees! Stop saying he doesn’t respect women. Stop calling him a narcissist, a demagogue, a purveyor of illegal policies, or worse.
Michael Brown from Townhall writes,
All this Nazi-Hitler rhetoric is beyond insulting. It is downright dangerous and terribly incendiary.
“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?” – President Trump
Those are the words of the President of the United States, not some random protester with a sign, not a Hollywood liberal; the words of the commander-in-chief. Downright dangerous and terribly incendiary indeed.
Donald Trump hasn’t changed his demeanor at all since winning the election, nor since being sworn in. He continues to name call. He attacks the media at nearly every public event he holds. He says the Democratic Senate is crying “fake tears” about his immigration ban. He accuses his Republican critics like John McCain of wanting to start “World War III,” even as he himself gets into shouting matches with Australia’s prime minister and saber rattles China and Iran.
And his own policies, most of all, are violating rule of law. The first day the immigration ban was in effect, Judge Ann Donnelly of New York issued an order blocking enforcement of the deportation provisions. The DHS said it was continuing to enforce the order in full. Many more rulings have been issued blocking parts of the ban since then. Many of those orders have not been followed.
Judges Allison Dale Burroughs and Judith G. Dein of Massachusetts ordered the government not to enforce any section of the ban, thus allowing refugees and citizens of the seven countries to legally arrive and enter the country at the Boston Logan Airport. Another judge blocked the enforcement of the order at Los Angeles International Airport. Trump’s administration continues to illegally enforce the order across the country.
The state of Virginia claims that the DHS is illegally enforcing provisions at the Washington Dulles Airport located in Virginia. They are suing to try to get the government held in contempt.
Some had argued that Trump’s opposition should calm down because America’s system of checks and balances will keep him in check. Now, just two weeks in, we confront the problem of what to do if Trump doesn’t abide by the system of checks and balances. The Constitution is only good as long as people respect it.
Once the government brazenly violates court orders, the system of checks and balances ceases to function. The argument that the opposition should settle things at the ballot box or in the courtroom is delegitimized when Trump shows that those systems have no power. If Trump doesn’t respect the rule of law, will others respect it?
In order to restore America’s rule of law, President Trump needs to apologize. He needs to stop abusing his power. He needs to say he’s going to follow the law and do it. He needs to comport himself with dignity and honor the historic weight of his position. For those who have great power comes great responsibility. For the good of the country and for the rights of the people, the duty is on him to act now.
Update: A judge has issued a nationwide stay on the executive order, and Trump has responded by bashing the judge: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned. When a country is no longer able to say who can and who cannot come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security – big trouble!”