Trump, & The Difference Between Power And Right

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Trump, & The Difference Between Power And Right

June 4, 2018

Dear Friends,


            The difference between (a) power, and (b) right:


            Donald Trump and his defenders have failed to discuss an important legal issue – the difference between “power” and “right”.  Please allow me to fill that discussion void.


            By failing to discuss the difference between power and right, Trump’s defenders are able to make incomplete statements such as, “Trump has the power to pardon Person X, or Persons A-Z; Trump has the power to fire Person Y or Person S, Persons S, T, U, & V.”  This is irrelevant to the more basic issue – Does Trump have the right to do these things?


            The difference between “power” and “right” is best explained by example.  My neighbor has the power bop me on the nose – he doesn’t have the right to do so.  For that matter, my neighbor may have the power to bust my window, crawl into my house, and steal my T.V. – he doesn’t have the right to do so.  My neighbor would be abusing his power if he did any of these things; something which he has no right to do.


            Trump has no right to abuse power:


            Trump may have the power to do particular things – he does not have the right to abuse that power.  So for instance, he does not have the right to fire an FBI Director who is investigating him, because of that investigation.  That’s an abuse of power.  This is like my neighbor bopping me on the nose; there is no right to do this type of thing. 


            Trump’s lawyers’ newly revealed claims; Richard Nixon, and the end of his presidency:


            Now Trump’s lawyers claim things like, Trump “cannot obstruct himself or subordinates acting on his behalf by simply exercising . . . [Presidential] Constitutional powers.”  Not true, when there’s no right to exercise those powers.  This brings to mind President Nixon’s statement to Interviewer David Frost, “When the president doesit, that meansit is not illegal.”  Not true – and, how’d that idea work out for Richard Nixon?  Remember that Article II of the Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon wasn’t about using power – it was about abusing power.  President Nixon didn’t and Donald Trump doesn’t have the right to abuse power.  President Nixon resigned twelve days after these Articles of Impeachment were voted out of the House Judiciary Committee.


            We must have a Democratic House:


            The courts and the press are trying to stop this run-away Presidency, as they did with the Nixon runaway Presidency; but, as was true with President Nixon, the real firewall between a Trump autocracy and our beloved Democracy is the House of Representatives.  Friends, a Republican House is not going to hold impeachment hearings.  That’s why we must have a Democratic House.  So in tomorrow’s election, please ask your friends and family to vote for a Democrat for the House of Representatives.


            Thank you.


Dan Jacobson

Chair, Democratic Foundation of Orange County



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