dearJulius.com Write For Us

This election is a referendum on Donald Trump's corrosive impact on our politics

SHARE:


By Tom Nichols, USA TODAY

This election is a referendum on Donald Trump's corrosive impact on our politics

Yes, there are some important issues pending as we head into the 116th Congress: health care, an idiotic trade war, an arms control treaty. Yet they pale in comparison to what should be the overriding concern of every American citizen of any party or affiliation: the preservation and protection of our constitutional system of government.

This is a serious claim. How much damage, really, can any one member of Congress, or any state or local official, make to our way of life?

As it turns out, plenty, if they choose to run under the banner of a party that is now little more than the vehicle of an ignorant and rage-addicted cult of personality. The 2018 midterms are, more than anything else, a referendum on the corrosive changes in our political life wrought by the current president of the United States. Donald Trump himself has said so. “I'm not on the ticket,” he said last month, “but I am on the ticket, because this is also a referendum about me.”
Trump aim: Ensure we can't tell truth from lies

Take a moment to consider how far we fallen from even our most basic standards of political conduct in just a few years.

Freedom of the press? Despite a mass murder of Jews in Pittsburgh and an attempted mass assassination of more than a dozen prominent Americans by men parroting the rhetoric of his most fervent supporters, Trump has accused the media of being the true source of violence in our public life. He has raised the idea of yanking broadcast licenses and shrugged off the murder of a columnist for an American newspaper while continuing to inveigh against journalists at his anger-soaked mass rallies.

Executive power? Republicans once defended the principle of limited government. No longer. Today, Trump talks about rolling back the 14th Amendment of the Constitution ("birthright citizenship") by executive order, and a mostly compliant GOP and its servants in the right-wing media scramble to praise this Caesarism not only as defensible and but as lovely to behold.

Judicial overreach? The Republican Party I joined in my youth during the Reagan years was implacably opposed to the rule of “unelected judges.” Today, Republicans are so insecure about their own ideas that they have sold out everything else conservatives once cared about — free trade, a strong foreign and defense policy, the importance of character in politics — to get two more Supreme Court justices they hope will carry on their narrow crusades (primarily against Obamacare and legalized abortion) even if they themselves are swept from power.

Law and order? Respect for the military? The president has attacked America’s law enforcement and intelligence organizations, including his own attorney general, as part of a “deep state” out to get him. He has played politics with security clearances, while his own White House is riddled with conflicts of interest and shockingly lax security procedures. Meanwhile, the president has pushed for a huge, showy, and ultimately pointless deployment of troops to the Mexican border, a move that seems more like political theater than the protection of national security.

Perhaps most important, the president is in a full-blown assault on the notion of truth itself. Or, more accurately, he is doing everything in his power to ensure that ordinary citizens cannot tell the difference between the truth and a lie. He has inoculated millions of Americans against ever grasping a fact of which he does not approve by demanding that citizens of a democracy behave as though they are subjects of an authoritarian state, and accept that he, personally, is the only source of truth.
Republicans fail oversight, constitutional fidelity

Some Republicans, while wincing, are meekly trying to sell a passel of judges, a tax cut and some regulatory rollback as worth all of this. Others, meanwhile, have followed the president’s lead and resorted to inane but nonetheless dangerous conspiracy theories. They warn of an “invasion” of migrants, chant the mantra of “fake news,” and level the usual scummy and anti-Semitic slurs on “globalists” and the orders they’re supposedly taking from Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

The Democrats, a party still reeling from years of losses that culminated in the shock of 2016, are themselves still something of a hot mess. Whether they can do better than the GOP as a governing party is up to them. But they are far less of a threat to our constitutional order.

The choice now is whether to continue to enable the president’s behavior, or to contain him with the reliable device of divided government. As a former Republican, I would have preferred that the Republican Party itself had opposed Trumpism by exercising the self-control, prudence, stoicism, and dedication to unwritten norms that once marked traditional conservatives. The Republicans, however, have failed the tests not only of responsible oversight, but of constitutional fidelity. Their removal from the majority is crucial to preserving a democracy that must survive long after Trump and his courtiers are gone.

COMMENTS



Note: If you think this story need more information or correction, feel free to comment below your opinion and reaction.
Name

Opinion,325,Politics,1434,
ltr
item
Politics - U.S. Daily News: This election is a referendum on Donald Trump's corrosive impact on our politics
This election is a referendum on Donald Trump's corrosive impact on our politics
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Mb5lVs1tJqg/W-FT9Rqr5lI/AAAAAAABIZw/COV74psIcccTs7tTtekX2fZ-lJCfiuadwCLcBGAs/s1600/3.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Mb5lVs1tJqg/W-FT9Rqr5lI/AAAAAAABIZw/COV74psIcccTs7tTtekX2fZ-lJCfiuadwCLcBGAs/s72-c/3.jpg
Politics - U.S. Daily News
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/2018/11/this-election-is-referendum-on-donald.html
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/2018/11/this-election-is-referendum-on-donald.html
true
7025300104501306591
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy