Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Trump going public does not make his corruption right

In one of this last Sunday morning’s news programs, South Carolina Republican voters were interviewed about their views of the case for impeachment. I was shocked by one voter’s opinion: that Trump’s asking for foreign assistance with his re-election campaign was OK so long as he was public about it. There are two things here that should cause bipartisan concern.

One is that it is plainly unconstitutional. From Article I Section 9 of the Constitution: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Congress has not granted its consent and my guess is that they are not about to do something to put our national well-being in the hands of a foreign State - such as Ukraine or China.

The second issue is the deeply flawed logic. Trump is on record for claiming he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters.” Does Trump’s going public mean that his shooting somebody is OK?

Trump is trying to make “corruption” a new normal and thereby excusing his own nefarious acts. That bugs me. Here is one reason why.

I served in the U. S. Army for three and a half years (1963–1966) including two tours in the Far East. I would have recited this Oath of Enlistment.

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Today I could not honestly take that oath. You see, in the age of Trump “support and defend the Constitution” is fundamentally at odds with “obey the orders of the President.” Whoever holds public office cannot in good conscience support the Constitution and defend the President. The evidence of his corruption is just too broad and deep. Trump’s acceptance of emoluments originating both here at home and abroad is unconstitutional. His pathological lying (12,000 and counting) makes any of his orders immediately suspect.

It’s time to revisit an anthem from another time of crisis for our nation. Stephen Sills (then of Buffalo Springfield) penned these lyrics (with a change from me in italics):

There’s something happening here
What it is is perfectly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

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