Shari Tarbet’s letter of last week [“The Devil Made Don Do It”] certainly underscored the idiocy of Trump’s presidency and the moral bankruptcy of the Republican party. Given the fact that the impeachment process is over, we can only hope that the electorate received enough information so that the Democratic candidate will win in November. Flip some Independents and get a good turnout of Democrats and it looks favorable.
But what about the day after the election—the day when Trump decides the returns are fraudulent and that he doesn’t want to face the multiple criminal prosecutions awaiting him? Will that be the day that he declares a national emergency pursuant to the Presidential Emergency Act of 1976, shuts down the media and, pursuant to Article 2 of the Constitution, uses his commander-in-chief powers to impose martial law and send Congress home?
During the Civil War, President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, closed newspapers, and put editors in jail. The Supreme Court said he was wrong, but he ignored them. Does anyone think that Trump sees himself in any way less than Lincoln?
Who is going to force Trump to comply with accepted norms and laws? He has ousted all advisors who were concerned about these things. Trump is ignorant and impulsive. He acts first and gets lawyers to justify for him later. If he thinks he can get away with this, we are in serious trouble.
The only way to disarm this bomb that I can think of is to bring it out into the open, talk about it and educate ourselves. Read the Emergency Act and the Constitution and talk to a lawyer. What we cannot afford to do is pretend it cannot happen. This man is a bully and if he knows others are watching and waiting, he may give it a second thought.