This past week, President Trump accused his opponents of “treason” because they “tried to take down” the President of the United States. By that definition, any candidate who chooses to run against him in the 2020 election could be accused of treason because they all hope to see him removed from office. Thank God we have a Constitution, and especially a First Amendment, that allows Americans to criticize not only the President but the entire government without fear of prosecution.
Looking back over his first two-and-a-half years in office, it’s remarkable how comfortable Mr. Trump has appeared with authoritarian tyrants. Whether it’s Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un, our President needs only to meet with them for a few hours in order to declare, after the fact, what fine fellows they are. After all, Putin “called me up very nicely to congratulate me on the win of the election,” and Kim “sent me beautiful letters.”
On the flip side, it’s equally remarkable how uncomfortable Mr. Trump has appeared with leaders of democratic institutions. He mocked France’s leader, Emmanuel Macron, by pointing at his low public approval numbers. He made British tabloids hum by opining that Theresa May should have followed his advice on Brexit. He claimed Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel, made a “catastrophic mistake” by “taking all these illegals.”
And when it comes to leaders right here in the United States, one need look no farther than the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (This past week, President Trump questioned her mental health.)
It seems our President would rather do away with that pesky Constitution. You know, the one that divides our government’s powers into three co-equal branches, just to prevent a single tyrant from consolidating power in one place. That’s why he rails against the “Obama judges” who rule against him, and issues instant Twitter tantrums against any member of Congress who dares to disagree with him.
Funny how so many Republicans were criticizing President Obama, just a few short years ago, for acting like a dictator during the passage of the Affordable Care Act, even though that law received majority support in both houses of Congress, was signed by the President, and withstood a challenge in the Supreme Court—all in accordance with the U. S. Constitution.
I’m still looking, though, for that Constitutional provision that would mark me as a criminal for being critical of our President. If it were up to President Trump, I’d be sitting in jail.