Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Trump Wants To Trash The Constitution By Denying Rights

Fascist dictators (like Hitler and Mussolini), Communist dictators (like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot), and tin-pot dictators around the world have all had one thing in common -- they gave rights to only those they liked, and denied them to all others.

As the tweet from Donald Trump above shows, he would like that same right of dictators -- to decide for himself who deserves the rights enumerated in our Constitution, and who doesn't deserve those rights. He wants to deny the rights under the law for undocumented immigrants in this country. And if he can deny rights to them, what is stopping him from denying rights to other persons or groups?

Fortunately for us (and everyone in this country), the Constitution of the United States of America is stopping him. It is the Constitution that guarantees our rights -- and it guarantees those rights to citizens, documented immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and to foreign visitors in the United States. The Supreme Court has decided that is true.

Just look at the language in the Constitution.

* The First Amendment protection of political and religious freedom are granted to "the people".

* The Fourth Amendment protection of privacy and liberty are granted to "the people".

* The Fifth Amendment due process rights are granted to "persons".

* The Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights are granted to "persons".

* The rights of criminal defendants are granted to "the accused".

Note that none of those rights are restricted to only citizens. You might say that the authors of the Constitution meant for the words "person" and "accused" to refer only to citizens, but you would be wrong. The framers of our Constitution were intelligent men, and they respected the meaning and power of words. If they wanted those rights restricted to only citizens, they would have said so.

In fact, they did restrict two rights to only citizens -- the right to vote and the right to run for federal office. No one can do either of those without being a citizen. But all other rights belong to everyone -- citizen or not.

Trump has not read, doesn't understand, or doesn't care about our Constitution. He has shown us that he admires dictators (Putin, Erdogan, Duterte, etc.). Now he shows us he wants to be a dictator, or at least have the power of a dictator -- and he's willing to trash the Constitution to get that power.

He should be ashamed of himself. Unfortunately, he has no shame -- and he has no moral or ethical sense.

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