Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Donald Trump, "Second Amendment People," English Syntax, Revolution

I promise I will return to my usual, "Back to Basics"/Background — nonTrump — little essays shortly. But:

"Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said at a rally that if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton 'gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people maybe there is, I don’t know.'" — MEDIA MATTERS, 9 August 2016 


      The most coherent argument for 2nd Amendment protection for light infantry weapons in the hands of US civilians is that the 2nd Amendment protects not only the right of the States to have powerful militias that could stand up to a Federal Army but protects the Right of (armed) Revolution that underpins all the other rights. This is also a standard argument among "2nd Amendment people" Given that Trump's broken syntax and other games with language require our interpreting his remarks, what he said for a lot of "2nd Amendment people" would indeed suggest that the response to a President Clinton appointing dangerous judges would be or could include insurrection: use those weapons to protect the right to hold those weapons, plus other American rights.  

      Thomas Jefferson, who knew a thing or two about insurrection, wrote that "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

      You can argue that not even George III and, more to the point, his Parliament evinced "a design to reduce" Britain's American colonies "under absolute Despotism." For sure, when you're talking about a Democratic President nominating liberal justices and judges, you're not talking "absolute Despotism" or any other justification for a second American Revolution. You, or more specifically Donald Trump, are talking dangerous nonsense that would be sedition (or a threat of assassination) if the man were capable and/or willing to put his thoughts into straight-forward English.

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