Does Trump Even Want to be President??? Chapter One: Assault on the First Amendment

I really wonder if the man wants the job. By all rights he should not have won the election (the people didn’t elect him, anyway), and it was clear from his initial reaction that he didn’t expect to win. He made ludicrous promises during the campaign with which he seems intent on attempting to follow through, despite the fact that some are blatantly unconstitutional. Is it because of his fundamental lack of understanding of how government works, or does he just want to be fired? Either way, we’re in for a rough ride.

Along with all the furor over the recent immigration ban related to its targeting of countries not correlated significantly with violence and the fact that the odds are astronomically high against one becoming a victim of terrorist violence perpetrated by a foreigner is the US, the ACLU alleges that the order directly violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. Read their arguments here. (https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/well-see-you-court-why-trumps-executive-order-refugees-violates-establishment) [It is also worth mentioning that the immigration order has been viewed as a recruiting boon by extremists worldwide, and that the uncertainty created by the order negatively impacted world markets.)

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The order may yet be demonstrated to be an open violation for the constitution in court, but never one to hedge his bets, Trump has gone forward with another proposal that seem even more certainly to be a violation. It seems that President Trump wants our Countering Violent Extremism efforts to be re-focused – and re-named – to focus exclusively on Islamic extremism. To quote the president, this would be “dumb,” considering that Islamic extremism has not been the primary precipitant of extremism or terrorism in this country. (That dubious honor goes to right-wing nationalism.) Not only will this shift in focus miss the majority of potential terrorists in the US, but putting the focus squarely on one religion can hardly be perceived as anything but the government showing bias against a specific religion.

But wait, there’s more! President The Donald also wants to make it feasible for churches to get directly involved in politics by “destroying” laws that prohibit them from doing so. These laws exist in part to prevent religious organizations from having undue political sway. It clearly violates the spirit of the “wall of separation” described by Jefferson when referring the the establishment and free exercises clauses of the first amendment. If a religious group has too much influence then the government can end up beholden to them – or vice versa – and individual religious freedoms will be eroded as a consequence. If one religious sect curries favor with the government then it becomes and easier matter to have religious dogma made into law.

This is a very brief accounting of this administrations issues with the constitution. If civil liberty is something that you care about, I highly encourage you to donate to the ACLU, or to any otehr local or national group dedicated to protecting civil liberties for ALL Americans though legal action.

 

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