Opinion | Susan Knopf: Trump’s call to ‘get rid of judges’ an affront to our democracy
For The Record
“We have to get rid of judges.” — President Donald Trump
This is not the first time the president has flaunted the rule of law. The president has heckled and ridiculed judges. The Brennan Center has a great article complete with photos of the tweets, if you care to relive some of the lowest points in our nation’s history.
It makes me sick. I just can’t comprehend how the party which historically pegged itself as the “law and order” party, can be complicit in Donald Trump’s destructive tirades. He disgraces the office and continues to undermine the authority and trust of so many agencies and cabinet posts, I can not possibly recount them all in the space of this column.
Our Attorney General William Barr will rue the day he called a legally executed FBI investigation “spying.” Trump claims the by-the-book investigation was an attempted coup. How did Trump pass high school history? A coup is an armed attempt to illegally seize control of a government. That never happened.
For the record, members of Trump’s family and his campaign staff met with Russian intelligence operatives. Russia hacked Democratic Party files and Hillary Clinton’s files, at the very public request of Donald Trump. Seems like a pretty good reason for the FBI to get FISA warrants. The truth of the misdeeds is revealed in the Mueller indictments.
Unfortunately, we no longer live in a country governed by the rule of law. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. The criminals accuse the innocent of the crimes they themselves commit. And Fox and any number of websites repeat the lies so many times, the public can’t tell fact from fiction.
Spying? Trump asked Russia to do his spying. Russia did Trump’s bidding. The FBI received the fruits of Russian spying, ordered by Trump. Then FBI Director James Comey felt compelled to hold a press conference regarding his review of this illegally seized material, besmirching candidate Clinton. But when asked about the FBI investigation into Trump, Comey remained mum. A coup? Election tampering definitely. No coup.
Now we witness more resignations and dismissals. Trump has a dismal record for staff retention. In his latest house cleaning he resembles the Queen of Hearts, “Off with their heads!” He seeks staff to do his dirty work. He’s looking for security and border officials who will have no problem breaking the law and violating the Constitution. “He just wants to separate families,” said a senior administration official, according to a CNN report. “At the end of the day, the president refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws.”
CNN reported two sources said the president instructed border patrol agents not to let migrants in. Tell them we don’t have the capacity, he said. If judges give you trouble, say, “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room.” The Washington Examiner reported, “After Trump departed, Border Patrol leaders told their agents to ignore the president’s comments because they would be breaking the law.”
Trump now says Stephen Miller is in charge of immigration. He’s the architect of the Muslim travel ban. He’s the guy with the scary scowl, who apparently has completely lost track of his own immigration roots. Writing for Politico Magazine, his uncle calls him an immigration hypocrite.
“I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country. I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses— the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom.” Dr. David S. Glosser is a retired neuropsychologist, formerly a member of the neurology faculties of Boston University School of Medicine and Jefferson Medical College.
He’s not the only one who’s forgotten his roots. At the Jewish Republican Coalition meeting in Las Vegas last week, Trump repeated his new tag. “Can’t come in — our country is full. What can you do? We can’t handle any more. Our country is full — can’t come in. I’m sorry. It’s very simple.” There was applause.
Both Trump and those attending the meeting are descendants of immigrants. As if to highlight his ancestry, Trump made one of his classic goofs saying his father was born in Germany, when Fred Trump was actually born in Brooklyn. All but one of Trump’s children is first generation American on their mothers’ sides. What is he talking about? It’s widely believed Melania got in illegally. What if we told her, “Sorry, we’re full.”
The lunacy of the president’s position is economists across the board agree we need more people, more labor if we are to grow our economy. So what’s Trump’s game: placate the base, or grow the economy?
The bottom line is, it’s up to us. We must judge ourselves. Will we uphold our own Constitution? Will we allow those escaping torment in their homelands to seek asylum in the USA? Will we allow an intolerant president to disparage those who would come here and work for meager wages in hope of building new lives in a country governed by the rule of law, by judges who uphold the Constitution?
Let’s encourage our government to hire more judges to expedite the immigration process. Let’s encourage asylum seekers to bring good paperwork and evidence of their need to seek a new home. And let us all remember that every single one of us originally came from somewhere else.
Susan Knopf is a Summit county resident who writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.
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