Trump Deserves This
The causation is not direct, but Trump is responsible for the disregard of the Constitution.
We have multiple reports of police in Minneapolis arresting reporters who were covering protests there. This after a federal judge issued an order requiring the police to allow reporters to cover the protests and prohibiting them from using force against reporters. Does one need to state that the police should never disregard an order from a judge. In that relationship, the judge is the dog and the police are the tail. The police are always the tail. They work for the citizens and obey the law to enforce the law, or too often lately fail to do that.
Even worse than arresting reporters is the way they arrested at least one reporter:
Brian Stelter @brianstelterCNN producer Carolyn Sung was wrongfully arrested by Minnesota state troopers on Tuesday night. This letter from a group of media outlets describes how she was mistreated and held for more than two hours https://t.co/2OqXWrN55G
She definitely should sue. This action is an obvious violation of the First Amendment right of the press to report the news, and of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.
As an aside, no “conservative” who fails to denounce this horrible event may ever whine about alleged violations of the First Amendment again. “Conservatives” often whine about protest, but protest is how we got these rights and protest is one way to protect them. Filing suit is another.
But the main point here is that Donald Trump is to blame for this sorry state of affairs, and in multiple ways.
First, we all know that he had a bad habit of demonizing the press. He would denounce as “fake news” any report that he did not like, and he encouraged his sheep to believe that they could trust only him, when he is actually the least reliable source of information in the republic. Happily, in those instance where Trump’s dumb ideas about the press actually became action, by him or his staff, the reporters in question took the matter to court and won. After the White House revoked Jim Acosta’s press pass, his employer, CNN, sued and easily won a decision from a judge Trump had appointed.
Under President Biden, who understands how to be president and respects the Constitution, the U.S. government has accepted a permanent injunction requiring the restoration of another reporter’s press pass.
Losing court battles with reporters is consistent with Trump’s general ignorance of the Constitution and its contents. He seems not to understand what is in our Constitution, or even what a constitution is or why anyone would want to have one. He commented on how he thought having a president for life might be a good idea. The original Constitution provides that a president’s term in office shall last for four years, but says nothing about how many terms a president may serve. George Washington, our first president, retired after two terms, and no other president served more than two terms until Franklin Roosevelt, who won election four times, but died soon after his fourth inauguration.
We then adopted the Twenty-second Amendment, which limits any president to two terms, so Trump could not have served more than two terms under any circumstances, without amending the Constitution, which was highly unlikely.
He stated at one point that “I have Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want.” This ridiculous claim will make anyone who understands our Constitution gasp in horror. The point of the Constitution is to create government that is powerful, but not too powerful. The whole point of any constitution is to create government with defined, which is to say, limited, powers. No elected official under our Constitution has “the right to do whatever [they] want.”
More specifically, and consequentially, in a profoundly stupid statement that encouraged the attack on the U.S. Capitol during the counting of Electoral College votes on January 6, Trump called on vice president Pence to reject votes for Biden and send results back to the states, presumably so they could return votes for Trump. The original Electoral College procedure did not work, so Congress proposed, and the states ratified, in 1804, the Twelfth Amendment, changing that procedure. It provides,
…they [the Electors] shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; -- the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.
The vice president is the President of the Senate. His job in this project is literally to open the envelopes. The language of the Amendment does not even direct him to count the votes.
But Trump’s fantasy that the Democrats stole the election from him, combined with his grossly deficient understanding of the Constitution, led him to incite a huge riot that left people dead and traumatized:
So we have demonizing the press and failing entirely to understand the Constitution, but it wouldn’t be Trump if there were not some racism involved. An officer in Minneapolis asked a reporter as he was arresting her if she spoke English. After she identified herself as a reporter.
The reporter in question is Asian. Attacks on Asian persons have increased dramatically since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Trump and other “conservatives” persist in referring to Covid-19 as the “China virus” and “kung flu.” Democrats graciously refrained from blaming Trump in a bill for the purpose of reducing attacks on Asians, and won the support of whiny Republicans in the process:
If the question were criminal liability for the attack on the reporter, no prosecutor would file charges against Trump.
Trump is as free as anyone to use whatever language he likes, but in terms of public policy, no government official may use a person’s race or ethnicity as a factor in making any formal decision about that person’s rights or privileges, or at all, full stop. This is one of the most clearly established legal principles of the twentieth century.
Only one of us is the district attorney of the relevant county who may make decisions about criminal charges. The rest of us are citizens of a republic with a Constitution that many of us support and all of us live under, no matter what we think about it. We have the right and the duty under that Constitution to evaluate our political leaders, even after they leave office, especially if they might run for office again, and decide if we can support them or not.
There are countless reasons not to support Trump for any public office ever again, if you ever did (!), but you should definitely add gross disregard for the Constitution to the list.