Not-My-President-Elect Donald Trump obviously has his Twitter back and that’s not a good thing. However, the social media site does give us insight into how little Trump knows about the world and about the Constitution, the latter of which he’s obviously never read. After possibly a cocaine-fueled night, Trump tweeted, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
The Constitution disagrees with Trump. Twice, the Supreme Court affirmed the right to desecrate the American flag as a form of free speech. That was in 1989 and 1990. Laws prohibiting flag burning were struck down because they violate the First Amendment. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that flag burning is a “form of expression.” “If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag,” Scalia said in 2015. “But I am not king.”
Apparently, our Republican president-elect thinks he is ‘king.’
In 2006 Mitch McConnell penned a post to explain why it’s important to allow desecrating the American flag because it’s “protected by the First Amendment.”
And now, Republicans are arguing over Trump’s ridiculous tweet.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) readily admitted during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that flag burning is constitutionally-protected free speech, telling panelist Willie Geist that “we’ll protect our First Amendment” even though he does not agree with the practice. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), asked about Trump’s tweet in a separate “New Day” interview, said “I love my flag and I love what it stands for and I hate those who want to go out and burn it.”
Still, Duffy added that “I think the court is probably right that we want to protect those people who want to protest and their right to actually demonstrate with disgracing our flag even though so many of us who love our country and love our flag object to it.”
As president, Trump is supposed to uphold the Constitution but he’s not sworn in yet so he’s just hanging out on Twitter in the meantime to unleash tweets attacking the freedoms we enjoy in this country. You don’t have to like a form of protest but our veterans fought for our right to freedom of expression.
Featured image via screen capture.