Monday, January 16, 2017

A Constitutional Case for Boycotting the Inauguration

If Donald Trump thought Barack Obama was an illegitimate president, he needs to look in the mirror this Friday afternoon.

Trump's infamous fixation on Obama's birth certificate was fueled by an alleged allegiance to the Constitution, which simply requires that all presidents be U.S. citizens and at least 35-years-old. Trump appealed to the authority of the Constitution to justify his asinine claim of presidential illegitimacy and stoke the worst instincts of his loyal base.  

Obama eventually added credibility to Trump's conspiracy theory and released his birth certificate, needlessly proving he was indeed preserving and protecting his end of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, as Trump takes the Oath of Office, he will be dragging the country into a Constitutional crisis a lot more serious than the origins of Obama.

As of Friday, Donald Trump will be an illegitimate president, but not because he was born in Kenya or has the attention span of a five-year-old. No, it's a lot worse. Since Trump still refuses to sell his businesses, he will be in clear violation of Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, otherwise known as the Emoluments Clause, which states:
"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."
Look past the capital letters and mumbo jumbo punctuation for the essence of the Founders' statement: America is not for sale, and no asshole should be allowed to enrich himself at the expense of its sanctity and safety. Trump's business entanglements circle the globe, and it's not only what he owns buy who he owes. His debts to foreign governments are unknown and shall remain unknown until he releases his tax returns, documents which Trump claims no one cares about. If no one cares about the tax returns, then why not just release them? Why not stop the blackmail suspicion from growing?      

It would have been nice if the piles of stuffed file folders at Trump's recent press conference contained his tax returns and not pamphlets from Trump University. The grim irony here is that unlike Obama, who went above and beyond to release his document and placate the birthers, as long as Trump owns and owes places and people, he will need to release his tax returns should he ever want to be considered a legitimate president by millions of Americans.                                                                     
And so the inauguration of Unpresident Trump is no inauguration at all. Illegitimacy breeds illegitimacy, and if Trump is illegitimate, so is his inauguration.

While Congressman John Lewis and others are boycotting the inauguration because of a foreign power's influence on the election, proving the power of Russian propaganda is a far more difficult task than proving that yet another politician is profiting from his position. On the other hand, if Trump was a compromised candidate - which his tax returns might also show - the election does lose legitimacy, as voters were sold a bill of goods by a compromised, foreign agent.    

If our country has any dignity left, the demands to see Trump's tax returns must far surpass the demands to see Obama's birth certificate. For while both are linked to the Constitution, one has legs and legitimacy while the other festers in a puddle of bigotry and illegitimacy. It should surprise no one that accusations about Obama's legitimacy originated from an illegitimate president who as of Friday will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution to the very least of his ability...  

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