Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Donald Trump Says Something Stupid #54: Says He'll Revoke Your Citizenship Or Put You In Jail If You Burn The American Flag (TWEET)

President-elect Donald Trump proposed on Tuesday a penalty -- including possible jail time or loss of citizenship -- for burning the American flag, in spite of two US Supreme Court rulings that protect the act under the First Amendment as a form of free speech...

First let's dispense with the absurd threat of loss of citizenship or jail time for burning the American flag if solely for Trump's education.

In cases before The Supreme Court court in 1989 in "Texas v. Johnson," and 1990 in "United states v. Eichman," the justices affirmed the right to desecrate the American flag as a form of free speech.

In the "United states v. Eichman," case the justices again ruled in favor of the right to burn the flag when it handed down it's 5-4 decision that the Flag Protection Act of 1989, which was passed by Congress in response to the Johnson decision, was unconstitutional.

In Trump's suggestion that citizens could possibly face a "loss of citizenship" as a penalty for immolating old glory is also a non-starter. In addition Trump's ignorance of the Supreme Court's teaching that flag burning is constitutionally protected speech, he also seems not to know that it would be unconstitutional to deprive someone of their citizenship without some voluntary act on their part to renounce their allegiance to the United States or pledge fealty to a foreign sovereign.

The reasoning some attribute to Trump's tweet is that he has been following an ongoing Fox News "outrage" story about a flag burning on November 10th on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, as part of a protest against Trump's election win. The university then decided to stop flying the American flag at the campus, which made Fox News and their viewers even more inflamed.

So talking head's and pundits assumed that Donald was just tweeting out some of his own righteous moral indignation this morning...

But why 19 days later?

More and more people are starting to see these monumentally absurd tweets as a sign that Trump or his campaign are trying to misdirect the media's attention from some bigger more damaging story. If they are correct there are a plethora of narratives floating around that could cause Trump some agita.

• There is the New York Times piece on Trump's potential conflicts around the globe.

• The fact that Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office.

• His new cabinet pick for HHS says he will dismantle both Obamacare and Medicare.

• Then there are the multitude of broken campaign promises from not keeping Obamacare to not building "the wall" to not mass deporting immigrants to not banning Muslims to not "locking up" Hillary Clinton.

Or perhaps we give Donald too much credit. Maybe he just needed an outrage fix from his minions. Maybe he just need confirmation that they were still out there hanging on his every tweet.

This scenario is not unthinkable when it comes to a man-baby as shallow and needy for affirmation as Donald Trump.

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