God Has The Power
To critics who question Donald Trump’s banter about forcing U.S. companies to leave China, as part of his ongoing reality TV trade war with an opponent at least seventy-five times more intelligent, patient, and vision-oriented than the Orange Knucklehead, the reality TV president offers this heartening answer:
For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2019
The Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Trump just loves asserting his authority to do things based on laws of recent vintage and highly disturbing implications — and not merely to assert the authorities contained in those laws, but to extend them to suit his own personal peccadilloes, in defiance of the laws’ original intentions, as explained by a Bush-era economic adviser:
“Any invocation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in these circumstances and for these purposes would be an abuse,” said Daniel M. Price, who was an international economic adviser to President George W. Bush. “The act is intended to address extraordinary national security threats and true national emergencies, not fits of presidential pique.”
Of course, Price, the Bush adviser, is presumably a Republican, and therefore at least nominally pro-free-market and anti-regulation in orientation, whereas Trump’s economic advisers are all progressive opportunists who would sell their own mothers for profit, and TV celebrities who would sell their left brains to keep their completely unearned and sycophantic positions as “administration spokesmen.”
Does it matter to Trump or his “advisers” (i.e., fellow flim-flam men) that this law he is invoking as his authority to directly coerce the economic activity of American citizens was passed, and has hitherto only been used, to defund terrorists or isolate rogue regimes such as Iraq and North Korea?
Let me ask this a little more broadly and rhetorically: If there were a little-known law on the books, passed during, say, the Carter era, declaring that a U.S. president may, under conditions of his own determination, simply override the Constitution and take all powers of the federal government onto himself, without oversight or justification, do you doubt that Donald Trump would happily cite that law in answer to anyone who ever questioned his ability to force anyone to do anything he thought they should do?
This is a “man” (principle of charity applied) who clearly believes he should be able to do whatever he wants, including forcing others to bend to his will by whatever means necessary. And against the fascinated idolatry of his cult — and that includes the millions who routinely say, in effect, “I know he’s a blowhard and ridiculous, but he’s doing so many great things that I can’t deny he’s doing a good job, and that he’s probably the greatest president of my lifetime, maybe of all time!” — this sense of entitlement to power is not an indication of his great strength of will and personal courage. On the contrary, this sense of unlimited entitlement, the need to feel utterly unrestrained in all one’s whims, indicates an immature mind, and specifically a mind frightened by the thought of being thwarted or curtailed in any way, of having to live among men whose status is equal to his own and whose wills he may therefore have to accommodate by ceding some of his own immediate desires to the limiting pressures inherent in adult human life.
Put simply, Trump gives every indication of being an addled pre-pubescent child, whose instinct, when he feels in any way resisted or shown up in public — and he lives his whole mental life “in public” — is to stamp his feet and scream, “I can do anything I want!”
There are many adults of this character, especially in an age such as ours that so consistently aggrandizes feelings over reason, rewards self-indulgence over self-restraint, and equates freedom with utter lack of responsibility. In this respect, Trump is nothing special. What is relatively rare, however, perhaps almost unique, certainly within the population of a limited republic, is that such an underdeveloped character should have millions of ardent admirers ready and willing to bend to every whimsical turn of his mind, and eager to leap in support of his every childish demand for the world to love and obey him; ready, that is, to sacrifice their own minds and wills to his, without a moment’s hesitation, circumspection, or reassessment.
A few days ago, when Trump was retweeting a kook’s description of him as “king of Israel” and “the second coming of God” to the Jews, I admit to indulging in a few minutes of semi-innocent rubber-necking at Right Scoop, as the slobbering cultists — almost all the regular reader-commenters, since the moderators have banned most non-cultists (yours truly included) — tripped over one another racing to the stockpile of ready excuses. “I know he’s a blowhard and ridiculous,” they mused thoughtfully, “but he’s doing so many great things that I can’t deny he’s doing a good job, and that he’s probably the greatest president of my lifetime, maybe of all time!”
In reply to this pretense of level-headed judgment from the cultists, one of the few remaining adults in the Right Scoop discussion, who calls herself “AT,” challenged the gang, regarding their endless flexibility in shifting the imaginary line that defines the limit of their support for Trump, but which line he supposedly hasn’t crossed “yet,” with the perfectly-phrased question:
What if he punched a puppy? What if he went on live television, held a puppy up by the scruff, and punched it square in the face. And then said, “My main concern is our country.”
Needless to say, all the level-headed judges in the forum attacked “AT,” while notably avoiding the content and meaning of her hypothetical question. For the true and obvious answer to that question, for every single cultist — for Mark Levin, for Ted Cruz, for the House Freedom Caucus, for Rush Limbaugh, for the editors of almost every “conservative” political website, and of course for all the readers, listeners, and voters who support any of the above — is “Yes, even then it would still be okay.”
For of course there is no line, when the issue is faith in the Almighty. And for millions of Americans, no matter what fake qualifications and conditions they pretend to adhere to, the question of support for Trump is nothing less than a question of their faith. They will never be untrue to the One True Orange. Period.
And the best thing about the judgment I have just rendered on millions of my fellow human beings is that we shall all have the chance, in real time, to assess its veracity. Just wait and see, my friends. In fact, Trump is, as we speak, committing offenses against decency, liberty, and rational governance far more egregious, though perhaps less viscerally attuned to the outrage buttons of our sentimentalist age, than merely punching a puppy in the face on live television. He is punching the greatest experiment in the history of individual liberty in the face, almost daily at this point. And yet his millions do not mind. For they are the pack-asses of tyrannical demagoguery. They will carry his load until, dying of thirst and hunger but still unwilling to admit that they have long been forsaken, they drop dead.