Monday, January 25, 2016
Would Teddy Roosevelt Have Endorsed Trump?
I must be missing the point of The New Yorker's cover, the one that shows former Presidents looking shocked and appalled at Donald Trump.
Shocked and appalled? Really? At what, exactly?
Teddy Roosevelt was no fan of immigrants, to put to very mildly. He insisted that immigrants be thoroughly Americanized as quickly as possible ("this is a nation — not a polyglot boarding house") and speak English ("let the immigrant who does not learn it go back"). He was also an avid eugenicist who believed our "society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind." Does The New Yorker think TR would be aghast at anything Trump has said?
Abraham Lincoln was no respecter of Constitutional limits when it came to national security. In 1861 he had the U.S. Army occupy Maryland and arrest the state's legislators to prevent them from voting on secession. Thousands of Maryland officials were held without trial or charges for the duration of the Civil War. And they weren't held in GITMO, either, but right here, since Lincoln had unilaterally suspended Habeas Corpus, the Bill of Rights be damned.
FDR was another President who had little regard for limits on his power. After the Supreme Court struck down key pieces of his New Deal program, he tried to expand the Court to 15 members so as to appoint his own new majority. And, there was his wartime Presidential Proclamation No. 2537 which permitted the arrest, detention, and internment of enemy aliens - Japanese, German, and Italian citizens residing in the United States - and his Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.
John Kennedy certainly would have traveled in Trump's social circles, and would probably have liked Trump's economic policies. Kennedy strongly advocated for reduced personal and corporate income taxes, and got that reform passed over bipartisan opposition in Congress. He was also a Life Member of the NRA.
George Washington was our greatest President, but, well ... slavery.
Hey, New Yorker, if you dislike Trump just say so. But, if you dislike him, then you really ought to dislike some of those ex-Presidents even more.