Friday, February 10, 2017

Trump Challenging the Very Heart of American Democracy

Continuing on a theme from yesterday, two items today demonstrate the extent of the disrespect this administration has for democracy and the rule of law. Trump might be the most dangerous threat to not only our collective futures but the tenets laid down by our founding fathers. The two most important are the central precepts of separate of powers and checks and balances and the clear intent to stop government officials from using public office to enrich themselves (a real concern after what had happened in France not long before the Constitutional Congress convened). Trump and his administration appear unable or unwilling to respect the separation of powers between government and the courts, church and state and the presidency and Congress. Worse still, they have started an assault on the media that seems intent on weakening the fourth estate beyond recognition. Finally, is the growing realization that fears about conflicts of interest are even worse than we might have imagined, as the administration might be willing to air their crony capitalist intentions for all to see.

The first news item today relates to that last point, as building on Trump’s own tweet excoriating Nordstrom for dropping his poorly-selling daughter’s line, surrogate Kelly-Anne Conway openly advertised for Ivanka during a television appearance on Fox News (WP). She was condemned by the press and rebuked by the House Oversight Committee Chairman, who just happens to be a Republican. It is just the latest example of an administration comfortable rewarding their friends and going after their enemies in ways that push the conflict of interest intentions to their very limit, comfortably gelling with early indications that foreign policy might be run based on the business interests of the family (Salon).

The second item, of course, was the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the Trump Administration motion to reinstate their travel ban (Salon) – and the reaction of Trump and his surrogates. Apparently, his legal team argued that Executive Orders are not subject to judicial review, an absurd opinion that challenges the separation of powers and system of checks and balances established to ensure another monarchy would not be democratically established within the U.S. Trump would clearly love to take his seat at the throne of a new American kleptocracy and is already laying the groundwork for that very threat. Luckily for us, the Democrats appear to have finally developed a backbone after years of bending over backwards to stay “moderate” in a country that has shifted radically to the right and, combined with the work of everyday citizens, committed members of the media and powerful liberal organizations, might just be able to stave off his dreams.

Extraordinary results from the latest Public Policy Polling show a country that is already decidedly anti-Trump. While his most fervent followers, which one should remember are only 25 percent of voting age Americans, continue to buy into his narrative and support his policies, a growing majority have turned against him, with an astounding 40 percent already backing his being impeached!  

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