Not a day has passed since Trump’s inauguration that he has not done or said something that beggared the imagination in terms of presidential behavior. As a political novice, and an intellectually uncurious one at that, Trump came to the White House with no understanding of, and no concern for, the constitutional strictures of his office or the laws of our land.
Trump’s lack of constitutional comprehension places our nation in grave danger. In his mind, the Constitution is just another piece of paper, rather than a nearly sacred document that has helped preserve the greatest nation on earth for over 230 years. Rather than seeing it as the foundational document to a great republic, he sees the Constitution as a nuisance to swept aside in his pursuit of power.
When the states ratified the Constitution in 1788, they were doing much more than just creating the basis for our country’s laws. They created a faith – an American faith in the fundamental understanding of right and wrong. Their creation was both legal and moral. Trump has little regard for the former and has never been within a country mile of the latter.
His disregard for both our laws and traditions strike at a much deeper chord of in the heart of our country. The Constitution, the rule of law, individual freedom, equality — the most basic guidelines that separate civil society from anarchy — only work when we all believe in them and abide by them.
Without the collective agreement that, while we may debate and argue over the interpretation of these words, we will all ultimately abide by them, our republic would not stand. We take doing work for a client or an employer for granted (unless you’ve worked for the president) because we can be reasonably assured that both parties will abide by their mutual agreement.
When that stops happening, when one party abandons the agreement and forces their way forward, the outcome changes dramatically. Instead of a fair, balanced society built on laws and norms, the strongest, most powerful person wins every time. Might begins to make right, and for a democratic republic, that is a tragedy.
When the president of the United States doesn’t believe he has to play by the rules, soon everyone else starts to question their own obligation to do so. We just have to look at the trail of liars and corrupt presidential cronies serving time in federal prison to understand the consequences of following the lead of a lawless president.
That is why, regardless of whether or not Trump is convicted in his Senate impeachment trial, we the people must be prepared to vote him out of office next November. Republicans in Congress have proven they are unwilling to execute their constitutional duties. If they also have such little regard for the laws of our nation, then they too no longer deserve the privilege of the offices they hold.
To that end, this week a group of independents and Republicans launched The Lincoln Project. As we look forward to 2020, The Lincoln Project will work to defeat Donald Trump, and the Republicans who have enabled Trumpism, at the ballot box next November.
The time for talking, debating, and arguing about Donald Trump’s fitness — or lack thereof — for holding the honored office of President of the United States, is past. The Lincoln Project will talk directly to voters — Republicans, Independents and Democrats – using all the resources at our disposal — to ensure that Donald Trump is a one-term president and our constitution is preserved.
Reed Galen, Park City, is an independent political strategist and advisory board member of the Lincoln Project. You can follow him on Twitter @reedgalen.