George Washington could’ve accomplished what Donald Trump and his sycophants are attempting to do — end democracy and install a monarchy, a monarchy that provoked our American Revolution and launched this grand experiment in democracy in the first place. Today, however, the minority thinks they know better, that might makes right. Democracy be damned.
We’re in limbo while a defeated emperor (naked as a jaybird as his toadies pretend he’s donned the finest plumage) remains in power clinging to an insane fantasy perpetuated by members of his party who are too cowed by “the debased” to speak simple truths. Like the sky is blue, grass is green and Trump was de-elected because he’s the worst president in American history.
Last week, attorneys general of the Dakotas, Wayne Stenehjem and Jason Ravnsborg (a man unable to distinguish a dead deer from a dead man) signed on with Texas to disenfranchise voters in four OTHER states. Forget the War on Christmas, Republicans have declared War on Democracy. That said, when New York and California seek to overturn elections in the Dakotas, I’m sure they’ll understand.
Our democratic republic, as enlightened as it is, was crafted with a certain amount of faith in the decency of men as exemplified by Washington and every other president during the peaceful transfer of power — before Trump came along. There was an implicit trust that a defeated president would put country ahead of self in the two-and-a-half-month lame-duck conclusion of their presidency. That faith seems naïve today as we witness a president willing to heist an election, or at the very least, undermine the next administration and endanger the country itself, green-lighting an assassination in Iran and troop reductions abroad.
The people have spoken. That should no longer be Trump’s call.
We have a criminal president grifting through his exit, trading pardons for loyalty. Freshly-forgiven former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn even called for martial law. My God. In America. In America? And you Trumpians — Stenehjem, Ravnsborg, Cramer, Armstrong, Hoeven, Burgum and Noem — you’re going to let that slide?
Of course, you are.
How about the rest of you so-called patriots who enthralled us with misspelled placards about your love of democracy? Sorry, pally, democracy’s about more than red hats and boat parades.
Our Constitution’s never been perfect. It’s necessarily been amended because we are a work in progress, an experiment, an unfinished product. Being an originalist sounds almost holy, but any justice who thinks a Constitution signed in 1787 is beyond reproach is a bit dim.
Political compromises made in tenuous times as the founders wrestled with issues like slavery (and, yes, ignored women’s rights) have been addressed. We’ve evolved. However, the Second Amendment was written when muskets were hanging above the mantle, not AR-15’s with 100-round magazines and armor-piercing bullets. When do we get phasers and light swords?
Changing the Constitution is hard. It should be. But it’s time to address the lame-duck presidency and restore faith in purposefully undermined elections. Joe Biden should’ve been in the Oval Office after the outcome of the election was beyond question. It is.
A president with nothing to lose should never remain at the helm. This criminal president has taught us a sad, invaluable lesson; we cannot always trust in the decency of our leaders.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.