Trump’s Violent Subtext Has Become Text
It has been clear for a very long time that Donald Trump and his supporters are of the view that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not so much agreements between Americans about mutual rights and constraints, but a pull-down menu of rights that can be afforded to some and denied to others. Trump has long made this clear in his actions: He has the right to unfettered free speech but protesters do not. His Justice Department has made plain that some faiths have the right to unfettered religious exercise and others do not. He has argued, time and again, that the law means what he says it means—courts, the Constitution, and plain text notwithstanding. Last week’s flirtation with canceling birthright citizenship on the back of a napkin was only the latest variation on that theme.