EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Presidential antics arise over this weekend’s drama

More Republicans change their mind on Trump

Donald Trump has many fatal flaws that make him unfit to be the president of the United States. I could talk about any number of them, including the biggest Trump news in the past week: his bragging of sexual assault. But, I also want to bring attention to a statement he made during Sunday’s presidential debate with Hillary Clinton that stood out to me as particularly dangerous for the country.

Toward the beginning of the debate, Trump said that he would appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton’s email server and eventually bring charges against and prosecute her. At a rally the next day, he doubled down on his intent to appoint a special prosecutor over repeated chants of “lock her up.”

Trump has decided that Clinton is guilty of the crime he wishes to investigate, even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommended bringing no charges against Clinton. He said to Clinton during the debate that if he were in charge, “you’d be in jail.” For the president to take a personal interest in the outcome of any specific investigation of the Department of Justice is a blatant transgression of presidential authority, and one which Trump seems particularly eager to carry out.

What makes the United States a bastion of stability in the world is that its governmental institutions are not controlled by any individual person. Those in power do not have the ability to directly enforce the law, as this is done by law enforcement agencies themselves. The United States is not a country where the winners of elections imprison their political opponents, and Donald Trump does not appear to understand or appreciate this. He openly plans to abuse the powers of the office of the president to satisfy his political ends.

I am glad to see that many Republicans are publicly revoking their support for Trump’s presidential bid. However, I wish that more people took action sooner, as the most recent Trump revelations are not at all surprising or out of character, and we’ve known for years just how terrible a president he’d make. It is important for Americans to put their country’s interests ahead of their party’s.

Our democracy is under threat. It is imperative that every eligible American votes in this election. Our democracy is strong, but it is up to each of us to reject attacks against it. This is just one example of the danger that Trump presents. The warning signs signaling what could happen under Trump have never been so clear. We have an opportunity to heed them and make sure a Trump presidency doesn’t happen, and it cannot be squandered.

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