Ruling by Divine Right

 

Long, long ago, some people argued that  kings derived their authority  from God and could not therefore be held accountable for their actions by any earthly authority.

King Charles I of England was one of the true believers, and it got him beheaded.

It’s hard to believe that in today’s America, this old fairy tale is being revived. The Founding Fathers must be turning over in their graves.

Are we supposed to accept the notion that the colonists who told King George III to get lost would create a nation to be ruled by Divine Right?

Yet that’s what Trump’s lawyers seem to be preaching. They argue that as president, Trump is above the law.

To back up this preposterous idea, they cite the president’s constitutional power to pardon.

If he can pardon lawbreakers, he must be above the law. Right?

In Jamaica, they would call that “puss logic.” Philosophers call it sophistry.

Call it what you like, it isn’t going to sway today’s America.

In this democracy, “we the people” call the shots. We pledge allegiance to the flag and renounce all fidelity to any prince or potentate, foreign or domestic.

Yes, I know, some of us, the people, yearn for an overlord, someone to follow without question, like those pathetic Jonestown victims or the acolytes who perished in the flames at Waco.

And I realize many of Trump’s loyalists are like members of a cult, beyond the reach of reason.

But at worst, they’re less than a third of the American population.

However fierce they might be, they cannot overwhelm the rest of us.

And it might come to that, after all. We the people might have to take arms once again to overcome the tyranny of a new despot.

My hope is that we can avert such a calamity, that by turning out en masse in November, we can exert our power at the ballot box, instead of resorting to “bombs bursting in air.”

By voting out this craven Congress, we the people could regain the ability to restrain – perhaps to remove – this president who would be king.

If we fail our nation now, the consequences will surely be terrifying – possibly even bloody.

More on Trump’s lawyers

More on Charles I

The Jonestown Massacre

More about Waco

The Naturalization Oath

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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