Robert Bowers, the neo-Nazi mass murderer who entered a Synagogue in Pennsylvania with murderous intent, was not a “supporter” of Donald Trump. This is true, but only to the extent that Bowers felt Trump does not go far enough in his hatred of Jews. Mr. Bowers had a license for his guns, and he was able to purchase military style weapons.
It is this Second Amendment right that seems to outweigh all others, when you listen to the MAGA folks at the Trump rallies. This right is fixed, and immoveable. Over and Over, Trump warns his followers that the Democrats want to take away that very over-expanded right. Trump, however is cavalier with some other Constitutionally-protected-rights. The most dangerous element of Trump’s interpretation of rights is based on a combination of prejudice combined with an overreach of his powers.
While Trump and his voters insist on an unhindered Second Amendment, his self-serving assaults on First Amendment rights are almost a daily occurrence, with his attacks on the press, and his attempts at limiting the right to protest. We have also seen wide scale GOP attempts at voter suppression. Since the start of his presidential campaign, Trump has been unrelenting in his pronouncements – despite all evidence to the contrary, that illegal voting is a widespread problem. The solution to this problem, according to Trump, are Voter ID laws, which are inherently a greater burden on certain demographics.
Yesterday, Trump continued on his path to try to expand his powers, while limiting the rights of others, by stating that he has the power to modify the Fourteenth Amendment with a stroke of his pen. Widely challenged by constitutional scholars, Trump has his own set of nameless “experts” who have verified the presidential power to alter the Constitution by Executive Order.
Is this smoke and mirrors to distract his dropping poll numbers, or to distract from the increase in hate crimes by the Right? Is it a rally cry to his supporters to drum up fear, with talk of caravans and illegal disease-carrying immigrants who will vote illegally and steal their jobs, or just further evidence of Trump’s animus towards non-whites? Most likely, it is a desperate combination of his deep prejudice and his authoritarian grab for power, complete with a dose of absolute ignorance of history and the law.