We are facing a Constitutional crisis. A crisis that threatens to undo the Constitutional checks and balances that have protected our country for over two hundred years. We are rapidly moving away from the American Democracy we’ve enjoyed for the last two centuries.
The Problem: Our Constitutional Checks & Balances Are Now Under Attack
The Constitution was written to ensure that the Supreme Court, Congress, and the President all share power equally. The framers of our Constitution designed it that way so there would always be effective checks and balances on the power of any one branch of government. To ensure the stability and effectiveness of those checks and balances, the First Amendment to the Constitution in the Bill of Right guarantees all Americans the freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. All are fundamental to democratic government.
For the first time in history, our Constitutional checks and balances are intentionally under attack by an authoritarian President that demands obedience and absolute loyalty. Those who fail the test of obedience and absolute loyalty are quickly fired. His comments and actions are pointed reminders that he is “right”, he is in charge, and America is separate from the rest of the world. F.B.I. Director, James B. Comey is a good example of what happens when someone is not obedient.
Quoting Harry Dent….. “Trump has the impulse control of a grease fire”. When the free press disagrees with his views and ideas, our President aggressively labels them as an “enemy”. He tweets that the press and its reporters are spreading #FakeNews designed to discredit him. When our Federal Judges resist his “mandates”, they too are vilified as enemies. There is an authoritarian desire for absolute control in the GOP….and in our President. This is a danger to our Democracy that should not be underestimated or ignored. Passive resistance is not going to stop this slide into the abyss of darkness that threatens our democratic way of life. What we are witnessing is clearly an intentional attack on the checks and balances of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Members Of Congress Are Allowed To Verbally And Physically Attack The Press
This intentional attack on the checks and balances of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was clearly evident when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian Press reporter, was slammed to the ground by multimillionaire GOP candidate for Montana’s at-large congressional seat Greg Gianforte. The physical violence happened after Gianforte called Jacobs one of “those people” (the enemy) when Jacobs asked Gianforte a question about the American Health Care Act. What is disturbing about this incident is the fact that GOP supporters are labeling Jacob as a wimp for calling the police and going to the hospital after the incident. But what I found even more frightening was the lack of response on the part of the Republican GOP. Labeling a member of the press as one of “those people” should be labeled and prosecuted as a hate crime. Freedom and safety of the press were clearly not priorities for the GOP.
The primary job of the elected representative to Washington is that of protecting our American Constitution. When party politics take priority over Constitutional rights…..for any reason….our Constitution is clearly under attack by the very people we sent to Washington to represent us. That is frightening beyond words!
As one of the most powerful Republicans in the country, even Speaker Paul Ryan refused to stand up and defend the Constitutional rights and freedoms he was sent to Washington to protect and defend. There is no higher calling for any elected representative in Congress. Period. Instead, Ryan and GOP Republicans chose to remain silent and support their political party….and its inflexible ideological beliefs. If Ryan and the GOP were defending our Constitution and Bill of Rights, they would be leading the fight to prevent Gianforte from taking a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives….. not remaining silent on Gianforte’s blatant attack on our nation’s constitutional protections. Their silence is encouraging and supporting a climate of fear and even more violence toward the Press and journalists. Greg Gianforte’s attack on “those people” was disturbing and alarming…..a dangerous attack on our free press as “the enemy”!
Because they support the checks and balances that protect us from a corrupt or authoritarian form of government in any branch of our government, we need to aggressively support our Federal and Supreme Court judges, and the rights of our free press and its reporters. They are both currently under attack by both an authoritarian White House and the silent GOP members of Congress. Both have clearly lost sight of their primary responsibility; that of protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Any person slamming another person to the ground for simply asking a question….after labeling them as “one of those people” prior to the violence…..should be prosecuted as a hate crime. When anyone physically attacks another person, a member of the press, a representative of the legal system, a law enforcement officer, or a person elected to public office……the crime is almost always treated as a felony. When the person perpetrating the violence is an elected member of Congress, he or she should be prosecuted as a felon and immediately removed from office.
That should also be true for any elected official who falsely accuses a member of the free press of spreading “fake news”, or labeling a judge as “one of those people” simply because they happen to be of Spanish descent….they are attacking the Constitution. This includes the President. An American President is not royalty. He or she is simply an American citizen we sent to Washington to represent us…..not themselves, not the wealthy…..us! When they break laws established by the Constitution or libel another person without proof or cause, they should be held to the same standards that any other American citizen is held.
We are a Constitutional Democracy……not a dictatorship of thugs and authoritarian political representatives. It’s time for a revolution. We are not a nation of hatred and fear. We are a nation of freedoms and human rights. A nation that embraces diversity. It’s time for a revolution of “the people” to stop this kind of behavior of any elected representative! It’s time for the “power of the people” to come together and speak out against those who would undermine our Constitutional values and freedoms….those who would threaten future generations. We are sliding into an abyss of darkness. It’s time for the light of democracy and freedom to shine.