Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trump Undermines Own Legitimacy By Conduct

Donald Trump
I'm back from my long weekend, and it's just in time for one of the most interesting weeks in politics: Inauguration Week.

This year, January 20 falls on a Friday, so we get an entire week of hype before Trumpmageddon 2017. At noonish on Friday, Donald John Trump will raise his right hand and John Roberts, a man criticized by Trump, will ask him to repeat after him the Oath of Office.  It won't matter what he says because, legally, at noon on January 20, Barack Obama will no longer be President of the United States and Trump will.

It will be yet another peaceful transition of power between political parties but never perhaps between two political figures like Obama and Trump.

Obama, the first African-American to serve as President of the United States, will be handing off to Trump, a 70-year-old former reality show host and business man who successfully navigated a populist wave for an electoral vote victory.  

As Trump did for several years to Obama, he himself is fighting claims of illegitimacy to hold the office.  The loudest voice is civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis.  The man who felt the blunt force of a sheriff's deputy's nightstick on Bloody Sunday in 1965 told NBC's Chuck Todd that he did not see President-Elect Trump as legitimate due to concerns over Russian hacking of our electoral system.  Trump fired back with sophomoric tweets using untrue rhetoric to sully the reputation of Lewis.  It backfired.

I don't agree with John Lewis in this regard.  I think Donald Trump was elected President of the United States by the laws of this land.  I think he stands as a legitimate holder of the office.  He, however, is threatening his own legitimacy by his actions.

How can a man swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States when he clearly doesn't even know what the very first First Amendment of that document says or means?  It's the First Amendment that guarantees my right, your right, John Lewis's right to protest.  It's the First Amendment that guarantees my right, your right, John Lewis's right to speak out.  It's also the First Amendment that guarantees the right of a free press and media to write about it.  

Thank YOU John Lewis for once again having the courage to speak out and stand up.  You are one of my heroes.  

As for Mr. Trump, I suggest he do some cramming on what it means to be President and take that Oath of Office.  Pocket-sized Constitutions are widely available.  One can even find the Constitution online with a little less time on Twitter.

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