President Trump’s vicious attack on Democrats, many of whom have bravely served their country, deserves unqualified condemnation. Trump’s labeling of fellow patriotic Americans with treasonous behavior, an offense punishable by death, crossed the line of acceptable presidential conduct. Here’s Trump’s accusation from a speech in Cincinnati last week.
“They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, Yeah, I guess why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country that much.”
Trump lacks any military credibility having cut and run from service in Vietnam by receiving a note from his doctor. Trump received a medical deferment when he graduated from college in 1968 even though he played football, tennis and squash and was taking up golf in college. His medical history was unblemished until graduation when he escaped service with a sudden discovery of heel bone spurs.
Trump’s disgusting, over-the-top name calling is the latest in his outrageous un-American behavior. Accusing the Democrats at the State of the Union as treasonous for refusing to clap for his every comment is a new low in acceptable presidential temperament.
Treasonous behavior means betraying one’s country. Trump is accusing Democrats of betraying their country for failing to give him total uncritical support. Trump’s demand of complete, unquestioning loyalty is a direct assault on America’s Democratic principles of free speech and open debate.
Senator Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in 2004 serving in Iraq, was one of the Democrats Trump labeled as treasonous. She responded to Trump’s ugly name-calling with this tweet.
“We don’t live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. I swore an oath—in the military and in the Senate—to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap,” tweeted Duckworth.
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake who has been one of the Republicans to bravely speak out against Trump’s irrational presidential behavior weighed in on Trump’s treasonous accusation.
“Treason is not a punch line, Mr. President. Applause is approval of an idea, not loyalty to one’s country,” said Senator Jeff Flake. “Our Democratic colleagues love this country as much as we do. To suggest otherwise is simply unconscionable.”
Trump defenders claim that Trump’s treasonous comments were meant to be humorous. That faulty defense has created more criticism.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) reacted by saying “(treason is) not a laughing matter” but rather a “serious crime embedded in the Constitution, punishable by death…But since (the) commander in chief chose to raise it at a political rally, let’s have a discussion about treason,” he said.
“Is it treason for a presidential campaign to meet with a hostile foreign power to sell out our democracy and rig the election…Was it treason for a presidential campaign to meet with Russian spies who promise information that was negative about a political opponent and then fail to report that meeting to law enforcement officials?”
“How dare you lecture us about treason. This is not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy,” Jeffries said. “And we do not have to stand for a reality show host masquerading as president of the United States.”
by Rick Smith
Photo via Gage Skidmore