President-elect Trump has said many stupid things over the course of his presidential campaign, and now that he has won the election, he is stepping up his game. It looked as if Trump was going to flip the script on all of us when he put his most presidential foot forward for like a week after election day, but that attempt proved to be very short-lived. In fact, as soon as Trump was given back access to his Twitter account, he reminded us that he is still the same nearly illiterate shlub he’s always been.
One of Trump’s favorite things to do is to contradict everything that makes America America, and the more he calls for autocracy, the closer he comes to becoming the ruthless dictator he truly aspires to be. One such call for autocracy happened at about 4 am this morning when the president-elect took to social media to express freely his anger towards protesters’ rights to express themselves freely.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
The United States Constitution protects the freedom of people who oppose the goings on in their country, even people burning the flag in protest. The First Amendment states that:
“Congress shall make no law… abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In the Supreme Court case of Texas vs. Johnson, it was found that “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” Moreover, there is no indication “either in the text of the Constitution or in our cases interpreting it . . . that a separate juridical category exists for the American flag alone.”
According to the ACLU:
“The right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy and at the core of the First Amendment.”
“The ACLU, along with affiliates across the country, monitors the government’s respect for this foundational right. We intervene—through police departments, the courts, and the dissemination of Know Your Rights materials—so that the right to public expression is respected for everyone.”
This is not just a mild threat from our incoming president. Regardless of the fact that he is so ill-equipt to do this job that we will all be lucky just to make it out of his reign unscathed, he is going to be the next president of the United States. Without a miracle, he will be in the oval office, so it would be wise to nip these comments in the bud before they bloom into full-blown disasters of epic proportions.