A view of the restraint of President Trump

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President Trump has held firm to his position of unilaterally holding the federal government hostage for his border wall, much to the delight of his base.

The presidency of tabloid star, game show host, and brand entrepreneur Donald J. Trump has been a rowdy one. Currently, the federal government of the United States is, like so many of Trump’s former ventures, shut down. As Trump threatens to declare a national emergency and circumvent Congress in order to build his promised southern border wall, commentators are speculating just how far Trump will go to undermine American institutions and empower himself.

Throughout his many decades of public life, Trump has been openly petty, vulgar, racist, conspiratorial, and narcissistic. The presidency hasn’t matured him an iota. As president, he’s continued to lie, flirt with dictators, enrich himself and his family, and show no compunction about stripping away benefits and even disaster relief from vulnerable people. Given how brazenly he’s gotten away with it all, though, it’s almost a marvel that he hasn’t gone even further. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s megalomaniacal war on the First Amendment

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If you protest at his rallies, this presidential frontrunner would really like to punch you in the face.

Much of the appeal in Donald Trump’s surreal presidential campaign comes from his willingness to speak his mind unfiltered. Supporters regard his flippant insults of political rivals, celebrities, and entire groups of people as courageous pushback against political correctness run amok. Given this it is perhaps ironic that one of the hallmarks of Trump’s platform is a megalomaniacal crusade against the First Amendment and the freedom of expression it guarantees.

In its entirety the First Amendment, perhaps the greatest pillar of our free society, reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Trump tramples on each and every word. Continue reading

Scalia’s death shows the dysfunction of politics, media and the GOP

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Justice Antonin Scalia served on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

The death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia on the morning of February 13 triggered an immediate political firestorm. Party-line politics, debates on the man’s legacy, and conspiracy theories have been swirling in the media in the days since. No doubt his death is of great consequence, but the reactions reveal a great deal about the brokenness of our political-media establishment. Continue reading