Has Trump read the constitution?
Washington Examiner Editorial:
Of all the traits that distinguish conservatives from liberals, the most important may be the former's fidelity to the Constitution. During the presidential primary debates, the Constitution has been mentioned more than fifty times by Republicans and only seven times by Democrats.The question in my headline is a serious one because some of the things coming out of Trump's mouth suggest he, in his own words, "doesn't have a clue." Perhaps he has been misled by Obama's unconstitutional usurpation of powers. Whatever the cause, he needs to be challenged on the constitutionality of his policy prescriptions.
Yet the front-runner for the presidential nomination of America's conservative party is a man who has spent much of the campaign promising to undermine the Constitution.
In just seven months since he entered the presidential race, Trump has proposed policies that are clearly unconstitutional and others that are dubiously so. He has vowed to end birthright citizenship, unilaterally deport millions of illegal immigrants and close down parts of the Internet. He has proposed creating a registry of Muslims living in the U.S. and temporarily barring Muslims entry into the country. Trump has also promised to issue an executive order that would mandate the death penalty for anyone who murders a police officer "as one of the first things I'd do in terms of executive order."
Trump justifies most of these in the name of security. "We're going to have to do things that we never did before," Trump said during a November interview in which he floated the idea of requiring Muslims to obtain national ID cards or be registered in a database. "And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago."
At a time of high anxiety over the economy, jobs, and terrorism, Trump's authoritarian politics may reassure some voters who, with some justification, have lost faith in the federal government's political will do do its job. But however justified their concerns, Trump should not be the answer for anyone who wants constitutional government.