*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
There are obviously about 60-million or so Americans who have no rudimentary concept of what threat to their personal security an authoritarian tyrant poses. It isn’t as if a plethora of political, constitutional, international and national security experts failed to raise the alarm at the idea of a Trump in the White House; an alarm they are still sounding weeks after the election. Still, those ignorant imbeciles who voted for Trump are likely going to get a crash course with firsthand experience of living in a nation with an authoritarian tyrant and his extremist henchmen doing his bidding.
Trump has chosen some particularly nasty characters to help his dictatorial reign proceed according to his racist and bigoted bent on how to tyrannize the American people, especially those that don’t revere him like a deity. It is horrendous he tapped an avowed racist to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer, so to speak, but as threatening as giving the Justice Department nod to Jeff Sessions may be, dirty Don’s prospect to run the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not only terrifying, it sets the stage for an honest-to-dog Constitutional crisis; not that Trump or David Clarke have any regard for the Constitution or Americans’ constitutional rights.
Earlier it was rumored that Trump was weighing either Joe Arpaio or David Clarke for the Homeland Security gig, but Arpaio is going to federal criminal court in a few days for doing exactly what constitutional sheriffs, of which Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is, believe is their duty; regard the only law they support law as what they, the constitutional county sheriff, says it is. In Arpaio’s case, he said the law mandating him to conform to the law of the land did not comport with his interpretation of the Constitution; subsequently, the Constitution says he is going to court and that set up an interview between Trump and Clarke; supposedly about the DHS position.
Clarke has been an ardent supporter of Trump and it is little wonder. The ‘oathkeeper’ “constitutional sheriff” impresses the big-time wrestling celebrity probably for the notoriety he gained proposing that “a president” should exercise Article 1, Section 9 and suspend any and all constitutional and due process rights of about a million people. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution allows the president to suspend the “writ of habeas corpus” only “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Last December Clarke told Glenn Beck about a million people should be scooped up, “charged with treason, and under habeas corpus, detain them indefinitely at Gitmo.”
It is true that is an extremist vision of using law enforcement to “protect” Americans, but just slightly less than going around the country inciting rage and ire over the non-existent war against police, or denying anything like police brutality or unwarranted killings ever happens. He has also attacked the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement mercilessly including predicting they would merge with the Islamic State (ISIS, IS, Daesh, ISIL) relatively soon in a concerted effort to destroy America. Clarke issued a prophecy last year on Twitter that, “before long, Black Lies [sic] Matter will join forces with ISIS to being [sic] down our legal constituted republic. You heard it first here.”
The idea of even considering a county sheriff to run the Department of Homeland Security is mind boggling. But the idea that an advocate of the extremist “constitutional sheriff” dogma will have unchallenged, and the prospect of unlimited, power and authority to adjudicate and enforce the law according to Trump or himself is absolutely terrifying, and contrary to the Constitution. These constitutional sheriff types; the Joe Arpaio, Richard Mack, and especially David Clarke types are in no way, shape, or form “constitutional.” No “constitutional” anything advocates rebellion of violence against the federal government.
“Constitutional sheriff” is a gross misnomer simply because the mindset behind the movement is contrary to the most important and fundamental tenets of the actual U.S. Constitution. Primarily, their problem and the threat to American citizens is a non-negotiable belief that the arbiter, interpreter, and enforcer of the United States Constitution as law of the land is the county sheriff; not the Supreme Court as carefully stated in the Constitution. These confused tyrants certainly don’t have a grasp on what is in the U.S. Constitution or they would not swear a “keeper” oath to defend, uphold and support a document they fully intend to violate if it conflicts with what they personally decide the law of the land is or what it should be.
The idea of suspending habeas corpus is a drastic measure under any circumstance, and the problem with an authoritarian like Trump is he has already exhibited tyrannical tendencies and threatened to act unilaterally against anyone who fails to worship him; the spoiled brat does not take criticism or the truth well. What is frightening is the idea that anything can be framed as supporting America’s enemies, rebellion or invasion; including questioning or criticizing an authoritarian president. The country witnessed that nightmare during the Bush administration when even questioning the wisdom of going to war was tantamount to backing the terrorists and not supporting the troops, even our own sons and daughters. Just the thought of a man like Clarke leading homeland security, determining a threat and then having the ear of an authoritarian occupant of the White House should send a fair number of Americans into horrifying night-sweats.
Trump has already given every indication he has a contrary concept of the law of the land than the actual law of the land, and he is renowned for seeking vengeance on his detractors. His threat to pursue and punish journalists for either expressing an opinion or, dog forbid, publishing the truth cannot be a good sign if he, his Nazi advisers, or a so-called “constitutional sheriff” and “oath keeper” are willing to round up and imprison American citizens indefinitely without any due process protections. The outrageous idea that dissent in the form of flag-burning is an imprisonable offense or a reason to strip an American’s citizenship is beyond comprehension unless one lived under Russian authoritarianism; which is what appears to be on the horizon for America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.