Trump’s Anti-Constitutionalism

              I’ve said before that, although this site will try to be balanced politically, Donald Trump poses difficulties in maintaining that balance.  On a site whose very title indicates its commitment to constitutionalism, it is hard to defend Trump’s anti-constitutionalist behavior throughout his presidency.  There are political defenses of Trump’s policies.  To be perfectly honest, I generally prefer Republican policies, ie. deregulation, lower taxes, etc.. I also support the kinds of judges that Trump appointed while in office. I think yesterday’s SCOTUS decision against Texas’s ridiculous lawsuit illustrates well why these judges are good. Much to Trump’s apparent surprise, these judges were classified as “conservative” partially because they’re willing to follow where they think the law requires them to go.  Unlike the ridiculous 2020 Republican party Convention which adopted no platform, they are not “conservative” merely because they support a Republican president. I also think that Trump’s foreign policy has been, thus far, underrated. His unexpected execution of Iran’s top military person, his facilitation of the peace deal between Israel and some of the Arab states, his dealings with North Korea, and even his more aggressive posture toward China were all signs of real success.  have Republican friends who tried to convince me that the goodness of Trump’s policies, both domestic and foreign, outweighed the badness of his behavior and of his inattention to the constitutional dimensions of his office.  But, ultimately, he failed at the most important role of the President: maintaining the health of the constitutional order over which he presides.  Trump, as his sane supporters will admit, has failed at this crucial part of his job.  Precisely because he’s a demagogue, he cannot fulfill that role.  A demagogue’s authority comes through division rather than unity.  If they don’t transition away from demagoguery and toward the unifying authority of the Presidency, a demagogic President cannot possibly fulfill their constitutional responsibility.  The very first Federalist paper concentrates on how to control and prevent demagoguery. For the founders, that’s one of the crucial challenges for a democracy. The Constitution exists partially to prevent it. Trump is almost the definition of a demagogue. He has spent all of his presidency in what amounts to a state of war with blue America.  He uses the language of “us”(Red America) vs. “them” (blue America).  He emphasizes their divisions rather than their unity.  He builds his support and power on those divisions.  The rallies throughout his presidency allowed him to continue his demagoguery; he literally had to go outside the office to continue it.  He’s already shown evidence, however, that he plans to join the office to his demagoguery.  Holding the Republican Convention on the White House lawn and, post-election, making demagogic speeches from the presidential podium in the White House indicate that he would, in his second term, transition the demagoguery into the office itself.  Given all of that, it’s hard to be a site dedicated to constitutionalism and defend someone who seems to want to destroy the norms that uphold our constitutional order. For instance, every President prior to Trump realized that it was better for the health of the regime that he concede to the winner. That norm is more important than any policy on which he might differ from the apparent winner. The unsettled state of the country right now is Trump’s responsibility by choosing not to concede. Trump doesn’t seem to recognize any good outside his own.  Even if we were to admit that he’s concerned with the good of the people, that’s still a very particular people rather than the people as a whole.  After all, blue America is as much a part of the American people as is red America.  He refuses to concede the election because he will do anything to “win the war” for his side.  He doesn’t recognize the good of the nation as a whole independent of his supporters.   

4 thoughts on “Trump’s Anti-Constitutionalism

  1. First of all, this might sound petty, but do you know any other word besides “demagogue” or some derivative of it?

    Are you familiar with the actual definition of the word? According to Meriam-Webster: demagogue– a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.

    Please tell me what false claims and promises has Trump made to make him a demagogue?

    What promises has he made to gain power?

    As I have previously stated, if he was a demagogue, would he not have more public support; or are you saying that those who support him have “drunk the Kool-Aid” and are incapable of their own thoughts?

    You and so many others simply throw out insults without support. How do you possibly feel that this is balanced?

    You have previously stated that you are “aggressively moderate in most things but constitutionally conservative.” Although you partially explain this in this post, it still is unclear. To this reader, you are not conservative nor moderate in any sense.

    If there was fraud in an election, which there obviously was in this election and probably has been in those of the past, the American public needs to be aware of it, and it needs to be corrected.

    Healing and unification of the nation will only occur when both sides, or more aptly all sides, can understand that there needs to be compromise and compassion. This is not what is occurring in our nation especially when one side is calling for vengeance.

    I hope that your site can understand this concept and be a uniting site versus the vitriolic site that it seems to be.

  2. First of all, you asked for a definition of demagogue. I provided a definition in this post. It’s a definition that also explains why he’s not popular with all of the people. Demagoguery involves appeals to the people mostly on the basis of division. There’s “us”, i.e. the people at his rallies, and “them”, i.e. the people who look down on his rallies. He has been demonizing liberals since the beginning of his 2016 campaign. Second, why is it so “obvious” that there was fraud in this election. Trump’s claims about fraud are one more piece of evidence concerning his demagoguery. He is making a false claim and because he keeps repeating you believe it. That is one more part of the definition of demagoguery.
    Much of the post that you’re responding to answers the questions that you ask in your comment. Just because you don’t like my answer doesn’t mean I haven’t answered them. As for balance, I explained that. We are a site dedicated to constitutionalism. We can’t look away as this man does such damage to constitutionalism. That we disagree about other things but agree about Trump might tell you something about Trump’s threat. Please do send me links to people who defend Trump on constitutional grounds? Rather than on policy grounds. Most defenses concern the goodness of his policies and/or the supposed existential threat that Biden poses to our regime. Democrats have won before. The whole system didn’t collapse when they did. I hardly think that Joe Biden, a political moderate, who faces at most a divided Senate will be able to do so much damage. As I said in my post, I like some of Trump’s policies and I like the judges he chose. But, the fact that judges, even conservative ones, are nearly unanimous in rejecting these frivolous election lawsuits should tell you much about Trump’s constitutionalism and commitment to the rule of law. Are they all just out to get him? That this site which similarly concerns itself with constitutional questions would reject him should also not be surprising.

    1. I am sorry but you apparently do not understand anything that I have said and further I do not believe that you want to understand any of my viewpoints.

      Your comments demonstrate that you are not wanting to interact in meaningful intercourse or even discourse. It is apparent that you have your viewpoints and that they are dogmatic.

      I would respond to the points of your response, however, I think that they would be met with the same condescending and elitist tone that you have continually displayed.

      Good luck and God bless. You have lost me as a subscriber and those that I have suggested view your site.

  3. I must have missed the part where you clearly indicate how he exhibited anti-constitutionalist behavior throughout his presidency. Can you provide clear concise examples corroborating your story? Also, I have questions, you stated that “for the health of the regime” (I would have used a different word here, it sounds like you’re stating all other presidents had an authoritarian presidency), “he should have conceded”, however, people had questions about the integrity of the election, and it was disregarded. Why? It wasn’t disregarded when Al Gore thought there was integrity issues. It wasn’t disregarded when Hillery Clinton thought there was integrity issues. Why now? I typically think, if you don’t want to find the truth then there is something to hide. How did he undermine “maintaining the health of the constitutional order”? You state he is a demagogue then contradict yourself with “…is almost the definition of a demagogue”, which is it? The definition of demagogue, (not your personal one) is, – a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument, applies to current POTUS and just about every political person ever. Not the best argument. How do you encourage unity when one party calls the other party supporters, “deplorables, domestic terrorist, and indicates that over half of the US citizens should be reprogrammed”? Other than opinion what facts can you provide? Speculation is just fiction.

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