by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Sticklers for constitutional propriety are so used to being howled down as bigots that they often find it easier to keep quiet. If, to pluck an example more of less at random, you argue that the question of same-sex marriage is very obviously a state prerogative, your opponents won’t try to explain why that the issue ought to be a question for the federal courts. They’ll say, “What’s your problem with gay people, hater?”
The violations of the Constitution have trended overwhelmingly in one political direction. Whether on ethical issues or gun rights, on the growth of federal agencies or property seizures by the EPA, conservatives have tended to be on the receiving end, because the chief organs of the state, above all the judiciary, have been colonized by people whose assumptions and prejudices are well to the Left of the general population’s.
Perhaps understandably, under the circumstances, liberals are generally relaxed about imaginative interpretations of the Constitution, whereas conservatives are, you know, conservative about it. Still, I have three words for all those who think that the Constitution belongs to the age of sextants and spinning-jennies. President. Donald. Trump. …
… What would be the constraints on President Trump in office? What would stop him from, say, harassing critical media? This, after all, is the man who presumed to tell Fox News to get rid of Megyn Kelly because she was insufficiently deferential toward him. Imagine how much more weight he’d be able to throw about as commander in chief.
What would prevent him from deporting people he didn’t like? If President Obama could disregard Congress over immigration policy, so could President Trump. Likewise, if President Obama could harass tea-party groups through the tax system, surely President Trump could pick on organizations he didn’t care for — which, in his case, would cover pretty much anyone from the Occupy movement to the Heritage Foundation.
There’d be no point in complaining about it, my dear Lefties. You allowed the apparatus of executive rule to grow up over decades. It began under Woodrow Wilson, and accelerated under FDR and Johnson; but it reached a whole new level under Obama, especially over the nationalization of health care. When the president mentioned, almost en passant, that small companies which didn’t insure their employees would no longer have to pay a special $3000 tax, minions rushed to give the emperor’s whim the full force of law.