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Implications of WH Claim “The President Is Not A Civilian”

William L. Kovacs

August 2020

Implications of WH Claim “The President Is Not A Civilian”

Most days after reading a few newspapers and watching a few cable “news channels,” (liberal and conservative outlets), I ask myself – how does the president of the U.S. believe he can lead a country and honor his oath to defend its Constitution when he is at war with many of its people and laws on a daily basis?

I really do understand that many of our “leaders” break the law on a regular basis but they try to deviate from expected norms in secret so they can continue holding office and appear to have integrity. We Americans are very tolerant of hypocrisy. We have to be. We live under the rules our politicians impose on us but somehow, exempt themselves from compliance.

But lately, Donald Trump’s vicious attacks on protesters for breaking the law, while sticking his disregard for the law smugly in our face, makes silence impossible.

Before proceeding further, I must admit, I voted in 2016 for Donald Trump. I cheered for him as he fought the “Deep State” over its false accusations involving collusion with Russia. His deregulation effort was needed to allow the country to grow again. He was on the path to greatness, even if his tweeting is obnoxious. Unfortunately, his mouth gets in the way of “Making American Great Again.”

A few recent events illustrate this point. His Phoenix and Tulsa rallies and the White House statement explaining why the president need not follow civil law, provide a glimpse of his disregard of the laws all of us are forced to live under.

The July 23, 2020 event in Phoenix, Arizona is a good example of hypocrisy. The President hosted a rally for students amid Arizona’s growing Coronavirus crisis. Trump’s rally did not abide by his own CDC guidelines, and arrogantly disregarded the City of Phoenix’s mandatory mask policy. Moreover, the President himself refused to wear a mask. He should have, even if for no other reason than as an elected official he needs to show respect for laws citizens must live under. Trump has many legal avenues to change laws he disagrees with. He certainly sues on every other believed wrong that pops into his head.

In his Phoenix speech he had the gall to viciously attack protesters for breaking the law, while he was breaking the law as he spoke.  He told his followers they are “smarter” than others and they are the “elite” while having the protests deemed an unlawful assembly at which the police used flashbangs to disperse the crowd.

After the Phoenix event, the press reported that at the earlier Tulsa event, the Trump campaign directed the removal of thousands of “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers on the chairs to ensure social distancing. Trump denied asking for the stickers to be removed. Denials and blaming others is his campaign style.

Is there no end to his hypocrisy?

More concerning, however, is the statement made a few days later by the White House.  “The president is not a civilian” therefore, he does not need to comply with New Jersey’s quarantine law which requires a 14-day quarantine when coming into the state from another state with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. This statement should scare the living crap out of all citizens – if the president is not a “civilian” leader, then he is a “military” leader.”

[It should be noted that the president canceled the New Jersey trip so he could remain in DC to ensure “law and order.”]

The U.S. has had twelve generals as presidents, e.g. Washington, Grant, Jackson, Eisenhower, each of them led this nation as civilian leaders. Our military is under civilian control until now when a president, who never served in the military, claims he is a military leader of our country.  Supporting these claims, Trump in a  recent ABC interview,  stated he could do whatever he  wants since “A president can run the country.”

Trump’s threats and belligerent actions are legendary from lawsuits to evictions, to refusals to release subpoenaed documents, and involvement in over 3500 lawsuits earning him the title of “Plaintiff in Chief,” according to an article in the ABA Journal.  Even before he was nominated in 2016, he told every reporter who would listen, if he did not get the nomination, “I think you’d have riots.” He went on to say “I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen; I really do.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, can’t come too soon. We citizens are not given many choices by the political elite who view voters as cheap commodities, needed only to win elections and pay taxes. That is all we are worth to them.

As I asked in a prior article – Out of 328 Million People, Can’t We Find Better Candidates than a plagiarizer named “Sleepy Joe” and a narcissist named Trump? Fortunately for Libertarians, they have Jo Jorgensen, as their nominee for president. She is a solid candidate with a practical approach to governing. She is a superstar compared to the two establishment losers. But she needs more than votes from Libertarians. To win and she can win, if she aggressively talks to independents about how a Libertarian president is good for the nation. In Gallup’s May 28 – June 4, 2020 poll – 25% of Americans identified themselves as Republicans; 31% as Democrats and 40% as Independents. The votes are available, now is the time to put in the hard work to get them.