(Dec. 5, 2022) Now that former president Donald Trump has called for the suspension of the Constitution when it suits his ends, every elected Republican should finally denounce Trump as the unhinged, sore loser that he is.

They also should publicly declare him unfit for office. Nobody who advocates the “termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” as Trump did over the weekend, should hold public office. Ever. A public official in the United States must swear to uphold the Constitution, and it is impossible to swear honestly to uphold something you say should be ignored.

If there can be anything worse than the lawless methods Trump embraces, he managed to do worse by providing a pernicious and massive lie as justification for his would-be-despotic shredding of the Constitution. Trump claimed (in all caps, and with gross exaggeration) that there was “MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party.” Because of that, he repeated his malicious lie that he was the “RIGHTFUL WINNER” in 2020 and said the remedy must either by to have some authority just “declare” him the president or else have a “NEW ELECTION.” Either way, he explicitly said that somehow the country should just “throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT.”

This Trump eruption is a call for tinpot tyranny. Following upon his repeated verbal embraces (and pledges of legal support and pardons) for the Capitol Hill rioters, who he instigated to try to stop a sacred vote-counting procedure while they called for the execution of his own vice president, this new verbal tack is a dangerous provocation. It is a provocation based on the flat-out lie, mathematically and judicially identified as such beyond all shadows of doubt, that somehow the 2020 election was stolen from him.

When someone who once held the most powerful post in the free world acts and speaks so repeatedly in ways designed, with malice aforethought, to undermine the very framework of our (small ‘r’) republican government, well, then, it’s time to believe he is serious. What Trump is engaged in is, by common dictionary definition, “sedition,” which is “any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting” a state of “discontent or rebellion against a government.”

So far, the Republican silence has been profoundly disturbing.

If, in unified fashion, the vast majority of members of the Republican National Committee would join the vast majority of Republicans members of the House and Senate, including all the leaders, to say that Trump has gone too far and merits no support, they could finally at least begin to cleanse their consciences and reinvigorate whatever moral fiber they have left. They also might attract a second look from all those independents who, despite marked dissatisfaction with the current Democratic leadership, still refused to vote for Republicans in November because the party was too morally compromised by Trump.

With Trump having so recently having dined with virulent anti-Semites (and refused to apologize), and with his ongoing campaign to delegitimize constitutional processes, Trump is a menace to the constitutional order. He also sounds at least borderline deranged. Republican officials should have the courage to say so.

NOTE: This, above, is a slightly longer version of a piece that ran today in the Washington Examiner, here.






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