Make America Think Again
Infamously, as we know, Donald Trump has noticeably become the talk of the town when it comes to him saying and doing whatever he wants, to and with whatever he wants, especially his twitter rants, but does he truly violate the First Amendment? Under the First Amendment, it protects individual’s rights to free speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. So, was Donald Trump expressing his First Amendment when he tweeted calling the kneeling NFL player a “Son of a bitch”? Disappointingly the answer is yes. In a case called Garcetti v. Ceballos, the Supreme Court held that when public employees are not speaking as citizens — but instead in their official public capacities — the First Amendment does not protect anyone from being disciplined for their speech. (Wehle). But, it is important that when Trump tweets, he tweets as president, and he would not get the same first amendment protections as a private citizen would if their constitutionality were ever tested in a court of law. This is because he is not speaking as a private citizen he is speaking as a government official and not releasing “official statements”.
The question now is, should Donald Trump be disciplined for his speech? If I’m the one being asked I would say, yes, he should. He is the President of the United States and he should act as that at all times, which he does not. I, in my 19 years on this earth, despite that not being very long, I have never seen a President, or someone who is supposed to be the face, and example of our country act as the way Trump has. Now, why has no one stood up for this to be put into action? In fact, someone has and it has been put into action, Trump has actually found himself in a First Amendment violation. (Timm). Trump tweeted that NBC’s broadcasting license “must be challenged” and potentially “revoked,” based on a series of NBC news stories that embarrassed him. He also suggested the NFL’s tax status should be changed and raised if the NFL continues to allow its players to peacefully protest police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem. (Timm). Trump is threatening NBC and/or the NFL not as a private citizen, but as the President of the United States, from his Twitter account, which the White House has previously acknowledged is a vessel for releasing “official statements”.
Deliberately, Donald Trump is very quick to tweet about all of the “fake news”, “Sons of bitches” and all of the things that could be viewed opposing or negatively affect him, yet he and his defenders simultaneously express outrage when liberal activists oppose speakers they believe publicly disrespect minorities. (Post). Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for example, proclaimed at Georgetown University: “Protesters are now routinely shutting down speeches and debates across the country in an effort to silence voices that insufficiently conform with their views.” (Post). This is a very accurate representation of what Trump is doing, vise versa, and not with private organizations. These people are expressing their first amendment while acting on others, however the outcomes of these situations will be for sure different, possibly completely opposite.
Continuously, Trump is making it obnoxiously clear that those who oppose him will be publicly punished. “A recent example is his call for the firing of ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who had the audacity to call Trump out as a “white supremacist” and a “bigot.” How do the constitutional standards of the First Amendment apply to such behavior on the president’s part?” (Post) The president has also engaged in a verbal campaign designed to suppress speech that offends him. Trumps angered dedication is clearly directed at core political speech protesting law enforcement’s unfair treatment of minorities. Trump’s allies have already begun organizing boycotts (for example, a “Turn off the NFL” campaign) to give teeth to the president’s intemperate attacks. (Post) There is no indication that he is invoking the law enforcement network of the federal government to harass or sanction NFL players who are taking a knee.(Post). He is just making sure to publicly sanction those who may or many not truly punished in a court of law and anything, and/or anyone who has views other than his own. “Trump’s attacks on the political speech of private citizens are inconsistent with the requirements of his office. It is striking that Trump’s insistent and recurring political instinct is to appeal to his base by constructing enemies—the press, Jemele Hill and now football players who kneel during the national anthem. Enemies are by definition excluded from the American body politic. They are excommunicated from “We the people.” Trump can disagree with his opponents, but he must always convey respect for their right to dissent. By casting them out as enemies, he undermines the hard-earned and necessary integrity of “We the people.”” (Post)
Our president has numerously proved that he is unqualified to upheld to his presidential standards and successfully withhold the position he is holding. He cannot imagine a country where people can agree to disagree, compromise, or freely express the first amendment. Trump may have not actually acted on these, but he is threatening these two organizations for expressing their rights to the first amendment, by trying to sensor their speech, threatening to penalize them for freely expressing what these organizations are supposed to do and what they stand for. If trump were to actually revoke the licenses of these companies because of freely expressing of the first amendment, a case would be actionable. Donald Trump does however, have his own first amendment rights as president to opine about things he does and doesn’t like, but still as a government official, those rights are limited. As stated before, when Trump speaks, the government technically speaks, so he can continue to speak negatively and unprofessionally, yet there may inevitably be judicially enforceable limitations.
Trump’s Approval Ratings Drop Lower than Ever. 56% of our country disapprove of the way Donald Trump is and has been running out country. He has the lowest approval rating of all past presidents except for Gerald Ford in the late seventies. I am indicating that because of Trumps lack of experience, he has low approval ratings and has low presidential standards. Trump was once asked “What are the top three functions of the United States government?” by an Army man, and University student. Sadly, our president struggled to answer this question, the only one he knew off off of the top of his head was National Security. Trump then named health care and education, which is wrong. The correct answers are Defense, State and, Treasury. The governments main jobs are conducting war, promoting peace, and encouraging prosperity. (Brown).
Trumps answer to the question presented to him showed his lack of experience and caused his political views to be more democratic than conservative countering on the things he “Stands for”. This is a clear example of Trumps lack of experience before going into office. If you have any plans on running a country then you must know the top three functions of the government that you are running. “Perhaps, it shouldn’t be surprising. Throughout his campaign and without much consequence, Trump has been dismissive of separation of powers, civil liberties and civil rights. In fact, the only time he has really been pressed on constitutional issues was when he was forced to walk back his bluster earlier this month, after he had wrongly assumed that a president could order the military to torture prisoners of war.” (Brown).
The question of whether or how the military could follow Trump’s orders of targeting the family members of terrorists who preformed attacks against america came up at the Republican debate in Detroit on Thursday night. Trump said he was a great leader and “frankly, when I say they’ll do as I tell them, they’ll do as I tell them.”He also said: “They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me,” and: “I’m a leader. If I say do it, they’re going to do it, that’s what leadership is about.” (McCarthy). Again this is relates to Trumps arrogance and his imaginative hierarchy of power. Later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump had reversed that position. He would not order the military to do illegal things with the expectation that they would break the law to follow his orders, he said. (McCarthy).
“I understand the desire to change up politics in Washington D.C., but installing people who have no idea what they are doing, and worse, people who cannot relate to the public over whom they preside, is the antithesis of American government and common sense. When politicians refuse to listen, and when they are swayed more by the donations they receive than the phone calls they ignore, it’s time for fresh blood. It’s time for a grass roots movement where citizens get involved in politics from the ground up, learning the system as they go.” (Rymel).
“Our frustration with national politicians reached an all-time high in this last election. The childish fighting among Republican candidates, and devious maneuvering among elitist Democrats to elect their chosen queen, left a bad taste in our mouths. In many ways, Donald Trump’s election was a middle finger to Washington politicians.” (Brown). Trumps lack of experience has showed from the very beginning when he elected his cabinet based off of their support for him. Trumps cabinet has been dubbed the most unqualified cabinet in U.S history. (Waldman). “Still as a political scientist who agrees with former President Harry Truman’s observation that “it takes a lifetime of experience to understand how much the constitution means to our national life,” Trumps willful ignorance of our system is both shocking and distressing. (Brown).
Dealing with the fact that the presidents cabinet will later/currently control the future of housing, , financing, health care, education, and retirement for 99% of americans, our future is more uncertain than ever. Our country thought/ thinks that having a businessman as president will see things through “new eyes” and change America for the better but what about the political aspect of running our country. How can someone with zero political experience be able to sit in the most political position of them all. Clearly and un-shockingly, our country is regretting this decision and it shows by Trump’s low of lowest approval ratings. Trump is unqualified to be president because he cannot imagine a country in which individuals can reasonably disagree about things that matter, he also cannot relate to us middle class citizens, and will never be able to honestly. Throwing away the affordable care act has no impact on him, or the oil or wall-street executives with whom he surrounds himself, his kids will pay cash for the colleges of their choice. The laws that Donald Trump will and or have signed will do nothing to change his situation except maybe, improve it. (Rymel). An intolerant nation is not a stable nation. (Post)
Donald Trump shows no fear, no guilt, and a large lack of professionalism, as he speaks to the world uncaringly of peoples, thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Trump has repeatedly made himself look unworthy of holding the position in our country that he does. He does not realize how much his words as president truly weigh and have an impact on the people of this country. To many of us he acts as if he is above all else and there are no consequences that will affect him “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said some of President Donald Trump’s more inflammatory remarks have not only “raised eyebrows,” but have also raised concerns among US allies as to whether he’s serious about the military action he has threatened.” (Lang).
Last month, Trump warned that the United States was prepared to take “devastating” military action against North Korea, and in August, he said he was “not going to rule out a military option” in Venezuela. Many people believe that trump could be setting us on a path to WWIII, even his fellow republicans. The way our president reveals “official statements'” is unacceptable, and unprofessional. “I think that the present occupant of the White House shows that experience counts for something, because he has none and he has not accomplished anything,” she said. (Lang). Before Trump even took office, his incompetence was glaring. (Rymel).
The president may speak unprofessionally and negatively but does he actually violate the first amendment? Surprisingly, he has not, he may have acted on people expressing their first amendment but the only way he could truly violate it is if he were to act on interfering and/ or changing anything that has to do with a person expressing their fre rights to the constitution. He has however, came very close and might have actually gotten himself into a first amendment violation. Because of his threats against NBC and the NFL, he has gotten himself into a sticky situation. Even if Trump’s comments on punishing NBC and the NFL are seen as empty threats, it’s still a First Amendment issue. As Posner wrote in the Seventh Circuit’s Backpage decision: “ [S]uch a threat is actionable and thus can be enjoined even if it turns out to be empty—the victim ignores it, and the threatener folds his tent.” (Timm). If Trump does however chose to act upon his allegations against these private organizations he will then presented in a court of law for attempting to sensor freedom of speech. Sadly, it looks as if the NFL may already capitulate to Trump after his barrage of tweets and comments from the last couple weeks, with owners and the league saying they’re considering a rule forcing players to stand. (Timm).
Previously, as I stated above, Trump was making it clear how he would have the military preform illegal activity to collect vengeance from the terrorist who committed attacks on our country. He then told us he would “Use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies”. The statement continued: “I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters.“I will not order a military officer to disobey the law. It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities.” (McCarthy). Trump’s flip-flops were a major theme of Thursday’s debate and a major point of attack for his rivals. Fox News host Megyn Kelly even played three video clips showing Trump blatantly reversing himself on the war in Afghanistan, Syrian refugees and on George W Bush’s lying – or not – to get the US into the Iraq war. (McCarthy). Trump defended himself by saying that like all successful people he was “flexible”.
Again lack of experience shows here by Trump not knowing what is for certain and not going about his uncertainties as lightly as previous presidents have. Trump continues to speak very highly of himself, he tends to relate to the fact that he is a leader, therefore, above others, in control, unprofessionally, not realizing that there is a time and place for everything, and also we must do what he says, cater to him. This is not the kind of president we want sitting in our Oval Office.
Americans tend to believe that if you are successful at one thing, you will be successful in the other. A wealthy businessperson means they are successful at making money. It doesn’t even mean they do it ethically. And if they plan to be president, we most certainly should ask how they did it.In many ways, Donald Trump’s election was a middle finger to Washington politicians. (Rymel). Despite all of the issues, alligations, and very unnecessary an unprofessional drama that comes with Donald Trump as our president, he surprisingly yet has not gotten himself involved with any constitutional issues. He is walking on the thin line though, and he most likely will continue to remain there. While Donald Trump clearly has no experience to run the government, let’s not forget that as American citizens he is not our commander in chief. He is not the celebrity apprentice, or even our go-to reality start (as he clearly views himself). He is our employee. Treat him like one. (Rymel).
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