Roger Niello

Donald Trump: More Dangerous as a Racist or as an Enemy of Free Speech?

If @realdonaldtrump attack on Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel is not racist we should still be troubled. Maybe more so.

I’ve heard the logic from those who would defend The Donald. Judge Curiel is, indeed, of Mexican descent and, given Trump’s comments about Mexicans who have migrated north in recent years and his unapologetic commitment to build “The Wall” I suppose it is not inconceivable that the Judge could be biased against him. Also, if white judges can be questioned about their partiality regarding black defendants I guess one can question the impartiality of a judge of Mexican descent in this case.

Whether any of that has merit or not, this is also another example of Trump’s thin skin and his propensity to savage anyone against him. What makes me take pause is this infamous thin skin along with his stated goal of wanting to loosen libel laws to make it easier for him to silence anyone (individual or press) who criticize him coupled with the possibility that he just might be elected to the most powerful position on the planet.

As I recently read that Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer with the Cato Institute, said “Who knows what a Donald Trump with a pen and a phone would do?” As we have witnessed with our current President, a lot can be accomplished unilaterally at the whim of the office holder alone. Even if successfully challenged, severe damage can be done to the legal tenants that might have been well established prior to that executive action.

I call on anyone to use knowledge of past practices combined with thoughts of what a Donald Trump may conceive to imagine what is possible. Nixon’s enemies list, the Clintons’ propensity to character assignation (I know: oh! the choices we have!) and Obama’s IRS discrimination of right-wing interest groups’ non-profit applications are just a few examples. And, for those who know a little American founding history, there’s John Adam’s Alien and Sedition Act (I know, not an Executive Action but still an example born of executive paranoia). You get the point.

So, if you’re open to excusing the racist accusation, are you still not troubled by Donald Trump’s thin skinned tirades? I am.

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