by Tom Raleigh
Clash Daily Guest Columnist
You know, as it relates to these presidential campaign circuses (both sides) we’ve been watching, there must come a time where simple truth dictates…right? If not simple truth, how about we settle for the logic underscored in the U.S. Constitution when it comes to some of these rather absurd campaign promises were getting?
Maybe it’s time some of these goofs open up their old grade school civics books. The simple truth is that the Founding Fathers got it right the first time by creating a system of checks and balances that hedge against any one of the three branches of government – legislative, executive, or judicial – from overwhelming the other, unless the other branches allow it. Then they underlined it all when they sat down and wrote The U. S. Constitution, of which nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once called, “the most remarkable political document ever struck by the hand of man.” Who can argue?
So, in the context of all of this, and for what it’s worth…I must say that I’m suddenly having a real problem with Donald Trump. I know that I’m going to raise some ire on what I’m about to say. Personally, I must admit that like some of you, I also got caught up in all the “tough guy bluster”. We need someone like “The Donald” to get us out of this morass, I reasoned. Until last night, that is, when it finally hit me, after listening to his fumbling responses to MSNBC’s Chris Mathews’ pressing questions. I’m going to say it…the guy’s a pretender. If you measure his answers carefully within the framework of our U. S. Constitution, he’s either operating in the dark, is “stone-brained”, or he’s simply “winging it”. Not good when you aspire to be the next POTUS.
Hey, I understand his appeal, but at this point, I’m now thinking that we all must demand of him that he be held accountable.
In terms of Trump’s major campaign promises, let’s take a couple and just try to relate each of them to the real substance of our U. S. Constitution, so you can see what I’m talking about.
- Trump says that he will deport all 11.2 million illegal immigrants. Whether or not you agree with this “promise”, or believe that he has the authority to do this (he does not), there is enough evidence out there that this effort would cost somewhere close to $400 billion to carry it out. The fact is, Trump cannot appropriate, spend or cut one penny in support of his pledge. Why? Because Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution mandates that all spending must actually “originate” in the House, before moving on to the Senate. Maybe then he might be able to live up to his promise, but without congressional member support, not a chance. Hmmm.
- Trump says that he would fix the trade balance with China and Mexico by imposing “trade tariffs” to even the playing field, adding that he knows how to deal with China “very, very” well, since one of their banks leases some floors in one of his buildings. Okay, but does he understand that the executive branch has no constitutional authority to unilaterally impose trade tariffs? Look it up folks…Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 1 of our Constitution stipulates that it is Congress that only has that power. Basically anything that Trump has in mind regarding trade tariffs would need to go through Congress first. Hmmm.
- Trump wants to prohibit Muslims from entering the country. With all the crap going on with some of their lunatic fringe…I’m pissed off too. However, Don needs to understand that The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment says purposefully that as president, he cannot “deny to any person the equal protection of the laws”. Hmmm.
- Trump repeatedly states that he has lots of issues with the press, threatening to initiate libel laws in retaliation. Let’s remember that the First Amendment not only addresses “freedom of speech…it also addresses freedom of the press.” Hmmm.
Unfortunately, there are lots of other issues that this guy has had trouble connecting to the laws of our land. Not long ago, I wrote a book for my grandsons. It is called, I’ll Be Watching You. You might want to check it out on Amazon. In it, I talk about the responsibilities they will have as productive citizens of this great country. One of those responsibilities involves the importance we all have upholding our Constitution. I wish that all of our presidential candidates understood the serious ramifications of not doing so.