Is Trump wishing to Arrest, Imprison, and Banish All Protesters From His Kingdom?

Is Trump Wishing to Arrest, Imprison, and Banish All Protesters from his Kingdom?

It seems odd that Trump, out of nowhere, started tweeting about prosecuting US flag burners with a year in prison, and loss of citizenship.  Neither of these punishments is allowed, since they were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as violating the First Amendment.  It turns out, however, that there was a campus protest over the election results, and students took down American flags, and then one was burned.  So, Trump’s fit to punish the flag burner, was really meant as a punishment to people who protested Trump’s win, or his policies, or his new appointments, or his decision to prostitute his influence as President to promote his business interests, at home and abroad.  Why would anyone burn an American flag except to register a maximal non-violent protest against gross government policies and action?  So, punishing flag burners will cut off all of the most serious Trump protesters from non-violent actions. 

Will Trump follow this with strict rules and enforcements to hinder all protest forms, and very seriously punish those who participate?  He has already said that he wants to restrict the internet.  He also wants to strengthen libel laws, especially toward the free press.  He has banned the Washington Post from his press pool, and illegally banned one of its reporters.  He knows that an interview with him is a prize for any media, and negotiates with them for favorable coverage or interviews.

Trump’s punishments for flag burning are unbelievably cruel and severe, for the non-violent act involved.  Is the loss of citizenship a prelude to expelling the non-citizen with now a felony record, as he plans to do with millions of others?   Fortunately, the Congress and the States are not going to pass such punishments as a constitutional amendment.  Trump would have to appoint several Supreme Court justices in order to get them to override the precedents that allow flag burning as a freedom of speech. 

Is the severe punishment for a non-violent act another instance of Trump’s horrendous tendency for cruelty, including his desire to reinstate torture, and mass bombings, even after having been told that it is illegal for the government and the military to do either of them?  We can only look forward to many more attempts by the tweeting Trump to institute cruel punishments and policies, until calmed down by his family and his sensible associates.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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