The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Even for those whose job it is to keep tabs on the consequences of Americans installing a bonafide fascist in the White House, it is getting to be a substantial chore to keep up with the atrocities coming at a frightening breakneck speed. It is apparent that there is a reason the public servants who take the oath of office and swear to defend and support the U.S. Constitution should have a fairly clear understanding of the nation’s founding document and uncontested law of the land; they are required to follow it like every other citizen and that includes the mentally ill fascist in chief Donald Trump.
Of course Trump’s executive overreach banning Muslims from a select few Muslim majority countries was both contrary to 239 years of American history and a decidedly bigoted act. It was also a decidedly profit-driven act because Trump only banned immigrants from the Muslim-majority nations that he doesn’t have business investments in. It is also noteworthy that the countries he picked on have not been responsible for the death of even one American on American soil.
The Muslim-majority nations that are responsible for all deaths on American soil, including the Saudis responsible for the terror attacks on 911, were spared Trump’s executive action; only because he has investment and business interests in those countries. One wonders how the Trump will explain that little factoid to his bigoted followers; until realizing that they are stupid enough to believe whatever dirty lie the Trump tells them about how the media is lying about his very selective and profit-driven hatred of Islam.
Despite Trump’s selective defense against “radical Islam” he claims is the purpose of “the ban,” there are, as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern points out, “serious constitutional problems with Trump’s executive order as a whole.” Forget, for a moment, that Trump’s order gave preferential treatment to Christians and “denigrated” Islam, what any reasonable person considers “a religious test” to enter a secular nation, or that Trump’s order unilaterally “established” a state religion; he is shredding a mainstay of America’s democracy and civil rights. Trump’s order violates the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution because he believes the document cannot possibly apply to the Trump.
What any fascist worth being compared to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein knows is necessary to earn their stripes is eliminating the concept of due process; exactly what Trump’s executive overreach accomplished. According to a lawsuit filed on Saturday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Trump’s religious, unconstitutional, illegal and profit-driven executive order “has led to the flagrantly unconstitutional detention of perfectly legal immigrants whose lone crime is their national origin and religion.” As any sane human being with an ounce of intellect and gram of decency knows intrinsically, Trump’s nasty order isn’t only wrong on moral and human grounds, it is also illegal in a nation with a 239-year old Constitution.
Specifically, besides “establishing,” by Republican executive order, a religious test to create an America that is evangelically pure, Trump violated the Fifth Amendment he just publicly swore to god to uphold. That Amendment provides “basic procedural guarantees” to any person detained in the United States no matter if they are natural citizens, visitors, immigrants or Muslims. The Fifth Amendment forbids the government, including a bigoted fascist government employee in the White House who thinks he is above the law, from “depriving any individual of liberty without due process of law.” That includes an arrest warrant, indictment, charge, legal counsel, trial and so on.
Thus far, the people being detained according to Trump’s order all arrived in America lawfully and with the “requisite documentation” issued by the United States government. As noted by Mr. Stern, “pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act” those immigrants, Muslims or not, have a legal right to apply for asylum and have their claims processed by federal authorities. But this is Trump’s America and instead of adhering to the law or the Constitution, on orders from fascist Trump the government has placed most immigrants in detention without a hearing or any kind of judicial oversight (due process), and banned them from speaking with legal advocates (attorneys).
It doesn’t matter how “god-like” Trump believes he is, he cannot issue an order that unconstitutionally deprives anyone in America, immigrant or not, of their “liberty without due process of law.” The government cannot “indefinitely detain” a lawful visitor without a hearing or any semblance of reasonable suspicion” just because a so-called president issued an unconstitutional executive dictate. He is also prohibited by the “equal protection” segment of the “Due Process” clause from singling out “lawful visitors” based on their religion or nation of origin.
Still, Trump’s order mandates that federal law enforcement officers ignore longstanding “fundamental constitutional principles” because he thinks he can implement “an illegal system.” An illegal system, by the way, that informs any thinking person that in Trump’s America the people are ruled by “a government of one man,” not laws or a Constitution. It is a governing entity that has “no compunction about locking up [his] perceived enemies based on their identity and religion.”
The only reason due process laws even exist was to limit an authoritarian tyrant’s ability to summarily order ‘unlawful’ arrests of his perceived enemies. Obviously, Trump really does want to emulate Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s practice of detaining human beings without any evidence they violated any law or judicial process. At least Trump has not yet order law enforcement officials to summarily execute the legal immigrants, but if left unchallenged by decent Americans it can’t be far off.
Donald Trump is a danger to the nation, and the world, on myriad levels, and paramount among those dangers is his “flagrant disregard” for any laws, but particularly the nation’s law of the land, the Constitution. One thing is clear about Trump; he not only has no concept that he is not above the law, he willingly trashes the Constitution he just swore to somebody’s god that he would support and defend. That is so much more than just really bad news, it is a Constitutional crisis informing that America is now really in crisis.
The above commentary is the sole opinion of its author.
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.