Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trump Has Germans Thinking a Lot About Democracy

The German people have not forgotten their past and president-elect Donald J. Trump has them revisiting those painful memories of a darker time.

An article in Der Spiegel asks "How Much Mussolini Is There in Donald Trump?" The writer reviews a number of fascism checklists and the results aren't promising for American democracy. He concludes that Americans should wait - and hope.

The article was obviously written before Trump's latest tweet on protesters who may burn the American flag:

"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!

"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016"

Of course, since 1989 the US Supreme Court has held that burning the Stars and Stripes is protected under the First Amendment. Trump, however, has repeatedly shown how little he cares for the First Amendment or dissent generally. 

Which brings us to former justice Robert Jackson's warning:

Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.


Anonymous said...

What a knob! Burning is considered the proper and respectful way of disposing of a flag:

Flag Disposal

1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

3. Place the flag on the fire.

4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.


Anonymous said...

1) I am starting to buy into the idea of totally ignoring Cheeto's tweets. They're mostly a distraction. They tell me to look in another direction for something meaningfully reprehensible. It's like a guv presser on Friday afternoon.

2) Trump's cabinet picks are horrifying. Each seems to come with a stupid tweet. This could be why "they" let him have his twitter back.

3) The most worrisome thing about the flag burning tweet is his seeming equivalence of loss of citizenship and 1 year in jail. Normally when you see (a) or (b) as punishment they tend to be on a par -> $1000 or 40 hours of community service or the like.

The Mound of Sound said...

I see in Trump's tweets the gauge of his malevolence. I thought Richard Nixon was the most vindictive person to occupy the Oval Office. He didn't hold a candle to Trump.

Maybe Trump has calculated the real worth of US citizenship in today's illiberal, undemocratic American state. Maybe US citizenship and one year in prison are on par.