* 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.



Failed Gun Policy: Nikolaus Cruz Used a Legally Owned Gun

Nikolaus Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter who is accused of killing 17 people during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, legally owned his AR-15 assault rifle. He did not have a criminal record, so he easily cleared the background check. And though Nikolaus Cruz’ public defenders say that he suffers from mental illness, that didn’t prevent him from legally buying a gun.

Current Federal law allows people who are 18 and over to purchase guns, including many types of assault weapons. A 19-year-old is not allowed to buy a beer, but is permitted to buy an assault weapon. We can prevent kids like Nikolaus Cruz from legally loading up on alcohol, but we can’t prevent them from legally stocking up on weapons and ammunition.

Though the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population, it ranks first in the number of firearms per capita. And according to the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey, the U.S. “has about 35-50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.” The United States also wins the prize for having the highest rate of homicide by firearms among the most developed nations.

“This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America…The scourge of school shooting after school shooting,” Said Senator Chris Murphy, speaking on the Senate Floor following the attack by Nikolaus Cruz.

“It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else. As a parent, it scares me to death that this body doesn’t take seriously the safety of my children….”

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “As of 2017, there were no federal laws banning semiautomatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, handguns, or large-capacity magazines. There was a federal prohibition on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines between 1994 and 2004, but Congress allowed these restrictions to expire.”

This is the 18th shooting on a school property since the beginning of 2018. Eight of these shootings resulted in death or injuries. Clearly, the current Federal gun policies have failed our schools – and all of us. Will Congress finally recognize that they need to address current gun laws?

Probably not, as we consider that more than a few GOP senators have accepted substantial funds from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups. According to the New York Daily News, for example, Senator Marco Rubio has received $3,303,355 from the NRA and other gun rights groups over the course of his political career. Senator Rob Portman has received $3,061,941 from the NRA during his political career.

Gun control doesn’t mean “taking away all guns.” It means enacting measures that more effectively keep firearms out of the hands of people like Nikolaus Cruz – those who are most likely to use them to kill or hurt themselves or others. But why does any private citizen need to be able to purchase an AR-15 assault rifle? And why is a kid like Niklaus Cruz, who isn’t old enough to legally buy a beer, old enough to legally buy a semiautomatic weapon?

Top U.S. and World Headlines |  Democracy Now! [2018-02-15]

Multiple Fatalities after Shooter Attacks Florida School |  Fox News [2018-02-14]