A Dark Day in America

A Dark Day in America July 3, 2024

A Dark Day in America

Today, July 3, 2024, the news is just beginning really to sink in. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently declared that a president of the US (POTUS) is immune from prosecution for acts done in the carrying out of his constitutional duties. This undeniably sets the stage for a dictatorship. Whether that will come about is open to the future. Only time will tell.

Someone will say that dictatorship is not in view because SCOTUS said acts in the carrying out of his (or her) constitutional duties. However, the SCOTUS did not define what those duties are.

Former president and presidential candidate Donald Trump is hailing this decision as a victory for him and already claiming that it undoes his legal problems, including his recent federal conviction on felony charges.

Who is going to decide what exactly counts as a president’s constitutional duties? By not defining them, the SCOTUS filed miserably to help us hope that no president will ever commit a crime while in office and go “scot free.”

The SCOTUS did decide that a president is above the law of the land; we can no longer say that “no one is above the law.” The president is. This is terrifying. So many dictatorships have begun this way (or in a very similar way).

Imagine that a future president decides that the country is in so much danger that his critics must be detained. Trump has stated several times that he will seek “vengeance” on his enemies (if re-elected).

That combination of the SCOTUS’s decision and Trump’s declaration should frighten everyone. Every American but also every world citizen.

There is no doubt in my mind that, now, America is sliding toward a possible dictatorship in which people become so afraid of the president that they will back down rather than openly criticize or oppose him.

Do not tell me this is not my legitimate territory for discussion and even declaration. I held a named chair in ethics at a major American research university. Politics, civics, government falls under the umbrella of ethics. This decision by the SCOTUS is ethically dangerous. But more than dangerous in theory! Dangerous in practice. Given that power tends to corrupt, it is almost inevitable that, in the future, some president will abuse his or her power—in the carrying out of his or her “constitutional duties.” If only the SCOTUS had defined those! But it didn’t.

*Note: If you choose to comment, make sure your comment is relatively brief (no more than 100 words), on topic, addressed to me, civil and respectful (not hostile or argumentative), and devoid of pictures or links.*

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