* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



National Conservatism Conference: “…But We’re Not Racist”

The first National Conservatism Conference may have reinforced the very image today’s conservatives say doesn’t define them. Though many don’t fit the labels, conservatives as a group, and especially Trump supporters, have come to be frequently categorized as racists, exclusionists, and “white nationalists.” And though conference organizers repeatedly announced that white nationalists were not welcome, the National Conservatism Conference, seeking to establish a new identity and solidarity for American conservatives, had threads of racism running through it.

The conference aimed to define and assert the existence of “Intellectual Trumpism,” perhaps attempting, in part, to distance itself from the fact that the 2016 Trump campaign appealed most to non-college-educated white males, many of whom saw immigrants and non-whites as a threat.

If there was an elephant in the room at the National Conservatism Conference, it  was perhaps the spate of racist language tweeted out by Trump in the days before and during the National Conservatism Conference. First, there was the set of Tweets Trump had sent out earlier in the week, telling the four American congresswomen of color known as “The Squad” that they should go back to the countries they came from, and accusing them of “hating America.” Then, there was Trump’s fabricated claim that Ilhan Omar (one of the four congresswomen) was an al-Quaeda sympathizer. 

Conference speakers avoided mentioning or dealing with these heavily reported comments by the president. The few times they did, it was with verbal eye-rolling aimed at the media or at those calling the comments “racist.” Since this “Intellectual Trumpist” movement claims to want to distance itself from the racist elements of Trump’s actions, taking a more definitive stand to denounce the tweets certainly could have helped.

Some speakers at the National Conservatism Conference were less subtle as they expressed their racist-tinged platforms (while still denying that they were racist or exclusionist).

University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, for example, during a panel on immigration policy, commented that immigrants are “too loud,” and that they are responsible for the increase in litter. Though she was quick to say she supported immigration, she also said she advocated an immigration policy favoring those from Western countries over non-Western countries (Echoes of Trump’s early 2018 “sh**hole countries” comments).

“…Our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites,” said Wax. She denies that her statement indicated racism, because, as she says, her issue with non-white immigrants is not biological, it’s cultural.

So, though “some of their best friends” may be non-white, the National Conservatism Conference will need to try harder to show that they’re not racist, exclusionist, or white nationalist, but perhaps we should ask, does that really even concern them?

Penn Professor Under Fire For Saying Country Will Be Better Off ‘Fewer Non-Whites’ CBS Philly | [2019-07-18]

Senator Hawley’s keynote at the National Conservatism Conference | National Conservatism [2019-07-17]