To the editor:

Every time I think I've seen everything, President Donald Trump goes even further off the rails.

True to form, he poured gasoline on the fire and mobilized the Secret Service and police and National Guard and military to violently disperse a peaceful protest in front of the White House, violating protesters’ First Amendment right to assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances.

Why? Because he wanted to stroll across the square to pander to his fundamentalist Christian base by posing in front of a church holding a bible -- something that was obviously too urgent to put off to the next day.

Such a move does not surprise me, since Trump is totally lacking in compassion or moral compass. He knows he can get away with it because the Republican Senate gave him license to do anything he wants when they summarily acquitted him in his impeachment trial.

Trump preceded this by attempting to bully state governors, threatening to have the military invade their states and take over law enforcement if they did not crack down on (or “dominate") protesters with sufficient force, essentially threatening to impose martial law.

To do so is illegal under the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids using the military for domestic law enforcement. This does not surprise me either, since Trump has never had any regard for the law.

What frightens me is that absolutely no one in authority pushed back.

Trump’s cabinet and staff certainly won't because they are all carefully selected, obedient lackeys.

But members of the police, National Guard and military all take an oath to protect the Constitution and laws of the United States. They are morally and legally obligated to refuse an illegal order.

Yet, they obliged the president in this crackdown. And so our poor, abused democracy takes one more step toward dictatorship.

Michael Bleiweiss

Methuen

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