We do seem to be in a constitutional crisis what with the president either defying the courts or threatening to and with him being so overly hostile toward one the three branches of government, the judiciary.
I don’t think I have witnessed such a situation since the days of Richard Nixon and furthermore I think it goes somewhat beyond that.
We have a president who right out of the box has done his best to become a dictator and who lashes out at the judiciary, whose job it is to make sure the constitution is followed, as well as any other institution or person who gets in his way.
He refused and continues to refuse to release his tax returns and has not divested his purported billions of dollars of assets that may well benefit from his public position and now I read the Defense Department might rent space in his Trump Towers.
Trump has already used his position to initimidate some corporations into either supposedly saving some American jobs or cut costs on defense projects (not so bad one might say), and now has threatened at least one department store chain (I mean he is the president) by lashing out at it for dropping his daughter’s fashion line.
President Trump did earlier make show, complete with the prop of bound folders, of some vague plan to give up day-to-day control of his financial empire to be run by his offspring and other family members, but it has been reported he still basically has control.
I would say he is flirting with impeachment or impeachable offenses, but even if he were not, his very demeanor of a spoiled child and bully makes him unfit to be president. And yet, due to a fluke or maybe more appropriately called, a flaw, in our system he was elected president without a majority vote.
Trump is not the first president to go after the press but he may be the first to be so outwardly hostile that he threatens First Amendment guarantees of a free press.
I think part of the mainstream and usually responsible press may have taken his bait and are resorting to his tactics and are not helping the cause and yet I hope at this point they keep it up. What I am trying to say is that I don’t think I have ever seen the mainstream press simply call a president a “liar” outright, even if he is. The conventional method of pointing out apparent falsehoods is to use to the cover of quoting someone else or simply supplying a paragraph or two of background information. But both CNN and the New York Times, two name a couple, have simply resorted to telling it like it is: the man is a liar.
But the press would do best to stay calm, report the facts, and yes report the inconsistencies, but not be shrill. You can only hope to reach thinking people and will be much more effective if reporting is done in such a way that it seems to be in a calm, thoughtful, and unbiased manner. Of course headlines are often written to attract readership (and by headlines I mean both print and electronic). But as long as they do not say or imply what is not true or what is a gross exaggeration, I think that is acceptable.
I have heard discussion about recent stories criticizing Trump that were false, that were overdone or mischaracterizations of what he or his administration said or did. Hard to believe one would have to resort to this. Just telling the truth or reporting verifiable facts about Trump is bad enough.
The main event in this ongoing constitutional crisis as I am writing this is Trump’s tussle with the courts over his travel ban. No one knows how that is going to come out. It currently is up to the appellate courts and may go to the Supreme Court.
It is truly a test of presidential power. Trump has disparaged the judiciary in advance. I don’t know why. I mean they may actually rule in his favor. A district court judge did not but a higher appellate court is mulling it over.
Meanwhile, Trump is tweeting remarks that seem to challenge or threaten the justices.
Trump poses a danger this democracy has never faced, maybe since the Civil War. These are perilous times.
On the other hand, it is our democracy in action.
Freedom has not lost yet.