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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Rule Of Law

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 05/02/18 01:46

by Dave Mindeman

Is the rule of law in jeopardy?

I really hate that this question needs to be asked but current events suggest that the threat to the rule of law is very real.

We have a portion of our country that thinks political disagreements are an argument over truth. That facts are subject to points of view. And that anything can be said without consequence.

This should be disturbing to everyone, but like everything else in this country, its right or wrongness depends on your political perspective.

We are learning how discourse can poison a society. But it isn't just rhetoric that is being destructively attacked - rather it is the very rule of law... the basis of how our government is structured.

Trump and his supporters have a united front that tells us the President cannot be guilty of anything - no matter what he says or does, his actions must be defended.

We got to this point once before with Richard Nixon in 1974 - but Nixon did not take the ultimate and dangerous course of challenging the legalities of the rule of law in that case. He resigned and allowed the political structure of this country to heal.

I do not think that President Trump is capable of that kind of very basic decency. He would rather destroy the very foundation of our democracy.

No matter what the Mueller investigation ends with, Trump will more than likely challenge it. And then what? We have a sitting President who says that their is no legal means to tell him he is wrong.

Because we are so polarized and the seats of power are controlled by just one political party, President Trump can declare right and wrong by fiat.

Since we only have a minority of representatives that still believe in a democratic republic, how can a criminal complaint or charge be rectified? What do we have left that can challenge a President who declares himself above the law?

I do not believe that we have anything to turn to. Normally, we could count on an impartial judicial system. But even that has been corrupted to the point of judges basing their decisions on party preferences.

To be sure, a challenge will be mounted to a President this out of control, but what is the remedy? It can go through the court system, but it will move to the ultimate decision at the Supreme Court. And do you have any confidence in THIS Supreme Court - or more succinctly, do you have confidence in the 5 justices that will make the decision?

The scenarios that you might decide to run through on this never end well.

Our system depends on allowing our laws to mean something. That when you do something, you get your day in court - and the most important thing about that is that you agree to submit yourself to any decision from that court.

Donald Trump seems to believe that he does not have to do that. He is moving closer to a final decision that what he thinks is best should be the final arbiter of what can and cannot be done. The nuisance of court disagreements are getting tiresome and may soon become a luxury of the past.

The evidence mounts regarding Donald Trump. He will be subject to criminal counts. But will Trump go gently into that good night?

Don't bet on it.
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