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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/6/22

Trump's 'Constitution,' The Seven Magic Tricks, and The Republo-Fascists

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"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)

USS Constitution is underway during Chief Petty Officer Heritage Weeks.
USS Constitution is underway during Chief Petty Officer Heritage Weeks.
(Image by Official U.S. Navy Imagery)
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Introduction (per Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, Dec. 5, 2022):

"Trump Calls for Termination of Constitution Except Fifth Amendment," By Andy Borowitz

"PALM BEACH (The Borowitz Report). Donald J. Trump clarified his call for the termination of the United States Constitution by indicating that he would abolish the entire document except for the Fifth Amendment. 'I haven't read the Constitution, but, from what I've been told, most of it is a waste of paper, quite frankly,' he told the One America News Network.

" 'The Fifth Amendment is the only part worth saving.' Trump said that the Fifth Amendment was 'maybe the most beautiful amendment ever written,' and noted that he had used it 'many, many times. When I left office, I took a lot of documents with me, but I had no interest in taking the Constitution,' he said. 'If I could have cut the Fifth Amendment out of the Constitution and put it in my pocket, I would have done that, but the rest of it was written by a bunch of dummies. A bunch of dummies.' Republican leaders were noticeably silent on the former President's latest remarks, except for Representative Kevin McCarthy, who said, 'Hunter Biden's laptop'."

The Real Trump and the Real Constitution

As is now widely known, on Dec. 3, 2022, ex-President Donald J. Trump posted this fascinating note on his very own "Truth Social:"

"So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great 'Founders' did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!"

A couple of observations (of the numerous ones that could be made, doing detailed textual analysis of this fascinating statement). Beyond the call to somehow or other overthrow Constitutional government, and then to, having done so, install Trump as --- what? President? Or what? Somehow, he doesn't get around to, or even hint at, at that, or further, what kind of document/system would be dreamed up to take the place of the present one. But then again, lots of stuff the man talks about has implications that he just never seems to get around to dealing with. Like if the "Jan 6th" Riot had worked out (but Mike Pence had not been hanged), under exactly what rules written down where (except possibly in the heads of Eastman and Giuliani [and the "Pillow Guy"]) would Trump have been able to accomplish his desired end. Ah, details, details. Not exactly his long suit.

And then we come to the "MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION" that apparently took place to deny him victory. First of all, the referenced matter apparently concerns the famous "Hunter Biden's Laptop" (see the McCarthy quote above). The assumption is made here that material on it (verified by whom? Oh dear, now that's a tough one) could have thrown the election to Trump. That's an interesting one (that is "what's on Hunter Biden's laptop?), a discussion of which could consume a major chunk of a column (and likely will, when in a couple of weeks I will be writing about the Repub. plans for a multiple-"Benghazi" [see the opening two paragraphs of the referenced column]-replay in the next Congress).

As to who committed the FRAUD, well as it happens Trump and his confederates are referring to a series of events that some sources say did not actually happen, that is the refusal of Twitter to post tweets concerning the aforementioned "Hunter Biden's laptop." But, to put it in the vernacular, "So What?" Twitter is a private company. Presently, under CONSTITUTIONAL government, beyond the libel laws they are not subject to any constraints on what they publish and do not publish, other than self-imposed ones. (Actually, Elon Musk is now going out of his way to prove that validity of that point.) Twitter could have indeed been lying through its teeth or concealing some really explosive content, at the request of the Biden Campaign (an event which again, Matt Taibbi to the contrary notwithstanding, apparently did NOT happen), and no one could say any significant boo to any significant goose about it. As a private company, that's their business.

Then, one has to wonder where it is written down (other than in scribbles inside Trump's brain) that: "A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution." Who measures the "massivity" and "massiveness"? To which particular "rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution" is he referring? And so and so forth.

In my view, the most important point that one should make is that on so many counts (e.g., legality, writing, methods of enforcement of the desired intervention) is that the intervention in the structure of our Constitutional Democracy that Trump is calling for ranges from the totally illegal to the totally ridiculous. (Side point, in terms of his advocated intervention one has to wonder if Trump has an organized Sturm Abteilung (Brown Shirts) type, very large, private army, holed up somewhere, waiting to pounce).

The second point is to raise the question, why did he do this and why now? To get an answer to the latter, I turn to my list of Trump's "Seven Magic Tricks."

1. He has always had one or more protectors and enablers, either personal, or financial or both.

2. For decades he has had a standard operating procedure when he faces an adversary of any kind. He learned it from Roy Cohn (who learned it from Joseph McCarthy): "Always attack; Never defend." A variation on this Trick is to utter a falsehood, and then just say it over and over and over again.

3. Also learned from Roy Cohn is the mantra: "when you run into a problem, just sue." You may not win, and it may cost you some money. But a) you might win and b) with the endlessness with which civil litigation can be drawn out in the U.S. legal system, that other side may just get worn out.

4. In the whole of his business life, Trump has never been responsible to anyone else, either above him (except for Dad, of course) or even alongside.

5. Trump has (for the most part happily) lived his life surrounded by enemies, whether in business, in his personal life, in his banking and financial life (except for a select few, like Deutsche Bank), certainly in politics, and not just at this time. In dealing with them his "Art of the Deal" has not been deal-making, but attempted opponent-crushing. Negotiation is just not his thing.

6. Trump is history's greatest con man (a subject to which I have also devoted a previous column). And, it should be noted that the Con Man or Woman by definition always knows that what they are selling is lie.

7. "Oh woe is me; everyone's against me, and it's so unfair[!]"

In the text below, I use "TMT" as the abbreviation for "Trump's Magic Trick."

In his present predicament, Trump is using every one the Tricks, all at once. That is because Trump is in quite a predicament. And he knows it. The walls are closing in. The "Weisselberg Trial." The Georgia Election fraud case. The New York State tax fraud civil case. The succession of "Jan. 6" cases which increasingly point their fingers at him. To say nothing of "The Mar-a-Lago Files" case (and this time he is not facing the world's-shyest-special-prosecutor. Indeed, Jack Smith looks like he is in the casting line for the next James Bond.)

SO, Trump is engaging in the classic Trump-Tactic that he has used for decades: "Look over there," employing all but one of the 7 Magic Tricks to do so. And so:

TMT 1. He can no longer employ! There are no protectors/enablers left.

TMT 2. This whole current, overthrow-Constitutional-Government shtick for me is massive employment of "Always attack; Never defend."

TMT 3. Further, the shtick is a very large-sized variation on "when in trouble, just sue." Again: distract, distract, distract.

TMT 4. Trump is surely doing this one entirely on his own, responsible to no one.

TMT 5. "Surrounded by enemies." Well, he surely is; more and more them.

TMT 6. "History's Greatest Con Man." Well, if could pull it off (which he can't, and, by the way, he knows he can't) it would be history's greatest con, but again, achieving it is not his goal. MAJOR DISTRCTION is.

TMT 7. The "Woe is me" trick doesn't need any further explanation in this instance.

This one will last only as long as the media permit it to last. Since Murdoch has clearly abandoned Trump, he will get positive traction from it only on the far-far-Right media. On the liberal media, he will get negative traction from it, which of course he so richly deserves. But what is of interest to me (and so many others, of course) here is the Republican reaction. It has been well-documented that much subject-ducking is going on.

For the most part, Republicans are refusing to condemn Trump for advocating the overthrow of the United States government by force and violence. (Too bad the Smith Act, which prohibited advocating [not actually attempting to undertake] the overthrow of the United States government by force and violence was eventually declared unconstitutional in 1957.) The Republicans are bobbing and weaving, usually coming down to some version of "Oh, that's just Trump." And on the liberal media they are getting hammered for it. (On Fox, dunno. But I am not going to spend my time trying to find out.) Of course, "Trump Has Been Assaulting the Constitution From the Beginning," and for the most part the Republo-fascists have been very happy about that.

BUT, and here is where I disagree with the liberal media (and progressives that I have listened to are doing the same thing). I don't think that the Republicans are bobbing and weaving because they really disagree with Trump and don't want to say that out loud. I think it is that they actually agree with Trump. That is that they would like to establish some form of Republo-fascist government in this country. But they just don't want to say "Constitutional overthrow" right out loud at this time, and certainly not in the cockamamie way that Trump is proposing to do it. (Plus, tons of them would not be at all happy to have the off-the-wall Trump installed as Dictator [or even dictator].) As my regular readers know, I have written frequently on this subject, most recently here. About a year-and-a-half ago I described "The Oncoming Freight Train of the Republo-Fascist Party: With a Disposable Headlight Named Donald J. Trump."

Especially after this stunt, if it is followed by an embarrassing conviction or two (or embarrassing details revealed as a result of the "Weisselberg Trial"), there will indeed be one or more serious moves underway to get rid of him. Because he is in the process of turning from the headlamp that lights the way for the Republo-fascist freight train to the cross-rail which is going to run it right off the track. But that train definitely wants to get to that station and for every Republican who is currently ducking questions on Trump's latest embarrassment, getting there --- some form of Republo-fascism --- is THE objective. And that's the what the media should be asking them about (but so far at least, is not).

Postscript

Literally within one-half hour after I finished writing the column above on 12-5-22, Trump issued a statement that sort-of withdrew part of the one above to which the column is devoted. He said that he didn't REALLY want to "terminate the Constitution." He didn't go into any details on that one, but still, he said, "steps must be immediately taken to RIGHT THE WRONG," referring here to what he describes as "widespread fraud and deception involving 'Big Tech' for which claim he provided no evidence in re the 2020 election. As in the above account, the "Big Tech" he is pointing at is of course the privately-owned Twitter. As noted, so far at least, Twitter is legally entitled to post, or not post, whatever text it wants to, without government inference. (And, as I said above, Musk is certainly proving that point in the way he is handling his new toy.)

But the main point here is that whether or not Trump is going after the Constitution at this time (and if he ever gets back in power, you can bet your sweet patootie that it will be his first target [that is after pardoning all of his buddies convicted for whatever offenses]), Trump's main objective for raising the "stolen election' myth in this new way --- "Twitter collaborating with the Dems did it" --- right now remains unchanged. That is to attempt to draw attention away now from his mounting legal woes, by whatever means necessary.

(Article changed on Dec 06, 2022 at 11:48 AM EST)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY). As well as having been a regular political columnist on several national websites for over 20 years, he is the author/co-author/editor/co-editor of 37 books Currently, on the columns side, in addition to his position on OpEdNews as a Trusted Author, he is a regular contributor to From The G-Man.  In the past he has been a contributor to, among other publications, The Greanville PostThe Planetary Movement, and Buzzflash.com.  He was also a triathlete for 37 seasons, doing over 250 multi-sport races.  Among his 37 books (from the late 1970s, mainly in the health, sports, and health care organization fields) are, on politics: The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022; A Futuristic Novel (originally published 1996; the 3rd version was published by Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, Brewster, NY, sadly beginning to come true, advertised on OpEdNews and available on  (more...)
 

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