Alexander: Thanks to Trump, Republicans Distance Themselves From the Constitution

Photo by Gage Skidmore, courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo by Gage Skidmore, courtesy of Creative Commons

By CJ Alexander, Opinion Writer

 

Ever since President Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Republicans have bent the United States Constitution to their will. Whether it was the Trump administration abusing its power time after time or the Senate majority exploiting partisan polarization for power grabs, mainstream Republicans have demonstrated in the last four years proving that they no longer hold their so-called core values in high esteem.

Republicans used to worship the Constitution as “their founding document,” but nowadays they can barely follow its most basic principles. And it’s all done in their constant search for approval from Trump. A president’s praise is great, but even more his terrifying are his condemnations. If Trump doesn’t like you, he will let you know through brazen insults in press conferences or a storm of tweets. Many Republicans support him so they can avoid being blasted, but they have cost themselves dearly. 

The truth remains — mainstream Republicans have distanced themselves from their core conservative values upholding the Constitution to keep President Donald Trump happy.

Take a second to remember the impeachment scandal at the beginning of 2019 — the one when Donald Trump withheld congressional aid for Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating his political rival, Joe Biden. Trump deliberately used his power in office for political gain — an unpresidential and certainly an impeachable offense.

To a certain extent, we knew that Trump would use dirty tricks while in office, but Republicans’ dedication to him throughout the trials was less predictable. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky, failed to remain impartial — as it is stated in the Constitution — and essentially aided the Trump administration during the trials, which was unconstitutional on McConnell’s part.

With the notable exception of Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, all Senate Republicans voted in favor of Trump and acquitted him. Trump was impeached but nothing was done to hold him accountable as Republicans kept him in office. But the fact of the matter is that Republicans were not impartial during the impeachment trial as the Constitution requires. By failing to remain impartial, Republicans distanced themselves from their beloved Constitution and further aligned themselves with Trump.

In addition to Trump’s handling of the impeachment scandal, his attempts to maintain office proved dire when he disgraced our election. To illustrate, Trump consistently attacks the integrity of the election by attempting to discredit mail-in ballots amid the brutal coronavirus pandemic. He then stated his refusal to fund the U.S. Post Office to expand universal mail-in voting. Then Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Then Trump suggested delaying the election and encouraged voter intimidation. Just a few days ago, he blatantly lied to the American public about the results of the 2020 election.

All of this isn’t exactly out of character for this party, but that is no justification for their extremism. Not only was the GOP largely silent in fighting Trump’s disinformation, but many times they also took Trump’s side. This blatant support for Trump and clear disrespect for their dear Constitution is appalling and quite obvious.

Lastly, we must recognize the glaring and ever-present GOP hypocrisy on Supreme Court justices. During President Barack Obama’s last term in office, Republicans — including Senator Mitch McConnell — refused Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nomination of Merrick Garland. They explained that “the new Supreme Court Justice should be determined by the next president elected,” as it was an election year, and they refused to hold hearings hundreds of days from the election. Under a Trump presidency, Republicans like McConnell reversed their stance to confirm Amy Coney Barrett days after people began voting. The reason for this flip-flop? The GOP is a hypocritical party focused on supporting a criminal candidate instead of supporting the Constitution.

Republicans tend to be conservative — people who stand for so-called traditional values. For a group that cares about tradition, supporting Trump is a bizarre decision. Perhaps it’s his attitude, mindset or threatening presence, but at the end of the day, these GOP Republicans have abandoned their moral foundation to support such a character. Trump has never stood for the U.S. Constitution. He has never stood for the American people. He has never stood up for you or me. He stands for himself. So why continue to support him?

 

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@CamdenAlexande1