Sunday, January 24, 2016

Trump On Defensive Over Eminent Domain

by JASmius

And doesn't it make (heh) "eminently" perfect sense that he would defend eminent domain, which he has used for entirely and invariably selfish, corrupt personal gain repeatedly in the past, using Democrat "infrastructure spending" arguments:

Presidential candidate Donald Trump defended government's use of eminent domain on Sunday, saying it is needed for vital public projects.

"You know, if you didn't have eminent domain, you would haven't highways, you wouldn't have the Keystone pipeline, because they need it desperately if it's going to get built," Trump said on Meet the Press.

"You wouldn't have roads, you wouldn't have schools, hospitals," Trump said. "I mean, I don't love eminent domain, but you need eminent domain or you don't have a country."

Mule fritters.  First, he does so love eminent domain; his business ventures are extensively dependent on it.  Second, he's creating a grotesque exaggeration at best, and a blatant fallacy at worst.  We would and can have hospitals and highways and pipelines and bridges and other infrastructure projects without eminent domain.  It might, though, be helpful to properly define what eminent domain really is: government-sanctioned theft of private property, either direct nationalization or forcible transference from one private party to another, which is what the Kelo v. New London decision that he also loves so much purportedly legalized.

Let us revisit the Takings Clause of Amendment V, shall we?:

....nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

The original intent of this clause made the determiner of what constitutes "just compensation" the owner of the private property, not the government or the other private party on whose behalf the government attempts to seize the property in question.  To borrow Trump's Kelo-defending example, "Let's say a person has a house or a person has a backyard and they're going to build a factory that's going to employ five thousand people....and....if you don't get that property, they're going to go to another city, and they're going to spend millions of dollars and they're going to build a factory there, they're going to employ five thousand people — but not in your city."  Well, guess what?  None of that matters per the Takings Clause.  Amendment V declares "the public good" irrelevant.  All that matters is whether or not the owner of the house or backyard is willing to sell their property and, if they are, whether or not the government is willing to pay what they consider to be "just compensation".  If they are, then the transaction can go forward; if they're not, too bad, tough shinola, and better luck in the next city.  Period.  The government, in short, has no legal authority to seize that property anyway.

But as has become the despotic hallmark of our age, they do have the power, because they have given it to themselves, regardless of what the Constitution says.

This is what Donald Trump is defending.  He is quite literally a robber baron.  Which will only start mattering to Trumplicans when he comes after their property, their homes, their backyards.

And, as has also become the depressing hallmark of our age, by that time it will be far, far too late.

Think of it this way: Individual rights were the bulwark against tyranny; collectivist concepts like "the public good" and "the will of the people" are the justifications for it.  And guess on which side of that canyonesque divide The Donald resides?

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