Mr. Trump Would Suspend the First Amendment

Secretary Clinton delivered a tremendous speech, perhaps the best of her life, laying out the great peril we face having an angry, irrational, uneducated narcissist with no understanding of American traditions and values, let alone international relations, capture the Presidency.  Here is the most important punch the Secretary landed on Mr. Trump:

“This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes,” she said, “because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.”

Mr. Trump responded by saying “After what she said about me …. Hillary Clinton has to go to jail.” Mr. Trump was alluding to Email Gate, which does merit considerable concern. Whether or not the Secretary’s use of a private server rises to the level of a federal crime is something the FBI will determine. But focus carefully on and think carefully about Mr. Trump’s windup to his declaration: “After what she said about me.”

These five words are chilling. If Mr. Trump’s statements can be taken seriously, which at this point they must, he’s telling us that his justice department will jail people not based on what they do wrong, but based on their criticism of him and his policies.  Richard Nixon used the IRS to go after his political enemies. But Mr. Trump? He’d used the Justice Department and, apparently, prosecute his political opponents unless, it seems, they bowed in his presence and properly kissed his ring.

The President has enormous unilateral powers as this NY Times article makes clear. We can not place it in the hands of another Richard Nixon with an even shorter temper who is ready at the slightest perceived insult to bend and break our laws and, thereby, silence public debate.

Michelle Obama, in another amazing speech, got to the essence of the danger, but also helped clarify its source: “Leaders who rule by intimidation — leaders who demonize and dehumanize entire groups of people — often do so because they have nothing else to offer.”





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