Failing to protect and defend the Constitution

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Harriet Hausman

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Recently, I received a "fund-raising" letter from Melania Trump, as I assume most of you have. Ordinarily, such a letter would immediately land in the circular file, but the opening paragraph caused me to respond.

"From the moment my husband, Donald, placed his hand on the Bible, and took the oath of office to serve as America's 45th President, he has worked non-stop to deliver on his promise to "Make America Great Again."

Just to remind us, the Presidential Oath is as follows: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Obviously, President Trump has violated his oath of office and has violated our Constitution. We are not yet a dictatorship instead of a democracy, but this administration is trying to set its own laws, similar to autocratic nations. Historically valued laws are not being preserved and, in many cases, abandoned — such as respecting subpoenas, now being ignored. 

The toleration and unconstitutional support of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election was outrageous (in fact the Mueller report warns us of Russia's continued meddling in future elections). Some of the other constitutional abuses are the administration's lack of protection of our natural water sources, our open lands, and the environment. Our civil rights, voting rights, and especially women's rights are all in question and not being protected. White supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, and immigrant hatred is promoted behavior under Trump's leadership. Unfortunately, the result of this — violence — has increased across our nation. The recent visit to Japan by Trump instead of being in the United States for our Memorial Day observance prominently displayed his break with tradition and his lack of empathy with those of us who lost dear ones — the heroes of our wars.

Even the President's behavior that was not a constitutional abuse was certainly not presidential. His use of foul language and his total lack of courtesy and decorum was and is an insult to the presidency. Our nation's founders expected our presidents to be trustworthy and honest. This president has established his own "truths," which often change from moment to moment.

The Mueller Report factually and in-depth documented the obstruction of justice and criminal acts perpetrated by Trump, who has adapted the well-known Nazi theme: "Repeat any lie often enough and people will accept it as truth." Trump shouted, "No collusion! I was completely exonerated of any wrongdoing!" It is imperative that the public hear more than this brainwashing.

Certainly, the president has violated his oath of office and his pledge on the Bible to faithfully uphold the Constitution. He prefers to rule than abide by traditional laws. It is the responsibility of both the House and the Senate to alert the public to our constitutional crisis. I hope Republicans and Democrats realize how serious this situation is and stop this menace.

Please join me in contacting our representatives by email, phone, and in person and tell them we will support their efforts to resist this chaotic, autocratic president. 

Harriet Hausman is a longtime resident of River Forest and a proud member of the ACLU.

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