Monday, March 26, 2018

The President's First Duty

The President's FIRST duty is to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States. That comes before nominating pro-life justices, or cutting taxes, or supporting Israel, etc. Unless you have been looking at him through Fox-colored glasses, I think the answer concerning Trump is overwhelmingly NO. It was bad enough that many Christian leaders supported him at election time, but I think I can understand it up to a point. At that time there was the contrast with Hillary. With respect to his extramarital relationships, I think we have the right to ask him to just come clean, and either tell the country that he doesn't think he has a duty to be a faithful husband because he has considers that requirement to be an outdated religiously-based prudish moral rule, or to say that he is deeply repentant for the disrespect for marriage, in word and deed, that he has shown in the past and that he has amended his behavior in the meantime. This is especially true for Christians who look to a Republican President to support traditional marriage and who find same-sex marriage to be a treat to that institution. Don't such Christians have a right to know if the President they are supporting respects the institution of marriage as they understand it? And shouldn't such Christians demand such answers from the President they support? 

Someone willing to make a payment of amount a few times my annual salary to keep someone silent is someone who is liable to be blackmailed by a foreign government to keep other improprieties quiet. His ability to put the American people first and uphold the Constitution has to therefore be questioned. 

Evangelical leaders are getting up on TV and giving Trump a whole bunch of breaks that they wouldn't give Clinton or any other previous President. Worse yet they focus on the actual affair, when the attempt, in violation of campaign finance laws, to keep someone from talking about the affair is far more serious. And if he has people out making threats of physical violence, this is worse. 

I am tired of hearing that the public policy bottom line is all that matters. A President who can't uphold the rule of law, who is so compromised that we can expect nothing but scandal after scandal, is someone who the American people will sooner or later turn against. I liked a lot of John Edwards' public policy proposals. But his character was so compromised that I would be far more comfortable with Mitt Romney in the White House than him. I think those who voted for Trump should have seen the handwriting on the wall when they voted for him back in 2016, but this constant talk of "mulligans" and "we believe in forgiveness" is nauseating and with a lot of people yes, it damages the credibility of Christianity. The Franklin Grahams and Tony Perkinses, not to mention Paula White, who says its a sin to oppose our President since God raises up kings, (How come we didn't hear that when Obama was in office), yes, they do give opponents of Christianity ammunition. 

33 comments:

steve said...

The basic problem with your post is that your argument is predicated on a question-begging premise. You did almost nothing to demonstrate that Trump has violated his oath of office. For a more even-handed assessment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g30aSWLCQDc

Starhopper said...

"The President's FIRST duty is to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States."

That is correct. The president (as do all federal employees) takes an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies. He does not take an oath to appoint judges of a certain stripe, or to pursue a particular trade policy, or even to control immigration. The oath of office, in its entirety, concerns fidelity to the Constitution - nothing else.

If you violate, or even trash, the Constitution, you have no business working for the federal government, whether it be as a lowly clerk in some provincial office or as the president of the United States (how many people realize they all take the IDENTICAL oath?).

Victor Reppert said...

I listened to a lot of the Shapiro tape and I liked it in a lot of ways. I have a problem with Trump from the point of view of campaign finance law, because it looks like the payment was directly designed to affect an election. John Edwards was at indicted for similar efforts to silence a woman he had an affair with.

My concerns about Trump involve a long list. So long as he keeps his tax returns secret, we don't know if and when his business interests are conflicting with his oath of office. Someone who openly pursues extramarital affairs may be doing something morally wrong, but isn't making us worry about their oath of office. Someone who goes to considerable lengths to conceal such relationships is a potential subject for blackmail.

I also wonder whether someone like Trump believes that he has a duty to be faithful to his wife. I think Clinton, if asked, would say that he does have a duty to be faithful to Hillary, and that he has failed from time to time to fulfill that duty. Talking about separate bedrooms, bragging about attempting to seduce a married woman, as he does on the Access Hollywood tape, leads me to wonder if he could honestly say that believes he has a duty to be faithful in marriage and that he has violated that duty on many occasions. I think the presents a problem for Christians who oppose gay marriage. You can either oppose gay marriage because you believe in marriage, or because you hate gays. But if you support someone who by his example says that he does not respect the institution of marriage, doesn't that make you kind of a hypocrite?

But my biggest concern with Trump has to do with the fact that there is overwhelming evidence that the Russians meddled in our elections, that they intend to do this again in 2018 and 2020, and that this is a violation of US law and a crime against America, and he has done nothing to make sure it never happens again. Remember the oath of office. That, to my mind, is impeachable right there, and you don't even need a collusion or obstruction case to

Victor Reppert said...

remove him from office.

steve said...

"I am tired of hearing that the public policy bottom line is all that matters."

You may be tired of that, but your fatigue is beside the point since the reasons people had for voting for Trump or generally backing the policies of his administration are *their* reasons, not *yours*. They were never designed to satisfy Democrats. Trump voters have different priorities.

"I think the presents a problem for Christians who oppose gay marriage. You can either oppose gay marriage because you believe in marriage, or because you hate gays. But if you support someone who by his example says that he does not respect the institution of marriage, doesn't that make you kind of a hypocrite?"

No, it doesn't. I suspect you don't understand how Trump voters think because you don't read conservative outlets. And I don't mean the canard of Fox News.

A major reason Trump lost is because the Democrat party has become a threat to the liberty and livelihood of anyone who doesn't embrace the secular progressive agenda. When gov't shuts down mom-n-pop businesses because they have traditional Christian beliefs, when judges terminate custody because parents who refuse to let their "transgender" adolescent son or daughter be subjected to puberty-blockers and irreversible sex-changer operations, then many Americans will vote defensively just to survive.

steve said...

As David French explains (and he's a NeverTrumper):

...and jeopardized the autonomy and liberty of the institutions Christian parents choose to train and educate their kids.

Why would Obergefell “raise fears” of coercion? Perhaps because of these actual words from President Obama’s solicitor general during oral arguments:

Justice Samuel Alito: “Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?”

Soliticitor General Verrilli: “You know, I, — I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is — it is going to be an issue.”

Just after the presidential election, David Bernstein highlighted that exchange and called the Obergefell argument the “oral argument that cost Democrats the presidency.” While there are many things that cost Democrats the presidency, that moment is certainly one of them. Think, for a moment, of the cultural and legal implications.”

Culturally, this is the president’s lawyer casting traditional Christians outside the boundaries of mainstream American society, placing them in the same category as racists for upholding a biblical definition of marriage. Legally, he’s raising the possibility that the schools and institutions educating young Christian kids by the millions could face the choice between compromise and financial crisis.

And, keep in mind, this statement occurred against a generation-long campaign of elite demonization of Evangelical Christian belief and practice. In my own law practice, I witnessed more than 100 colleges and universities attempt to bar one or more Christian student groups from campus — mainly on the grounds that it was “discriminatory” for Christian groups to reserve leadership positions for Christian students. I represented Christian students who were told they had to change their religious beliefs to earn degrees from public universities.

Moreover, the solicitor general made his statement mere weeks after Christians watched, aghast, as our nation’s largest and most powerful corporations gang-tackled the state of Indiana for having the audacity to enact a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that did little more than re-instate traditional legal protections for religious liberty. This corporate gang-tackle featured an absurd media pile-on as reporters on the hunt for anti-gay bigotry fixed their eyes on a previously unknown pizza store simply because it hypothetically wouldn’t serve pizza at a gay wedding.

Do I also need to mention that the Obama administration attempted to force nuns to facilitate coverage for contraceptives? Do we need to remind America that Hillary Clinton called for ending the Hyde amendment? This term the Supreme Court is considering two major compelled-speech cases. In one, the state of California is attempting to compel pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for free and low-cost abortions. In the other, the state of Colorado is attempting to force a Christian baker to use his artistic talents to custom-design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding.

Thus, there were very good reasons why it was rare indeed to find even a Never Trump Evangelical who was tempted in the slightest to vote for Hillary Clinton. It’s easy to see why so many Evangelicals — given the choice between a morally corrupt enemy and a morally corrupt ally (or at least someone who promised to be their ally) — chose the ally.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/evangelicals-support-donald-trump-political-realities-2016-election/

steve said...

This is no longer the ”we'll have to agree to disagree” truce. The liberal establishment demands unconditional surrender to its agenda. Dissent is punished. Take compelled speech on pain of imprisonment:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/08/18/jail-for-nursing-home-staff-who-willfully-and-repeatedly-fail-to-use-a-residents-preferred-name-or-pronouns/

Take the farmer banned from the public market simply because he has traditional Christian beliefs about marriage:

http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2017/07/selling_blueberries_as_a_count.html

I could multiply examples.

Legion of Logic said...

Victor: "But my biggest concern with Trump has to do with the fact that there is overwhelming evidence that the Russians meddled in our elections, that they intend to do this again in 2018 and 2020, and that this is a violation of US law and a crime against America, and he has done nothing to make sure it never happens again."

A few things.

One, the meddling mainly took the form of two things - spreading chaos through misinformation and the hacking of DNC emails. The problem about so-called "fake news" is that we are extremely adept at producing exorbitant amounts of it right here at home. If you want to know what's actually going on, there is no one news site that will tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And fake news takes many more forms than simply false information, which is why it's so easy to point to CNN, for example, and declare it to be a purveyor of fake news. Point being, in a global information sharing network like we have now, a misleading piece of information spreading on Facebook is no more harmful coming from Russia than it is from Don Lemon or Chris Matthews.

Two, the DNC itself was partially to blame for the hacking fallout. If I break into your house and find ten tons of cocaine and turn you in, it's legitimate to point out that I am a criminal for breaking into your house, but it's not exactly reasonable to then act like a victim when everyone knows about your cocaine business. The DNC wouldn't allow the FBI to inspect their computers after the breach, which was a grave misstep, and the information that was released by WikiLeaks? Well, if the emails hadn't contained harmful information, the leaks wouldn't have been so impactful. Between their initial refusal to cooperate with the FBI (why, I wonder) and their own dirty laundry suddenly being aired, my sympathy for the DNC only goes so far. Yes, I expect that the Republicans would fare no better, but unfortunately for the Democrats, Trump was the chaos candidate and the Russians wanted chaos. Both parties can learn from this past election about increasing their electronic security, such as not violating official government rules by having unsecured private servers, for example.

Three, even some former Obama administration officials are unhappy with how subdued Obama's reaction to Russian interference was, and it was at least partially because they assumed Hillary Clinton would win anyway. However, in defense of Obama's reaction, they not only wanted to avoid a heavy-handed reaction that could potentially increase election chaos and exacerbate future Russian attempts at election interference, but as Obama himself said, "“We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized". You and I don't know what is going on covertly in response to Russia, and recently the Trump administration imposed sanctions upon Russian assets similar to what the Obama administration did, which is the response that so far has been publically announced. The same concern for prompting more aggressive Russian actions is still in play, so a (publically) subdued reaction in of itself is not an impeachable offense at all. Otherwise Obama deserved impeachment.

Now, you can believe that Trump is not doing anything behind the scenes that isn't hitting the NYT front pages, and I would not declare such doubts as unreasonable. But to say he has done nothing is not only factually incorrect, but it's also declared from a place of ignorance unless you happen to sit in on top classified meetings in the White House.

What, in your opinion, should Trump do, exactly, that will not only punish the Russians "properly", but will also ensure that they do not ever try this again? I can't think of anything off the top of my head. Can you?

One Brow said...

When gov't shuts down mom-n-pop businesses because they have traditional Christian beliefs,

Businesses don't have beliefs, people have beliefs. People are allowed to discriminate, businesses are not. If you want the many advantages that come from being a business, which are supported by the public, you need to play by the public rules, including non-discrimination. If you want to discriminate, start a private club or be a contractor-for-hire.

when judges terminate custody because parents who refuse to let their "transgender" adolescent son or daughter be subjected to puberty-blockers and irreversible sex-changer operations,

The child in this case was 17, less than a year from being a legal adult anyhow. 17-year-olds routinely get a lot of say in their custody arrangements, whether transgender or cisgender.

One Brow said...

In my own law practice, I witnessed more than 100 colleges and universities attempt to bar one or more Christian student groups from campus — mainly on the grounds that it was “discriminatory” for Christian groups to reserve leadership positions for Christian students.

As long as the same rules apply to groups for Muslim students, or black students, why is this discrimination against Christians? Why should public university money be required to support discrimination? Why can't they just form their own private club?

I represented Christian students who were told they had to change their religious beliefs to earn degrees from public universities.

Example?

Do I also need to mention that the Obama administration attempted to force nuns to facilitate coverage for contraceptives?

Why do (non-church) employers get to force their religious beliefs on empoloyees?

This term the Supreme Court is considering two major compelled-speech cases. In one, the state of California is attempting to compel pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for free and low-cost abortions.

A notice is not an advertisement. I see government notices in all kinds of businesses.

In the other, the state of Colorado is attempting to force a Christian baker to use his artistic talents to custom-design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding.

The baker doesn't have to, the business does. He could have hired a sub-contractor to decorate the cake in the requested style.

One Brow said...

Take compelled speech on pain of imprisonment:

That is a false statement. The actual bill makes it clear this is "a violation under the Long-Term Care, Health, Safety, and Security Act of 1973", which "prescribes the civil penalties assessed for a violation of those requirements".

Take the farmer banned from the public market simply because he has traditional Christian beliefs about marriage:

The farmer won that case, rightfully so.

steve said...

"Businesses don't have beliefs, people have beliefs. People are allowed to discriminate, businesses are not."

Citizens don't lose their Constitutional rights when they go into business. For instance, do you imagine that police don't have to get a search warrant to conduct a search of business records or the premises?

"If you want the many advantages that come from being a business, which are supported by the public, you need to play by the public rules, including non-discrimination."

As far as public rules go, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It's government that's breaking the public rules by violating the Constitutional rights of businessmen.

"If you want to discriminate, start a private club or be a contractor-for-hire."

Private businessmen have a Constitutional right to discriminate.

steve said...

"But my biggest concern with Trump has to do with the fact that there is overwhelming evidence that the Russians meddled in our elections, that they intend to do this again in 2018 and 2020, and that this is a violation of US law and a crime against America, and he has done nothing to make sure it never happens again. Remember the oath of office. That, to my mind, is impeachable right there, and you don't even need a collusion or obstruction case to remove him from office."

Well, Victor, that depends on the target of your argument. If you're just stating your own position, that's one thing.

If, however, you're accusing evangelical Trump voters of hypocrisy, then hypocrisy is defined, not by the viewpoint of the accuser, but the viewpoint of the accused.

*You* may think there's overwhelming evidence for collusion, but that doesn't begin to show that evangelical Trump voters are hypocrites inasmuch as the frame of reference isn't lack of consistency with your beliefs, but lack of consistency with their own beliefs. They probably don't consult the same news outlets you do, so they probably don't think Trump is guilty of collusion.

Victor Reppert said...

I think it does get problematic that we now have news outlets that can be defined in terms of their political orientation. And, on economics I am at my most liberal, on national defense issues less so (we certainly should have gone into Afghanistan to get bin Laden, Iraq, not so much), and on social issues I also have a middle position that also satisfies no one. But I believe in the separation of church and state, but what that means is that while the government may be limited in its ability to enforce what I believe to be good Christian morality, it also should not be in the business of shoving a kind of secular orthodoxy down the throats of religious people. I am puzzled by the extent to which leaders in the Democratic party are blind to this unfortunate tendency in their own thinking. Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden are all professing Christians. They may not be evangelicals, but they sound absolutely serious about their faith. Hillary made her "deplorables" comment at an LGBT gathering, so that signaled to traditional Christians who think there is something wrong with gay activity that they are deplorable. I am convinced that if she had not said that, there would have been a greater exodus from the Trump camp by Christians once the Access Hollywood tape came out. I really believe that if she had bit her tongue before making that statement, she would be in the White House today. I can understand gay rights and even gay marriage, but dropping the bigot-bomb on people who take Romans 1 as a reason for thinking something has gone wrong in homosexual relationship---that is shoving a secular morality down people's throats, and it is no better than shoving religion down peoples throats. If Christian convictions are insignificant once you run a business, are you going to say that there can't be Christian bookstores? Had the Republicans run a moderate candidate who shared my concerns about religious freedom but was not out to, say, shred Obamacare, I might have taken them seriously. Instead, they nominated Trump, who by the way ran to the left of the party on the Iraq war and on health care as well.

One Brow said...

Citizens don't lose their Constitutional rights when they go into business. For instance, do you imagine that police don't have to get a search warrant to conduct a search of business records or the premises?

My understanding is that they need separate warrants to search the business and the person's home (assuming they are not the same thing), because the business and the person are distinct legal entities. A person has rights that a business does not.

As far as public rules go, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It's government that's breaking the public rules by violating the Constitutional rights of businessmen.

Except, requiring a *business* to be non-discriminatory does not violate the rights of the *businessperson*, since the business and the busnessperson are legally distinct.

Private businessmen have a Constitutional right to discriminate.

Yes, that is what I said. It's the businesses that have no such right.

One Brow said...

If Christian convictions are insignificant once you run a business, are you going to say that there can't be Christian bookstores?

I am not aware of any cases that would limit a choice of inventory, or a description thereof.

Miguel said...

Any business that is not providing an essential service (such as health) should be allowed to discriminate however they want. If someone has a private business, that doesn't mean the person can be coerced into serving someone they don't want to. No one has any intrinsic right to force someone to bake a cake for them if they sell cakes; that doesn't even make any sense. If it's a private store or company or whatever, it is nobody's damn business who they may refuse to sell their services to. Not just for reliious reasons, but any personal ones as well. If someone doesn't want to sell me a cake because they think I'm ugly, I have no right to force them to sell it to me anyway. It's their cake, their property, their time, their investment, their work, their decision. Their rights to discriminate should be respected within just rights. It's their own negative right, their right to not take part in a specific contract with a party they don't want to associate with. The State shouldn't coerce people in this matter.

Miguel said...

If someone can't force you to bake a Nazi cake, they can't force you to bake a gay cake either. In fact, they can't force you to bake anything. It's nobody's damn business whether an adult refuses to take part in initiating a contract with someone they don't want to be associated with.

Joe Hinman said...

Any business that is not providing an essential service (such as health) should be allowed to discriminate however they want.

no they shoulod not. I bet you would not be willing to live with that if they focused their discrimination your pet things,

One Brow said...

Any business that is not providing an essential service (such as health) should be allowed to discriminate however they want.

The state supports business owners by having business be legally separate entities. If your business goes bankrupt, those creditors don't get to come after your house; taxes are calculated separately; etc. One of the costs of taking advantage of this government-created structure is the requirement to treat all customers equally. If you don't want to treat people equally, don't form a business. No one forces you to open a bakery; you can advertise instead as a baker-for-hire and discriminate to your heart's content.

Victor Reppert said...

It seems to me, however, that you can "discriminate" by identifying your inventory in certain ways. For example, you can say that you will bake custom cakes, but one feature of every custom cake you bake is that it will have on it the Bible verse that you will choose. And for gay couples it is going to be Leviticus 20:13.

13 “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

Victor Reppert said...

But there are protected classes. Homosexuals are not a federal protected class. If you put a sign up in your hardware store that says "no gays," then that is perfectly legal, so long as your state doesn't make gays a protected class. You can discriminate in Arizona against homosexuals, and it is not illegal. The Masterpiece Cake company was considered to be in violation of a state law against anti-gay discrimination.

Miguel said...

"no they shoulod not. I bet you would not be willing to live with that if they focused their discrimination your pet things,"

No I would not, because I don't think people should be forced to initiate any voluntary contract with me. We're both adults, I cannot force you to serve me with your private business if you don't want to. I'm not a pissy child who thinks people should be forced to serve me or sell me their products.

"The state supports business owners by having business be legally separate entities. If your business goes bankrupt, those creditors don't get to come after your house; taxes are calculated separately; etc. One of the costs of taking advantage of this government-created structure is the requirement to treat all customers equally. If you don't want to treat people equally, don't form a business."

What you said makes absolutely no sense, since it is because the State who put its hands into the management of private property in the first place. Take away the "advantages" of this "government-created structure" away from those who discriminate, then. But don't forbid them to close down their private stores and companies.

The State has no damn business coercing adults into entering into "voluntary" contracts with other adults. Everyone has the right to not associate with someone to whom they owe nothing. If I don't want to bake and sell cakes to a Nazi, it is my right, as the owner of my business. If that means the State will take away its own created "benefits" unless people bake nazi cakes for nazis, so be it. But it has no right to force someone to close down their bakery simply because they don't wanna sell cakes for nazis.

Miguel said...

Don't force* them to close down, not forbid.

One Brow said...

But there are protected classes. Homosexuals are not a federal protected class. If you put a sign up in your hardware store that says "no gays," then that is perfectly legal, so long as your state doesn't make gays a protected class.

So, a business could refuse to serve anyone with blue eyes? Hmm...

One Brow said...

No I would not, because I don't think people should be forced to initiate any voluntary contract with me. We're both adults, I cannot force you to serve me with your private business if you don't want to.

You are not your business. They are legally distinct entities. Requirements can be placed on your business entity that do not affect you.

What you said makes absolutely no sense, since it is because the State who put its hands into the management of private property in the first place.

You have a choice to sign the lease, rent/buy the equipment, take out loans, etc. in your personal name or under the protection of having a legally distinct entity. If you choose the latter, you get extra protections from the state, and extra restrictions.

Instead of a business, hire yourself out as a contractor and/or form a private club, and discriminate to your hearts content.

Victor Reppert said...

Steve: I didn't say there was overwhelming evidence for collusion. I said there was overwhelming evidence for meddling, and I don't think anyone other than Trump denies this.

I was arguing that Trump has made no public statements identifying the Russians as the meddlers in the election, and Trump was even slow to identify Russia in the case of the murdered Russian spy in Britain, though he did respond eventually. Trump should, at least, tell Putin to knock it off.

People often get the cart before the horse on this Russia stuff. They think that the first thing to look for is collusion. We first have to identify this as a crime against America, we have to see it as a threat to national security, and even if it benefits our party, we need for our leaders to say that we won't tolerate it. Bu indicting 13 Russians Mueller knows where the cart and the horse should be located. I have read people on the conservative side on this, and people like Jonah Goldberg just say "wait and see." I think Jonah is right. Already we have indictments against a former Trump campaign manager and a man Trump put in as his first national security advisor, someone who started the "lock her up" chant against Hillary. (Ironic, isn't it?) Trump's commitment to the rule of law was questionable during the campaign with his silly "Russia if you're listening" remark, suggesting that since Russia has already probably committed the crime of hacking Hillary's e-mails, would you please help our campaign by leaking some of them? His attacks on the press, calling everything he doesn't like "fake news" and even calling the press the enemy of the people, go against the first amendment's protection of the free press.

There are times when the character of a candidate ought to prevent a voter from voting for that candidate even if their policy proposals are closer to their own than those of their opponent. That is because even if the candidate with a problematic character scores a victory, eventually that candidate will screw things up, get caught for it, and the causes for which you voted will be brought down with a vengeance in future elections. Plus, Trump's immature behavior on twitter and his inconsistent policy conduct makes you wonder what his policies really are. One minute he is telling Tillerson we can't talk to North Korea, then he decides to talk to North Korea. Tariffs come out of nowhere by executive order. How can any foreign government know what to expect from this guy?

Victor Reppert said...

Yes, you can discriminate against someone with blue eyes if you want to. I wouldn't try it, it would be bad for business. If this became a problem for blue-eyed people in the way that racial discrimination is a problem for blacks, then anti-discrimination laws will be written. Businesses can discriminate against obnoxious customers and tell them not to come back. If enough obnoxious people had enough political power to assert that this was wrong, they could pass laws preventing restaurants from kicking out obnoxious people, by making obnoxious people a protected class. But so far that has never happened.

Miguel said...

"Instead of a business, hire yourself out as a contractor and/or form a private club, and discriminate to your hearts content."

Will that work exactly like a business, minus the specific government protections? Can I turn my property into a store, call it "Blablabla's Bakery", bake and sell cakes to whoever I want there and have all the appearances of being a business without legally being one?

Legion of Logic said...

Victor: "I was arguing that Trump has made no public statements identifying the Russians as the meddlers in the election"

Technically he has indeed publicly said so following Mueller's indictments of Russian individuals a month or so ago.

"His attacks on the press, calling everything he doesn't like "fake news" and even calling the press the enemy of the people, go against the first amendment's protection of the free press."

How is criticizing the media a violation of freedom of the press? Is criticizing abortion a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment? Can't speak on guns or you've violated the Second?

The media very often deserves to be called out for its crap. A president or anyone else can't just be a punching bag.

One Brow said...

As long as you are upfront that you are running a private club, I don't see why not. "Blablabla's Bakery - Members Only".

Miguel said...

"Member's Only" so I cannot start my own business if I don't accept the "government benefits" that "allow me" to, you know, open a bakery to sell my bakes to whoever wants to buy there (and not sell them to whoever I don't want to sell). And then I have to abide by the State's rules in order to keep "benefitting" from their structure. Because without their "benefits" I am only allowed to open a private club for members. That's rich.

So, back to what I was saying. It is nobody's damn business to force an adult to enter into a voluntary contract with another person. If someone doesn't want to sell cakes to nazis, gays, ugly people, it is nobody's business. Stop State coercion, or at least limit it. It's as simple as that. No baker should have to bake cakes for gay couples, or nazi couples, or any couple they don't want to provide their own services to. It is his individual right. No one has a right to force someone to sell cakes to them. It's just preposterous.

One Brow said...

so I cannot start my own business if I don't accept the "government benefits" that "allow me" to,

If you don't want the government benefits, why are you creating a business, as opposed to just selling stuff?