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The law must be respected

By Staff | Jul 30, 2020

To the editor:

Apparently Donald Trump hopes to re-brand himself as a law-and-order candidate by dispatching untrained men with machine guns to babysit federal buildings, glower at protestors demanding civil rights and tear gas American cities. (While purporting to be helpful to the cities where they were dispatched, these overarmed anonymous dragoons have seemingly incited soccer moms to intercede, exacerbated and escalated the conflict, and even managed to teargas the mayor of the city Portland.)

To be an authoritative champion of the rule of law requires a servant of the people demonstrate personal fealty and reverence for the law. At the very least a President should occasional demonstrate obedience to the law.

Instead President Trump has been flouting his power in dangerously unhelpful ways. Ordering White House staff to ignore Congressional subpoenas, firing the Attorney General for stepping aside to avoid a conflict of interest, and pardoning seven-time felon Roger Stone are the flagrant examples of unethical behavior. These are the actions of an unethical civil servant with little regard for the submission to law. If Washington is a swamp of amorality, clearly Trump has succumbed to it. He can not be expected to be able to command civility nor enforce order through moral authority, if he can make no demonstration of respect for law.

Laws are the expression of an ethics of a people. Contempt for lawfulness is particularly unattractive in a public official. It is a particularly dangerous attribute in the highest office, and unacceptable from the commander in chief.

Ellen Starbird

Cape Coral