Once again Donald Trump has gone on Twitter and made a complete ass of himself by suggesting anyone who burns an American flag should face severe consequences.
Tuesday morning, the President-elect posted this:
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Jeez! Where to start? Let’s try this line of logic, though it will no doubt be completely lost on Trump: Burning an American flag is protected under the First Amendment. This was decided in the 1989 case Texas v. Johnson. The Chief Justice of the United States, William Rehnquist, who was as conservative as they come, wrote in his decision that any statute or law which criminalizes the desecration of an American flag directly violates a person’s First Amendment privileges as outlined by the Bill of Rights, which Don the Con has probably never even read.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller then went on CNN this morning and doubled down on Trump’s moronic ranting, telling Chris Cuomo:
“I think most Americans would agree with me that flag burning should be illegal. It’s completely despicable.”
I don’t think it should be illegal, Mr. Miller. And this is settled law! We had this debate when George H.W. Bush was pushing for a Constitutional amendment to make flag desecration illegal. That was back when Poppy Bush was trying desperately to prove he was a tough guy instead of a wimp.
Perhaps most of all, this needs to be said: a flag is nothing more than a piece of cloth. I constantly see people wearing variations on the flag as shirts or caps, yet no one says anything about it. What gives the flag intrinsic value are ideals it represents. And to burn or walk on an American flag in no way threatens the precious ideals we hold so dear–freedom, liberty, the right to disagree, the right to assemble, the right to speak out.
The threat is that some among us, including Donald Trump, want to impose their version of patriotism on everyone else. This is how tyranny begins. And it must be fought every single time it rears its head.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org