With Trump’s ongoing attacks on a Hispanic judge, the press and the idea of separation of powers, experts are growing increasingly alarmed that a President Trump would erode, if not flat out eradicate, the rule of law in the United States:
“This is how authoritarianism starts, with a president who does not respect the judiciary,” Mr. Post said. “You can criticize the judicial system, you can criticize individual cases, you can criticize individual judges. But the president has to be clear that the law is the law and that he enforces the law. That is his constitutional obligation.”
Trump already considers himself above the law. Give him executive authority and he will absolutely consider himself untouchable. He would use the immense power at his disposal to crush every journalist and judge that crosses him. And considering how out of control he would be, that would be a lot of people on his enemies list.
The Constitution was created so we would not have a king with unfettered power but Trump’s behavior and statements suggest that’s exactly how he would act:
Beyond the attack on judicial independence is a broader question of Mr. Trump’s commitment to the separation of powers and to the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution. Randy E. Barnett, a law professor at Georgetown and an architect of the first major challenge to President Obama’s health care law, said he had grave doubts on both fronts.
“You would like a president with some idea about constitutional limits on presidential powers, on congressional powers, on federal powers,” Professor Barnett said, “and I doubt he has any awareness of such limits.”
Nixon infamously said “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” Trump would be the living embodiment of this deeply flawed and unconstitutional belief. The chances of him not using the Oval Office to make himself and his sycophants billions at the expense of the public is nonexistent. We would have to invent new and expanded definitions of corruption just to encompass a Trump presidency.
Republicans, of course, are leaping to defend Trump. They claim he won’t be able to run rampant and that he’ll have people telling him that, no, he can’t have a Supreme Court Justice arrested for ruling against him but it’s unlikely they believe that. Rather, I fully believe that Republicans would be more than happy to allow Trump to wreak havoc as long as it benefited Republicans in the long run.
When Trump launches his assault on the press, that’s going to benefit the GOP and no one else. Remember, in the aftermath of 9/11 and the run up to the Iraq War, the press was so cowed into submission that the outlets that didn’t meekly step aside actually helped Bush lie to the American people. Imagine what Republicans could get away with if the Trump administration ignored the First Amendment and engaged in full-blown censorship?
And that’s exactly what Trump is promising:
I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Mr. Trump said in February. “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.
Republicans would very much like to have a President Trump advancing their unconstitutional power plays and then feign innocence in the next election. “Don’t blame us! It was Trump!” And at that point, the media would be too afraid to look at Trump the wrong way lest they be “investigated” for aiding and abetting domestic terrorism.
Just add this is the lengthy list of reasons a Trump administration would be the death knell of America.