It is a sad day in America.
Alan Dershowitz, a supposedly highly regarded Constitutional Scholar with a national reputation and a graduate of Yale Law School, not to mention a former long-time professor at Harvard Law School and its youngest ever, has come out publicly with specious justification for an American Dictatorship.
Or close to it.
Mr. Dershowitz has publicly declared ludicrous support of Donald J. Trump’s already laughably untenable defense rationales.
Mr. Trump’s defense team, of which Mr. Dershowitz is a member, is already doing all it can to make a mockery of the American legal system, as well as long held and deeply respected Constitutional principle, by endeavoring to argue that Mr. Trump has done no wrong in withholding funds appropriated to a foreign country by Congress in service of his self interest and private agenda, both personal and political.
That Mr. Trump committed these acts there is absolutely no doubt.
And they are impeachable offenses.
The Trump’s defense team’s only hope is to subvert the American system of tried and true checks and balances which the Founders thoughtfully and deliberately framed into our Constitution.
Or to use Mr. Dershowitz’ own words, “The defendant wants to hide the truth because he’s generally guilty. The defense attorney’s job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.”
Inexplicably, Mr. Dershowitz has concocted a ridiculous, even dangerous, argument to support Trump’s defense which, if followed, could have dire consequences for the future of the American Presidency, and for the United States as a free and just country with fair and unbiased elections.
He argues that if a President feels his re-election is in the national interest — and what sitting President does not feel this way? — he can do almost anything he pleases in service of that reelection.
Even by Mr. Dershowitz’s own stated standards, which prize winning at all costs with no regard for the truth, he seems foolishly to be risking his reputation.
Perhaps, though, we should all take our hat off to Mr. Dershowitz for concocting a rationale which justifies despots and dictators around the globe.
By his silly and subjectively twisted argument, anything can be defended as being in the national interest, as long as the current President is a megalomaniac or devout narcissist.
Or, as is clearly the case with Mr. Trump…
Or, if the sitting President has even a moderate amount of self confidence, or any kind of instinct for self preservation.
Mr. Dershowitz’s break with reality, or at least with any kind of sound legal reasoning, has to be wondered at.
Has he been “bought” by the Trump forces?
Is he facing an early and, as of yet, undetected form of dementia?
Yale and Harvard Law graduates everywhere are wondering these very questions.
As should every American citizen.
Though one could argue that Mr. Trump wears his strangely orange and seemingly woven hair as a kind of crown, or even a hoped for halo, he is not a King.
Or even an angel.
And there is no place in the American democratic system for either.
The founders derived a painstakingly prudent system replete with safeguards for people; and for just such a scenario as Mr. Trump’s outlandish behavior is calling to question.
They realized that absolute power not only absolutely corrupts, but that it subverts democracies.
They understood that human beings are fallible, and emotional, and seek for power.
Just because Republican Senators, save Mitt Romney, are too cowardly to uphold their precious Constitution doesn’t mean their arguments hold any water.
Faith only matters when you don’t have it.
Likewise, our Constitution requires, nay demands, upholding without regard to political interest.
It is indefensible to defend the Constitution only when it serves you.
Constitutional standards matter most when they are being subverted.
Constitutional principles need be upheld and adhered to no matter the personal agenda of the fallible women and men who endeavor to strike a balance between themselves as people and human beings, and as stewards of Government and representatives of the people.
A few months back, I was having a late night conversation in a restaurant with a couple from Germany. They were deeply alarmed at Mr. Trump’s actions and behavior, sharing with me what they saw as striking similarities between those actions and the events which became precursors to Nazi Germany.
They cited, among other things, Mr. Trump’s continuing insulting and mocking every one of his opponents as well as anyone who disagrees with him, in addition to his scathing attacks toward bastions of valiant and upstanding journalism which categorize these fine institutions as purveyors of fake news. They expressed concern with an increasingly uninformed populace able easily to be swayed by demagoguery, and brashly inaccurate pronouncements proclaimed anew in each fresh news cycle.
Freedom of the press, after all, is essential to any free society and certainly within any functional Democracy.
As is allegiance to articles of government such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
I strenuously countered their arguments, aggressively declaiming that within the thorough and pervasive protections and inter-branch checks and balances afforded by the Constitution, no one man could gain the kind of footing and support that Hitler came to enjoy.
If Alan Dershowitz has his way, I fear I may have been wrong.
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