Stick to your principles

Plenty has been said about how Donald Trump’s election wasn’t legitimate. Congressman John Lewis said that his presidency would be illegitimate. I forget which news magazine, but one of them posted a story online about how Trump’s biggest fear is having his legitimacy questioned.

Some would cite how he lost the popular vote by more than 2.8 million. Some argue that he’s unqualified and unprepared. Of course, there’s the fact that Russia meddled in the election process. What’s worse, it would seem that FBI Director William Comey helped. What would be treasonous is if Trump himself knew about it or had a part in it- of course, we do have him on video inviting Russia to hack us.

Not to mention the archaic and many of us feel unnecessary vestige of the slave era, the electoral college.

It ought to be self-evident that any or all of these facts render Trump illegitimate, but I would like to point out that what really makes him illegitimate is his lack of principles- or more to the point, the fact that his behavior and policies are contrary to America’s founding principles.

In his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged the United States to finally stand up and live out “the true meaning of its creed,” that “all men are created equal.” Lets look at some of our principles.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson expounds on three core democratic principles.

  • All men are created EQUAL- Trump antagonizes Latinos, dehumanizes African Americans, subjugates women, and ridicules people with special needs.
  • And endowed by their creator with certain inalienable RIGHTS- From First Amendment rights to a free press and freedom of assembly, to women’s rights, to LGBT rights. About the only rights that Trump & Co. supports are gun rights.
  • (SOCIAL CONTRACT) To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.- This is a man who routinely breaks contracts and promises. If he or his cabinet appointees abandon or abolish entire departments and agencies of the Federal government, or slash Social Security, Medicare or veterans’ benefits as alleged, that’s not draining the swamp or bucking the establishment, that’s breaking the social contract. By refusing to make public his taxes or documents connected to business conflicts of interest, by continuing to benefit from foreign business investments, by refusing to divest himself of his businesses, he has broken the social contract and in some cases already violated the Constitution before ever taking office.

Not only does he have severe issues with these three most fundamental principles of our republic, but also with the principles that Madison and Hamilton wove into the Preamble to our Constitution.

  • We the people- I believe  that Trump cares about himself; he clinically suffers from narcissistic personality disorder at worst, an immature sociopath at best.
  • In order to form a more perfect Union- Trump may say he want’s us to come together and to win again or make America great again- but he was divisive even of his own party while he was running in the primaries. His base supporters wave confederate flags. Never since the Civil War have we been so polarized. This is the furthest thing from unity.
  • Establish Justice- We have been failing poor people and minorities, especially African Americans through our criminal justice system. Not all police are racist and it’s not anti-police to recognize that we have systemic inequality in the grand jury processes and in our penal system. Does anyone believe that appointing an Attorney General who jokes about the Klu Klux Klan being too socially liberal will address these injustices?
  • Domestic Tranquility- He has encouraged violent treatment of dissenters at his rallies, incited and failed to condemn racism and violence perpetrated by his supporters and he plans to continue holding rallies even though the election is over. This is the opposite of seeking harmony or reconciliation.
  • Common Defense- He joked about carpet bombing Middle Eastern countries during the campaign and has alienated our allies, saying that NATO is obsolete and antagonized China and North Korea. He has been reckless in matters of state and ignored Defense and State Department protocols for reaching out to foreign leaders. He has refused to hear intelligence briefings and instead has alienated our intelligence agencies. He’s slandered and devalued various heroic veterans. Worst of all, he admires tyrants and has storied interests with Russia and Vladmir Putin. Forget defense, he in the months since he has been elected has already been putting us all in jeopardy.
  • General Welfare- His cabinet appointees speak volumes. Mostly male, all white, mostly fellow billionaires. This fits on an internet meme:
    • An Attorney General who opposes restoration of the Voting Rights Act
    • A Secretary of Health & Human Services who opposed Medicare
    • A Secretary of the Treasury who opposes Dodd-Frank
    • A Secretary of Education who opposed Public Education
    • A Secretary of Housing & Urban Development who opposes the Fair Housing Act
    • Plans to privatize and cut Social Security & Medicare, repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions without insurance, eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts & privatize public television and public radio, tax plans that will benefit the wealthiest 2% even more than those of those of George W. Bush.
    • Essentially, not just undoing the policies and programs of President Obama, but unraveling 90 years scientific, legal, social, economic and political progress.
  • Promote the blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our posterity- He’s curtailed or circumvented rights to freedom of speech, the  press, assembly and petition. Besides Russian melding, egregious attempts at voter suppression took place in various states in an effort to disenfranchise Latino, Black and poor voters, voter I.D. laws and plans a national registry for Muslim Americans all constitute horrendous attacks on the 1st, 14th and 15th Amendments.

This is not a man of the people. This is not a representative of our shared interests or of our common principles. This man has shown every indication that he intends to rule as an authoritarian. His hyper-nationalism, racism, militarism, and corporatism are a formula for fascism and tyranny.

Our best hope may actually be that he establishes a “kakistocracy,” a government of those most stupid, ignorant, least qualified and unprincipled citizens in power. And that our midterm elections replace the Republican majorities in Congress who enable him.

Reading his tantrums on Twitter leads you to believe that this may be the case. It may not be that he disagrees with or misinterprets the Constitution. It may just be that he doesn’t understand it or is wholly ignorant of it.

How can any president be considered legitimate, who diametrically opposes or violates virtually every one of our most basic principles?

These are the reasons that I believe the man about to take the oath of office is not a legitimate president.

God have mercy on me if I’m wrong. I do not want to end up in prison somewhere for my disloyalty to the state. I love my country, but what I love most about America are the principles of freedom and democracy which I’ve listed above. My family & I faced plenty of ridicule & resentment during the Bush administration because of my opinions.

But if I’m correct in my evaluation of the new president and his administration. Then God help us all. Pray for the president elect, but pray for our entire nation.

#notmypresident #illigitimate

Don’t ever forget, THESE are Donald Trump’s principles…

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3 comments

  1. Scott D

    Ted, I’ve known you since Seward, and it’s no secret that we fall on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. I won’t go into any of that now, but I will point out that when President Obama took office, I had many concerns about the direction America would take. Some of the things I feared would happen actually came to pass.

    At no time did I begin extolling how Obama was “not my president.” He WAS my president, even though I could rarely find something he did with which I agreed. He was my president because he received the electoral votes required to win the presidency. I am an American, and I am proud that the people speak every four years and fill the executive office.

    President Trump IS your president. He legitimately won the electoral votes needed to become president.

    Please join me in celebrating the time honored tradition of the transfer of power. Please join me in honoring our constitution. Please join me in respecting the office, which is greater than any person who may occupy it.

    God bless you. And God bless these United States.

    Like

    • tedmallory

      You can’t honor the Constitution while denying it’s core principles. Losing the popular vote by 3 million and having Russian intervention in the process is not winning legitimately. This is not just a matter of different party, different end of the spectrum or policies you oppose. This is unprecedented. I pray for his wisdom & guidance, but also for his heart and humility. I too pray for our country, but my prayers come from contrition and concern, not from celebration and pride. Jefferson said that it is not just our right, but our duty to oppose tyranny. I’m taking my theology from Deitrich Bonhoffer on this. I am trusting God to protect me in my defiance or to forgive me for it and to turn my heart- but I’ve only seen arrogance and contempt from Trump, so until God changes my heart or changes Trump’s- “here I stand, I can do not other.” God bless you too & indeed, God bless America, we surely need it.

      Like

  2. Andrea Kaitany

    I agree. Too much hatred and too much violent rhetoric. There is no reason to believe that a gerrymandered election in which voters were intimidated and suppressed, represents the will of the governed. I believe in our democratic values of justice and equality and I will not back down.

    Like

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