Is he rediscovering limited government?

Is he rediscovering limited government?

Donald Trump has already shown how he can control the media, and how he can own a news cycle. Whether it’s Twitter trolling or being impetuous is something for you to decide, but he really has them jumping. And free speech and limited government has been rediscovered by the Left. Trump is indeed making American great again by helping it remember its core principles.

Even MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is getting in on the “checks and balances” bandwagon!

Mentioned links:

Nets Torch Trump on Flag Burning Ban, Extinguish Clinton’s Ban Support

Let’s make the Confederate flag a hate crime: It is the American swastika and we should recoil it from it in horror

The Confederate Flag In Every State, In Every Form, Must. Come. Down.

Flashback: Clinton introduced bill to criminalize flag burning

Tufts U. student leaders reject free speech measure, call it ‘unsafe’

Trump Gives Victory Speech, Liberals Rediscover Appeal of Limited Government

In Landmark Vote, Senate Limits Use of the Filibuster

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Show transcript

Donald Trump has already shown how he can control the media, and how he can own a news cycle. Whether it’s Twitter trolling or being impetuous is something for you to decide, but he really had them jumping on November 29th.

He posted this suggestion. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail.” And in 140 characters or less, he kicked the media freak-out into high gear.

Just to be clear, this was a tweet. This was not a bill or executive order; this was his opinion. That’s all. Too many of Obama’s actual executive orders didn’t get as much coverage. And yes, you can’t just strip people of their citizenship; that would be unconstitutional. And yes, the Supreme Court already declared that flag burning was protected free speech, way back in 1989. So this expression of disgust at flag burning was a tempest in a teapot; a tempest that Trump need  not have created, to be sure, but no big deal overall.

But our media decided that it had to spring into action and remind us of those facts about free speech and the Constitution. Liberals all of a sudden rediscovered both of these concepts. I say “rediscovered” because it seemed they had forgotten about them for the past 8 years. Well, at least they’d had some selective memory loss. Flying or burning the flag of your choice is free speech, no question about it. Just like flying a Gadsen “Don’t Tread On Me” flag by those Tea Partiers. Just like flying a Confederate flag. Right?

There has been a push to get the Confederate flag taken down from official government locations, but no one’s trying to outlaw flying it privately, right? Well, in the wake of the Charleston shootings by Dylan Roof, there was. I have a couple of example links in the show notes, including an article in Time magazine where the President of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote, “[T]he Confederate flag in every state, in every form, must come down.”

But free speech has been rediscovered by the Left. Trump is indeed making American great again by helping it remember its core principles. No, actually I don’t think that was his intent, but it’s a nice benefit. Though whether this concept finds its way onto some college campuses that find the First Amendment “unsafe” remains to be seen.

And I hope that after 8 years of phrases like, “I have a pen and a phone”, and increasing use of executive orders to circumvent Congress, I have a feeling that the brilliant constitutional concept of checks and balances is about to be back in vogue again, very quickly.

Oh, and one other thing. Something you didn’t hear much about, if at all, was that Hillary Clinton introduced legislation in 2005, and backed a second bill in 2006, that would criminalize flag burning. More than half of Democrats in the Senate backed her effort. One of those would have jailed flag burners for a year. Sounds familiar?


Robby Soave, writing at the Reason magazine website back on November 9th, discovered something else that the Left is rediscovering with the election of Donald Trump. As he was writing a blog post, he heard Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC say this.

The Constitution anticipated this. The Founding Fathers anticipated Donald Trump. They feared tyrants, they were overthrowing the rule of a king, and they designed a separation-of-powers government in which all of the true powers belonged to Congress, those can then be reviewed by the courts…

No, the Founding Fathers anticipated human nature. They were students of history, and they understood very well the drive for power that people often have. They designed a separation-of-powers government because of a President who might say, “I have a pen and a phone”, or ruled by executive order. Am I repeating myself? Why yes, I am.

And indeed the true powers belong to Congress. And yet the Left has been complaining for the past 8 years that Republicans in Congress were blocking what Obama wanted to do, and then looked on with approval when he acted unilaterally. The Founding Fathers anticipated Donald Trump, and they anticipated Barack Obama, and George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, and on and on as far back as you can go.

I don’t know where Mr. O’Donnell has been for the past 8 years, but I’d like to welcome him back to the land of limited government. With the election of Donald Trump, it seems that the Left has rediscovered government the way the Founding Fathers intended; one that moves slowly and deliberately. They have suddenly rediscovered the need for Congress to put a check on the President. They used to call it “obstructionism”. I’m sure they’ll have a new word for it now.

But here’s the bottom line: don’t take power for yourself if you would not want that power used against you. The Left has spent 8 years giving more and more power to the Presidency, and now Donald Trump is their beneficiary. Senator Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate limited the use of the minority party filibuster back in 2013, and now they are stuck in the very trap they built.

So consider this: Conservatives want smaller, more limited government. Liberals, like Mr. O’Donnell, only want it when a conservative is in power.

Filed under: ElectionsFree SpeechGovernmentMediaSmaller Government