"I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me."

Donald Trump

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump spoke the following words, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Seven years later, it is clear he neither understands or respects his Oath of Office, the Constitution, nor millions of loyal Americans who may disagree with is policies, words, or actions.

He famously said, Article II gave him, “the right to do whatever I want as president,” adding on April 20th 2020, “When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total,” and more recently claims “A president has to have [absolute] immunity.”

The Constitution is clear about the limitations and checks on presidential power and nowhere immunizes a president from facing criminal or civil legal exposures for their deeds while in office, a sentiment with which all four other living ex-presidents all agree.

Asked if he’d be dictator if elected, Trump responded, “No, no, no, other than day one.’”

There is no Constitutional provision allowing any president to have dictatorial powers for even a single day.

He has pledged to, “rout [what he believes is] the fake news media,” calling most reporters, “The enemy of the people!” and proposed certain news outlets “be investigated for treason.

Guess he forgot the First Amendment guarantees, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

Despite no evidence of a fraudulent or stolen election, Trump posted on Truth Social, “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.

Which Article in the Constitution permits any portion of it to be terminated or suspended?

He recently refused to sign Illinois’ primary loyalty pledge attesting he would “not directly or indirectly teach or advocate the overthrow of the government of the United States or of this state or any unlawful change in the form of the governments thereof by force or any unlawful means.”

All other presidential primary candidates willingly signed the pledge.

His comments, and those of some of his adherents, during campaign events and online, provide an unambiguous road map for his second-term agenda potentially threatening core elements of American governance, democracy, foreign policy, and the rule of law …

  • Pledging “retribution” by abolishing 50-years of policy and practice shielding criminal prosecutions from political considerations, vowing to use the Justice Department to prosecute his adversaries and having those who challenge him “indicted.”
  • Canceling civil-service rules protecting career government professionals, enabling him to fire tens of thousands of federal workers and replace them with loyalists.
  • Implementing the so-called “unitary executive theory,” giving presidents complete and direct authority over the entire federal bureaucracy, requiring agencies submit proposed rules to the White House for approval and making it is unconstitutional for Congress to create independent decision-making agencies.
  • Pardoning the Proud Boy leaders and those convicted of participation in the January 6th, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
  • Using the U.S. military to attack drug cartels in Mexico (an invasion violating international law unless Mexico consented) and for domestic law enforcement purposes (broadly using the Insurrection Act as justification).
  • Claiming undocumented migrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” and unilaterally revising immigration enforcement on a scale unseen in modern American history.
  • Halting “all refugee settlements to the United States,” ramping up his travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries, and using “ideological screening” to root out people who, among other things, “don’t like our religion.”
  • Carrying out sweeping raids in immigrant communities, erecting sprawling camps to hold undocumented detainees and leaving the door for resuming his policy of family separations and eliminating the DACA Program protecting immigrants brought to America as children.
  • Ending birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to undocumented parents, although protected by the 14th Amendment.
  • Removing the rights pf parents and advice of medical professionals by requiring a crackdown on gender-affirming care, continuing the assault on the reproductive rights of women, and dismantling the Affordable Care Act.
  • Driving out those he believes are globalists and communists and eliminating the “political class that [he believes] hates our country.”

Those who dismiss Trump’s remarks as mere campaign rhetoric and trusting our fragile democracy is too resilient to fail should reflect on 20th century history when a democratic German Republic rapidly devolved into a brutal dictatorship, not as the result of a revolution but through the ballot box. 

Attracted by appeals to their fears, prejudices, and hopes for a return to a utopian past which never existed, millions of Germans voted for National Socialist Party candidates in 1933, mistakenly and tragically believing the extreme rhetoric of the party’s leader was just political theater and not a precursor to what was to come.

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana