Wrapped In a Flag, Carrying a Cross

By Jason Taylor

There is a reason we have a minimum age limit for the office of president. The founders wanted to assure that a grown-up adult person would fill it. Unfortunately, they made no prohibition against emotionally disturbed individuals who behave like children.

Call it pandering, call it ignorance, call it whatever you like, but many are missing two big pictures here.

First and most important — Trump is controlling the media. He is smart enough to know that if he keeps tweeting controversial statements, that all the media will publish it, discuss it, etc. If you want Trump to stop playing this game, we, the media, have to stop playing his game.

Second, Trump is the ultimate alpha male. He must be right all the time, etc… He’s like a dictator, if he doesn’t like what you say, he wants to silence you. That’s why the cable news channels, especially the morning shows, are his puppets. They talk out against him one day and he will send out a series of tweets. Faux News loves to rail against President Obama but if you say something against Trump, Sean Insanity wants to ban you and the WH Press Office to Siberia. It’s pretty funny watching how they cozy up to him.

Many in media seemingly like easily digestible, overly simplistic catch-phrases that describe hugely complex and multi-layered issues, so here’s one you’re going to love: post-Constitutional. Get used to it, because in spite of Trump’s and the GOP’s professed love for the document, most everything they propose of any significant moment is going to, at the very least, rub up against its protections and proscriptions.

You may even wish to add post-democratic to your lexicon, as it will prove equally handy. Good luck with this guy, for unless you understand that he will require an entirely new dynamic and approach to reporting what he does, we all will be truly lost. That’s something that you should have realized long ago — long before he ever became a reality beyond the television show where he learned his stock in trade and half country learned to think him a buffoon.

The comparison of Trump’s rise to Hitler and his brown shirts has been made thru out his campaign and one would always think well the German people turned a blind eye because they didn’t know everything their new government was doing. We don’t have that excuse. We know 24/7 what he’s doing and what his supporters are doing to scare and hurt people. We can’t tune him out. We shouldn’t tune him out. We the People must keep a vigilant eye on how he will go about destroying our democracy and plundering our nation’s wealth. He will find a way to hurt those who disagree with him and that is scary especially with god knows what is really in the “patriot” act. But the prospect of hiding and letting him and Congress run roughshod over decency and democracy is far scarier.

I actually don’t believe his tweet is based on a lack of knowledge of the constitution at all. It is setting us up. He is saying that some forms of presently protected political speech “must be punished”. He suggests that maybe it could and should lead to “loss of citizenship.” Note that both burning of the flag and citizenship as irrevocable are based on Supreme Court decisions. The latter appears to have been hotly debated across a ten year period with the court reversing itself in that time. The President-Elect will be putting someone on the Supreme Court to make it a conservative majority. His tweet can be viewed as hyper-nationalism, similar to the suggestion of a Muslim registry. He is speaking this on the same day he’s announcing dates for his new “Thank you” rally tour. This is not a coincidence in my opinion. It is tactical.

We must strongly consider the possibility that these planned rallies are not simply to inflate Mr. Trump’s ego as some have suggested. He’ll use them to fan the flames of his base with this kind of White Nationalist rhetoric because an autocrat in a democracy needs a fervent base to protect his rule as he takes apart the country’s freedoms. All while appearing to be a defender of its symbols. In other words, he needs a fervent base until he doesn’t anymore.

And then we are here:

The First Amendment is, in my mind, what makes America, America. It’s pure progressive idealism has been mimicked, but never truly reproduced. It is the bright light that allowed our country to overcome much of its darkness, some of which embarrassingly enshrined in other parts of the same document. In my opinion, there is nothing more patriotic than exercising the rights granted in the First Amendment, and that includes burning an American flag to make a point. The fact that we are allowed to show our uncensored rage at our own country is one of America’s greatest strengths. America is not just the home of the brave. America is brave.

Mr. Trump made “Make America Great Again” his campaign slogan, but he clearly knows nothing about what has made America great. If he plans to take away my First Amendment rights away from me, he may as well take my citizenship too, because at that moment the America I love, the great America, will be dead.

One comment

  1. Ditto. Wish I could watch the news more, but my blood pressure probably can’t handle it (hard enough hearing faux news on full volume all the time–good thing there are over-the-ear headphones–worth every penny). Glad I’m not on Twitter, either–can’t stand the hashtag crap in the first place and there’s really nothing interesting to read that can’t be misinterpreted a dozen different ways. I’m guessing that’s the best reason he uses Twitter–so if he says something easily misinterpret-able, he can come off as being victimized when he says “hey, I didn’t mean that, what are you talking about? you must be the one…” and whatever.

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