Trump: pushing passed the limits of democracy and civility

15181193_10154770200792188_5052661469593726009_nDonald John Trump is an asshole.

Before you close this tab, consider the definition coined by Aaron James.

An asshole is someone who:

allows himself to enjoy special advantages in social relations out of an entrenched sense of entitlement that immunizes him against the complaints of other people

Such people know and recognize there are social boundaries that exist for the common good. However, they believe themselves entitled to be above such boundaries. They push passed the boundaries of civility knowing most of us will not act. They stop short of the line at which we will act.

Donald John Trump is the epitome of James’ philosophy of assholes.

He’s also set to test the limits of our democratic instituitons. It is the horrifying to watch the system bend to his will. It’s horrifying to watch the GOP in the form of Ryan and McConnell smile and nod.

Are we strong enough to stand up to this strongman?

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Why Trump cannot be dismissed as ‘just words’

file-dec-03-11-10-17One of the consistent defenses of Trump is that ‘he’s just words’.

Bullshit.

Words have consequences.

Words inspire action.

Words inspire fear.

There is legitimate fear that a Trump administration will be hostile to free speech, to civil rights, to climate change.

People are legitimately fearful. This scientist is archiving data against a hostile administration.

In America, in 2016, people are legitimately fearful of an administration that has projected willful ignorance.

That has prided itself on ignorance.

That has embraced ignorance.

Let that sink in for a moment please.

Donald John Trump, you own that.

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What is a liberal?

file-dec-03-11-10-17A liberal is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

broad-minded; especiallynot bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms 

and

of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism

where liberalism is defined as:

a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity

a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard

a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)

When did this become a bad thing?

It is time to fight. But, to quote Jon Stewart, we need to fight with precision and integrity, not demonization.

(edit: not all potential definitions of the word liberalism are included here, as there are a range that could be used. What is listed above are simply the ones that the dictionary referenced uses. Further, the inclusion of these definitions is not meant to imply one must meet all of these criteria to be a liberal. A dictionary will often list multiple definitions for several reasons, including but not limited to nuance or context.)

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Sophie Theallet won’t work with Melania Trump

credit: pixabay, endorsement not implied
credit: pixabay, endorsement not implied

Opponents of this move are painting it as hypocrisy, using the left’s offense at the cake maker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple as proof.

This is a false equivalency.

The first case was one of discrimination against a protected category of people.

Outrage against discrimination is not the same as discriminating against hatred.

We need not support those who support hate speech. They are entitled to their speech as well as the repercussions of the same.

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#NotMyLeader

credit: pixabay, endorsement not implied
credit: pixabay, endorsement not implied

This man will never be my leader.

A leader does not divide a people.

A leader unites them.

A leader does not inspire fear in their people.

A leader conquers fear in their people.

A leader does not mock their people.

A leader inspires their people.

A leader does not encourage assault of their people.

A leader protects their people from assault.

This man at best will be the minority elected representative of the executive branch of our government.

He is no leader.

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Removal of the President: what is the 25th Amendment?

credit: pixabay, endorsement not implied
credit: pixabay, endorsement not implied

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the transfer of power to the Vice President when the President is disabled or unable to execute the office.

The text is as follows:

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

It has a precedent for use though not one for the reasons this Amendment came to mind in contemplating a Trump presidency.

My hope is that the Vice President and the principal officers of the executive departments or Congress have the moral and political courage to implement this if needed.

I cannot believe this is happening in the United States of America in the year 2016.

 

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NY Mag: Of Clinton and the Glass Ceiling that Didn’t Shatter

america-1151134_640
credit pixabay, endorsement not implied

This is a heartbreaking read.

The America I thought I knew, the America in which I thought I existed…one of progress, one of equality.

This election, this result, tells me that America doesn’t yet exist.

And reading this article, I am furious anew.

Furious for everyone insulted by Trump.

Furious for my daughters.

Furious on behalf of our country.

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HuffPo: History teacher removed for comparison of Trump to Hitler

swastika-39031_640This is not ok.

This man studies the Holocaust. He is qualified to make this comparison.

The system – in this case, the school – needs to push back against the normalization of Trump’s words, not defend him as an institution.

The normalization is already occurring.

We cannot allow this to happen:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/…/magazine/a-time-for-refusal.html

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