Monday, May 01, 2017

Trump Criticized and Challenged the Constitution. . . sort of

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Never Trumpers, don't get overly excited.  Ever Trumpers, don't get overly worried.

According to the liberal left media, Trump has been very critical of the U.S. Constitution, and my first question is, "Which constitution?"

Yes, I know we only have one, but I am not sure the liberal left, political class, and folks like Donald J. Trump fully realize that.

To illustrate what I mean, let's begin with a conversation I had with a potential voter when I ran for City Council in my city back in 2010.  I was the constitutional candidate, the limited government guy, the man who proclaimed that he believed in smaller government.

After one of the debates, this one in particular was at a very influential retirement community, a gentleman walked up to me and asked, "So, if you are elected, what are you going to take away?"

"Excuse me?" I responded.

"You said you believe in limited government, so, as a politician that believes in small government, what are you going to take away?  Parks?  The senior center?"

I was confused.  His question made no sense to me.  It was like he was speaking another language.

It turned out my assumption was accurate.  He was speaking a very different language than I was.

To him, limited government meant smaller government, which meant a continuous dwindling of government until government is but a shell of what it once was.  His mind looked at the scenario with absolutism, guys like me want government doing absolutely nothing, and will continue to limit government until there is no government in our lives, at all.  In his eyes, I was not much different than an anarchist, except to him, I was one willing to take a less violent path to killing government.

Remember, Harry Reid once called the Tea Party a bunch of anarchists, and I am sure the Tea Party's level of limited government beliefs compared to his "if the federal government doesn't do it, it won't get done" attitude, probably seemed like an extreme case of anarchy to the raging leftist when he said it.

While the gentleman I was talking to believed limited government meant taking things away, I had to explain to him that he was mistaken because his definition of limited government, and my definition of limited government, were two different things.  To me, a limited government is a government that operates within the limits authorized to it, and within a budget that keeps its expenditures remaining within the amount of revenue received, and not exceeding that amount.

When we talk about the Constitution to most folks, what is constitutional to Framers of the Constitution, and what is constitutional to a liberal leftist, and often the average person after a lifetime of misinformation, are totally different things.  That's why my first book was "25 Myths of the United States Constitution."  The Constitution we've been taught by the education system, the liberal media, judges and modern politics is not the real constitution.  It is something dreamed up through a couple centuries of judicial review, judicial activism, and swirling political and societal whims.

So, when liberals, non-liberals who just don't know any better, or Mr. Trump, complains about the Constitution, I have to ask, "Which Constitution are they referring to?"  The original intent of the original language based on the definitions of the Framers' time period?  Or, a living, breathing document that has been twisted and murdered by the hands of activist judges and statist politicians?

It is interesting how the usual opponents of the U.S. Constitution have been slamming President Trump as much as they can since he's been elected.  The thing is, they've realized their attacks have had no impact.  So, they have decided to change tactics, to work on convincing Trump's supporters to turn against him.  His supporters, after all, support constitutional principles and concepts, so the attacks against Trump have evolved into ones stating that he is against the Constitution, and that Donald Trump wishes to not only ignore the Constitution, but change it to fit his alleged fascist ideals.

While talking to ABC's Jonathan Karl, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Karl had an exchange about the ongoing conflict between the Trump administration, and the mainstream media.  After the conversation with Karl, Priebus is being accused by various news outlets of verbalizing that the Trump administration desires to tamper with the First Amendment's warning regarding congressional interference with the Freedom of the Press.  Trump's feud with the liberal factions in the mainstream media is well known, and the liberal media has taken the challenge to their style of reporting as being a direct assault against their right to report the news as they see fit.

Talking Points Memo goes so far as to suggest that Priebus said to Jonathan Karl that the White House has considered, and continues to consider, amending or even abolishing the First Amendment because of critical press coverage of President Trump.

Here's an excerpt from the interview, according to TPM:
KARL: I want to ask you about two things the President has said on related issues. First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws. Tweeting “the failing New York Times has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws?” That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment. Is he really going to pursue that? Is that something he wants to pursue? 
PRIEBUS: I think it’s something that we’ve looked at. How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we’re sitting here on 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters. 
KARL: So you think the President should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like? 
PRIEBUS: Here’s what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired. 
KARL: I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. It’s about whether or not the President should have a right to sue them. 
PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at. But it’s something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue.
First of all, Karl is wrong, and right, at the same time.  Changes to libel laws would not take a constitutional amendment in the manner TPM or Karl suggests.  Any federal interference regarding speech issues is unconstitutional in the first place.  The federal government should not have libel laws in the first place because there are no authorities granted regarding that issue in the first seven articles, or in any amendment, of the Constitution.  In order to have the authority in the first place, it would take an amendment granting that authority.  Currently, as the Constitution stands at this moment, libel laws must only be the responsibility of the States.  There is no authorization granted to the federal government to pass laws regarding speech of any kind, and in fact the First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" which is a direct prohibition to the federal government having any laws, whatsoever, regarding the freedom of speech, or of the press.

The so-called "experts" do not view the Constitution from an originalist point of view, and for that matter they will say whatever they want about the Constitution.  They figure if it sounds official enough, they can mold the Constitution to be whatever they want.

Priebus in no way suggested the President desires to interfere with the right to a free press.  However, the liberal media is appalled by any suggestion that they are committing any wrong doing.  Any challenge by the White House, or considerations that the Trump administration may address the press's behavior in any way, is seen as being a threat.  Therefore, in their usual deceptive manner, they have adjusted the narrative to include that the so-called fascist president is going to chase a fascist policy and silence his opposition.  That must be the case, the liberal left assumes.  That's what they'd do.

Remember, the allies of the liberal left press have been trying to silence progressivism's opposition for a very long time, with many of those attempts turning violent as of late at college campuses and in fiery riots across the country.  Oh, and let's not forget the Democrat Party's "Fairness Doctrine," which was a direct assault on conservative commentary on radio and television.

The liberal left narrative that Trump wishes to move against the Constitution is accompanied by the belief that constitutionality is based on judicial interpretation, rather than original intent.  The Democrats, and their allies, couldn't even imagine a U.S. Constitution interpreted in any manner other than their interpretation.

The Trump administration has never suggested that they wish to abolish the First Amendment, nor interfere with the freedom of the press.  The interview between Priebus and Karl is taken out of context, and adjusted to fit the left's narrative that Trump is some kind of anti-constitutional fascist.  The war of words, however, has caused a lot of damage.  Society doesn't understand the original intent of the Constitution, and when a public is misinformed in a manner as ours is, they will believe just about anything they are told.  The public at large, and the liberal left, does not understand what limited government is, nor what original intent is.  All they know is the narrative.  And, the liberal left is intent on using techniques to adjust the narrative in such a way that they may convince Trump's supporters that Trump is not the ally they hoped for, but an enemy of the conservative movement's blessed Constitution.

While the liberal left views conservatism as a road to anarchy, we must realize, and recognize, their assaults when they commit them.  We must also remember that as conservatives, we see limited government not as a road to simply smaller government, but as a constitutional mechanism in place to limit the federal government to the authorities granted to it.

The liberal left's constitutional definitions are not the same as the ones intended by the Framers of the Constitution, and the left's assault on anything, and anyone, who opposes them is relentless.  They will say anything, suggest anything, and do anything to protect their religion of left-wing socialism - which includes trying to get us to turn against each other, and our representatives and/or President.

That said, when a President of the United States, or members of Congress, or a member of the judiciary, acts or speaks in a manner that is contrary to the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, I will point it out, and explain what truly is in line with the language of the document.  However, let's not have knee-jerk reactions when the liberal left media or liberal left politicians (of either party) point fingers and claim Republicans or conservatives are acting or talking in a manner that challenges the U.S. Constitution.

Remember, the liberal left lies.  Their primary tool is deception.  Therefore, it is not in our best interest to always believe them when they make claims regarding the U.S. Constitution.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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