Trump for dictator...

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In 2009, the President of Honduras, Jose Zelaya, ordered the creation of a working group to come up with a new constitution. Presumably the new constitution would do away with certain rules the old one contained that were permanently un-amendable. Among these were several limitations set on the president including the "Prohibition on Presidential reelection" and the president's mandatory four-year term.1

When his attempt to establish this working group was ruled unconstitutional, President Zelaya changed his tactics and appealed directly to the people, ordering a referendum on whether the people were willing to have another referendum to determine whether to establish his constitutional working group. Eventually Zelaya was impeached and arrested for undermining the constitution he had vowed to uphold.2

Here in the United States we still give lip-service to our Constitution. Yet a growing number of us think it ludicrous we should be limited by the rules of such an "ancient" document. "What we really need," we say, "is to be practical and get things done in today's environment." And if that requires breaking some old rules, so be it.

This view is shared by both Democrats and Republicans...

President Obama has been pushing through executive orders that violate the Constitution and Congress has seen him one and raised him, yet the Supreme Court seems incapable even of seeing the conflict, let alone doing anything about it. But this is nothing new; we've been ignoring our Constitution for a very long time. And though I support some Constitutional amendments (such as a Parental Rights Amendment), in the unlikely event such an amendment passes, I don't have much hope this safeguard will have any long-term impact. 

Yet we continue to pay lip-service to our Constitution and, happily, our politicians can't entirely ignore it. Yet.

Though certain parts of the Constitution are now entirely ignored, other parts are still preventing the government from doing evil. Some of these areas are on life-support right now. For example, there seems to be no stomach inside or outside the church for stopping the homosexualist, so religious freedom could suffer a fatal blow or final collapse during our next President's first term. On the other hand, although the Second Amendment continues to be trimmed, disarming the people doesn't appear to be imminent. Since President Bush's actions in the wake of 9/11, the Constitution's protections against unwarranted search and seizure are thin, at best.

Say our country were the Titanic. If so, these parts of the Constitution are the watertight compartments designed to keep us afloat that haven't yet been ripped at the seams and filled with water. Decades ago our country struck the iceberg that, barring a miracle of God, will sink us. The iceberg was Roe v. Wade. When the Supreme Court issued this obscenely oppressive judgment, neither Christians nor Roman Catholics had the will to resist the Court's frontal attack on the rule of law across our nation. We sat by and watched as the bloodlust reigned supreme. Not a single state defended its little ones against the fed's slaughter. No troops of the National Guard were sent in to usher the doctors into their Planned Parenthood abortuaries so they could rip apart the babies in peace.

We've all swallowed this direct attack upon the fundamental right to life and rule of law across our nation by the nation's top law-enforcement officers. We've learned to live with it, so it would be foolish for us to put hope in any of the Constitution's other water-tight compartments.

Knowing Hillary Clinton's position on the Constitution, and particularly Roe v. Wade, it is clear no Christian should support her. But what about Trump?

For some time it's been my fear that Trump will be elected and will bring about the beginning of the end of our Democratic Republic. To be sure, as in Ancient Rome, the groundwork has long been being laid by wealthy Senators who abuse their position and power at the expense of the regular old Joe-plebeians. It is no surprise Trump's main appeal is to the working class. Further, many of the wrongs he claims to have an answer for are legitimate complaints. But let's look back and see the dangers Trump poses to our nation.

There are remarkable similarities between Trump and Tiberius Gracchus who was elected Tribune of the people in 133 BC and assassinated later that same year.

Tiberius Gracchus was a wealthy, politically connected man. Seeing the injustice of normal citizens' work and land being taken by foreign slaves of the super-wealthy, he ran for office. Compare Trump's focus on keeping jobs here in the States and his (formerly) express commitment to enforce immigration laws with Tiberius's proposal to enforce land ownership limits. Tiberius was committed to helping more of Rome's citizens become middle-class landowners.

Meanwhile, the wealthy senators and their patrician supporters were afraid of Tiberius's direct appeal to the people. They thought it was a ploy. They were convinced he was making his populist pitch as a way of taking power for himself. And then, of course, there was the little matter of the negative impact his proposed reforms would have on their wealth. These fears of the wealthy were reinforced when Tiberius (legally) bypassed the Senate to accomplish his reforms. He knew he wouldn't have the Senators' support for his reforms. When the reforms were vetoed by a fellow tribune, Octavius, Tiberius called for Octavius to be impeached for acting against the interest of the Plebs who had elected him. The people started the process, but Octavius used another veto to prevent his own removal from office. It may seem entirely reasonable that Tiberius had him removed anyway, but this action further confirmed the Senate in their fears.

Tiberius was a man who had a direct mandate from the people and he was willing to do anything to accomplish his plan. Even the circumstances of Tiberius's death remind us of Trump (who, thankfully, remains alive). In the middle of this political turmoil described above, and with armed men present to protect him, before the people Tiberius motioned to his own head. By some his gesture was interpreted as an indication he felt his life was in danger. Others saw his gesture as an appeal to be crowned king. His opponents interpreted it the second way and in their rage assassinated him.

It's the backbone of Trump's rhetoric to say things that can be interpreted in widely divergent ways, and many of the things he says have potential meanings that are quite inflammatory. 

Tiberius Gracchus's mandate from the people was the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic. Thus, it was with some fear that I saw the following Trump advertisement on Twitter:

Trump Ad.PNG

At the time of Tiberius, Roman Senators and the wealthy elite flouted the law. The law limited land ownership, but technicalities were used to bypass those limits. We know how the Clintons flout the law, but what about Trump?

I see Trump as a dangerous cross between Tiberius Gracchus and Jose Zelaya. He won't be constrained by, or answer to, the law. He will only answer to his mandate from the people. His populist rhetoric often seems to be an implicit (if not explicit) attack on the rule of law. Are not laws the core of the "rigged system" he rails against?

Sure, we the people have valid complaints against our ruling elite. Yet the moment we join together in our complaints to elect Donald Trump because of his promises to overthrow "the rigged system," we must realize the monster we have created is unlikely to be contained. Who would be surprised if Trump's demagoguery continued into the Oval Office, and grew? Would the masses be concerned if their new president left the rule of law behind?

I think not, and thus my concern that we may be watching the beginning of the end. This time of the American Empire.

Regardless how much our Constitution has been ignored and the rule of law broken in the past, the moment we publicly embrace the idea of ignoring the law, we've stepped into the void. This is the reason why the violence of both supporters and haters of Trump is proof in my mind of who Trump really is. Violence of this sort is intentional lawlessness regardless of whether those committing this lawlessness justify it as an attempt to forcefully right egregious wrongs.

Nothing will lead more quickly to the final destruction of the fabric of our society. May God have mercy.

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have five children, Tate, Eliza Jane, Moses, Fiona and Annabel. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. He is currently planting Christ Church in Cincinnati with several other families.