Trump Is No Threat To Democracy: That’s The Problem

Trump Is No Threat To Democracy: That’s The Problem


Leonard Zwelling

I was completely fooled by the title of this op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on February 5.

“Trump Doesn’t Threaten Democracy—He Embodies It”

John Hasnas, a professor of business and law at Georgetown, makes a compelling case that while Donald Trump may not be good for the country for a number of specific reasons, he’s no threat to democracy. In fact, democracy is what will probably get him elected in November and it is that fact that liberal Democrats don’t understand. It is the fact that drives the libs nuts.

Hasnas lists the following reasons why Donald Trump is a threat to the United States.

Donald Trump is a threat to constitutional government because he doesn’t believe in the Constitution. I doubt he’s even read it.

He doesn’t acknowledge the separation of powers and thinks that the power of the presidency is unlimited. You may remember that kind of thinking is what got Richard Nixon into trouble. Lyndon Johnson, too.

Trump does not understand that the Bill of Rights limits the power of the federal government. So does Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution which lists the actual powers that Congress has. These “enumerated powers” are limited.

A President Trump thinks that the Department of Justice works for him and can be used to prosecute and persecute his enemies.

He has contempt for the legal system and the courts and will ignore judicial decisions with which he does not agree.

Mr. Trump may be a threat to the American economic well-being. If he imposes an across-the-board tariff of 10% on foreign goods, we will all be paying the price.

But, Mr. Hasnas goes on to say, it “isn’t fair to say that Mr. Trump is a threat to democracy.”

Why not?

Because the essence of a democracy is that each of us votes and those votes are of equal weight regardless of the intelligence or emotions with which they were cast.

The liberal bastions of the coasts simply do not understand why the rest of the country is ga-ga for Trump. The answer is that the coastal minority does not have to understand it. It is so. It may be emotional. It may be illogical in some people’s minds. It may even be stupid according to some. It doesn’t matter. If, in November, enough people vote for Mr. Trump in the right states, sort of the inverse of what happened last time, he will be President. He may not even have a majority of the total vote. That’s not our system. If he has a majority of the total vote in the right states, he wins.

This is both vexing and annoying as well as incomprehensible to many people. In fact, that’s true of many of my friends. However, that’s American democracy for you and the only threat Mr. Trump may pose is if he tries to undo our system which is unlikely if it brings him back to the White House again.

So, Mr. Hasnas just wants to be precise about what Mr. Trump may threaten. It’s not democracy. It may well be a constitutional, representative government of three coequal branches, but it’s not democracy.

I stand corrected.

2 thoughts on “Trump Is No Threat To Democracy: That’s The Problem”

  1. You always get me thinking about the importance of words and the concepts behind them. No matter how one justifies or demonizes Trump, he remains a terrible choice for Commander-in-Chief, especially as that role relates to supporting NATO. He is more of a Coward-in-Chief.

    1. Actually he’s a throwback to the 1930s-1940s pre WWII America First movement, that was leaning toward Hitler. Charles Lindbergh was the face of the movement. Trump does not understand how foreign affairs work.. It’s not a real estate deal. He’s still dangerous.

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