If you still support Donald Trump you have no interest in a democracy and you need to come to terms with this.
Let me be very clear. Today is the day we warned you about in 2016. We warned you. We told you Donald Trump is an authoritarian and many of you didn’t seem to care.
It’s always been a concern because you didn’t seem to care after he mocked people for their disabilities, admitted to being a sexual predator, praised Nazis, lies on average 6 times a day, colluded with Russia, hired white supremacists, bowed to Putin in Helsinki, separated children from their parents to discourage future legal and illegal immigration, and banned people from the country because of their religious beliefs.
And now, Trump is abusing his power by declaring a false national emergency to build a border wall with our closest ally Mexico by re-appropriating $8 billion taxpayer dollars from funds already set aside by Congress for other uses, all over something that he originally promised his supporters Mexico would pay for.
Founding father James Madison was very clear in the Federalist Papers in his explanation of why only Congress can appropriate funds and it was the job of the president to spend those funds exactly how Congress laid out. What Madison called “the power of the purse” was to serve as the legislative branch’s biggest check on executive overreach.
The importance of Congress’ power of the purse keeps showing up several times in the writing of our founding fathers, most notably Alexander Hamilton in “The Federalist Papers Number 78” where he explained the judicial branch was the weakest of the three branches of government because it had, “no influence over either the sword or the purse.”
It is a fundamental cornerstone of our democracy that separated us from the monarchy of England who had total control of how and where taxpayer money was spent. (Remember “no taxation without representation”? We fought a war over it?)
I’m old enough to remember five years ago when conservatives blew their tops when Obama used executive orders to protect Dreamers, saying he “ruled by fiat” and was a “king.”
For example here is Vice President Mike Pence in 2014 as the Governor of Indiana saying, ”It would be a profound mistake to overturn immigration laws with a stroke of a pen.”
And here is Donald Trump himself tweeting, “Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress”
The reality was no laws were changed, no laws were created, all Obama’s executive actions were doing was simply de-prioritizing the prosecution of Dreamers, illegal immigrants who came here as children. Something Fox News and Republican media failed to tell their viewers is several previous presidents including George W. Bush used that same executive lever, for example with the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative where gang members increased in priority to be prosecuted by the DOJ, and this was not at all out of the ordinary. Even Donald Trump himself touched that exact same lever when he undid Obama’s executive order.
But even if you honestly still believe Obama was acting like a tyrant, as so many Fox News host would say, why is Donald Trump actually circumventing Congress and smashing a fundamental pilar of our democracy specifically spelled out in Article I of our Constitution doing something that is to be supported?
Do you not see how far you are willing to excuse an erosion of democratic norms just to win at any cost?
Do you not see you are being conned? How everything about this so-called emergency is a lie.
Donald Trump waited 26 months to call for his emergency, made zero effort to build a wall during the two years Republicans had absolute control of all three branches of government, and during his announcement even said he didn’t have to call for an emergency and could have waited, but he just wanted to move faster.
That’s not what someone does in an emergency, because there is no border crisis.
Border crossings are at a 50-year low according to Trump’s own government statistics.
The spikes in border apprehensions we are seeing at the southern border are in-fact family units crossing the border and turning themselves over to authorities as part of the legal process of seeking legal asylum.
Yes to seek legal asylum you must be physically present within the United States borders, regardless if you cross legally or not or present yourself at a port of entry. There is no other way, despite Fox News’ many claims to the contrary.
And we have over 100 years of scientific studies that unequivocally show illegal immigrants commit crimes and are incarcerated at far lower rates than the native-born population.
Not just here in America, but in every country. Here is Europe’s statistics: https://www.europol.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/tesat_2018_1.pdf
And at the end of the day, a border wall with Mexico wasn’t born out of any evidence-based observations, but was cooked up by Roger Stone as a mnemonic device for Donald Trump after recognizing he had zero understanding of immigration policies and needed him to remember to stay on message.
So today when you watch your Fox News and listen to your Republican radio, and you hear them try to make the case to go along with an invented emergency just so Donald Trump can keep a campaign promise that was never rooted in reality, recognize they had to lie and cheat and subvert our democracy in order to convince you to move your opinions to where you are today.
They’ve convinced you to ignore provable factual observations, to see others as lesser than you because of their nationality, and democracy isn’t that important, all in an effort for political wins.
I don’t think you want authoritarianism, but this is what you’ve convinced yourself to support.
You’ll say to yourself, “Well Trump had to do it.” No he didn’t. He’s not the first president to lose a policy fight. To understand the better argument usually wins, that’s democracy.
You’ll say to yourself, “But we need border security!” We do have border security. Both Republicans and Democrats listened to the experts and found the best compromise on their competing ideas and funded border security. That’s democracy.
You’ll say to yourself, “But we have to stop those illegals!” We do. The number one way people are in the country illegally by far is they overstay their visas. A wall won’t address that. We use evidence to make our arguments. That’s democracy.
You are giving up all of this, and more to pursue a strategy of win at any cost. That is not democracy. That is something else.
We need you to recognize this or be comfortable with what type country you want to live in. Because if you truly want to live in a constitutionally limited democratic republic, you need to come back.