The Republic's Last Line of Defense Against Trump: The Electoral College
If you missed the totality of what Donald Trump was saying yesterday about his response to the Brussels bombings, you should read the following carefully. The probable Republican nominee for president of the United States was positively giddy about smashing international law regarding the treatment of captives and exhibited an almost childlike glee at the prospect of inflicting pain:
On CNN, Trump very excitedly explained to Wolf Blitzer,
“Look, I think we have to change our laws on the waterboarding thing where they can chop off heads and they can drown people in cages and heavy steel cages and we can’t waterboard. So we have to change our laws and we have to be able to fight at least on an almost equal basis.”
Once again he came this close to admitting that when he says we have have to do “much worse” than waterboarding, he’s talking about using their methods.
Blitzer followed up by asking, “So should you start torturing him right away or would you see if he would cooperate and share information because Belgium Authorities, Belgium police say he has been talking?” The answer was predictable:
“Well you know he may be talking but he’ll talk a lot faster with the torture. If he would have talked you might not have had to blow up all these people dead and all these people horribly wounded, because he probably knew about it. I would be willing to bet that he knew about this bombing that took place today.”
Changing U.S. law on waterboarding would not affect the legality of the practice since the strictures against waterboarding are contained in various international accords. Is Trump too ignorant to know this?
Donald Trump is a menace to the laws of civil society, the Constitution, and to international order. To many of us from both parties, there is strong agreement that everything possible must be done to stop him from achieving power.
Vox populi, vox dei is irrelevant. When fully one third of the U.S. population cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment, action must be taken to prevent the dumbest and most oblivious among us from picking the next president.
Thankfully, it is likely that Donald Trump will be slaughtered in the November election. There has never been a candidate with such an astronomical unfavorable rating in the history of modern presidential politics. My back-of-the-envelope calculation has Trump losing between 29-34 states. If Hillary Clinton gets 55% of the vote, the GOP loses the Senate. If Clinton gets 60%, they can probably kiss the House goodbye.
But there is a chance -- a very small one -- that the Clinton campaign implodes and hands the election to Donald Trump. It could be a health issue. It might be her indictment for crimes connected with her email server. It may be something below the radar that explodes in the last few days of the campaign.
So the chances of Donald Trump losing the presidential contest are not completely zero. If that nightmare scenario were to unfold, there would still be the necessity of doing everything possible to prevent Trump from taking office.