Trump, Flag burning, Twitter Trolling, and the First Amendment

Yesterday Donald Trump sent out a controversial tweet about what he thinks should happen to people who burn the American Flag, and in the process he sent the media into a tailspin. Swift denouncements followed, and discussions about the legality of flag burning ensued. The media loves to call Trump a dictator, and a tyrant even though he has not yet assumed the office of the President of the United States as yet, and Mr. Trump’s declaration that people who burn the flag should either have to spend a year in jail or lose their citizenship gave the media more ammunition to fire at him. It should be made absolutely clear that the idea of throwing people in jail for burning the flag is utter nonsense. It is not going to happen! Donald Trump has no authority to make this happen, neither does the congress have this authority, unless they make a fundamental change to the United States constitution. It has been established that flag burning is protected free speech, and this is not something that the courts are likely to ever overturn. Free speech and the other rights guaranteed in the first amendment are the hallmarks or a free society, and whenever governments succeed in their attempts to infringe on any of these fundamental rights, that society will eventually cease to be free, because if such fundamental rights can be tampered with, then no other right is sacrosanct.

Having said all of this, some believe that the media is reading Trump the wrong way on this issue. He did not propose passing a law that punishes people for burning the flag. He simply expressed his personal feelings on it. This may sound like a stretch  to some, but consider the words of no less a figure than Justice Antonin Scalia, the towering conservative stalwart who sat on the Supreme Court for a number of years. Justice Scalia, a strict originalist was the deciding vote on the Supreme Court in the case that upheld flag burning as speech protected by the first Amendment. Here are the words of Justice Scalia during an event held by Princeton Professor Robert George, he said: “If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag, but I am not king.” Again, just to reiterate; this is the Supreme Court justice who conservatives hold in extremely high esteem, expressing how he feels about a certain type of speech (flag burning) that he unequivocally abhors. He recognized that his feelings did not matter, but his fidelity to the United States constitution and his obligation to be true to it was the important issue at hand. We should also remember that back in 2005, Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a bill in the Senate to make flag burning a crime, but that too was destined to fail. Donald Trump expressing how he feels about flag burners should not alarm anyone, he is not king.

Donald Trump, apart from being a successful businessman is also a gifted and accomplished “musician” with a skill that no one else possesses. He can play the media like a fiddle. The media probably does not even recognize when they are being played, and if they do; they do not have much of a choice, but to cover him. President Elect Trump knows the kind of attention that his tweets generate, and he is using the media to draw attention to something that he cares deeply about. The primary theme of Mr. Trump’s recent campaign was “make America Great Again.” He has stressed over and over again that he intends to put “America first.” The man is un-apologetically pro-America, he loves his country, and is proud of it. While it is trendy amongst many millennials and remnants of the hippie generation/mentality to point out America’s flaws as reasons to be contemptuous towards the country, Mr. Trump sees the good, the tremendous accomplishments of America and the leading role this country has played in moving civilization forward, more than any other country, empire or kingdom has ever done in the history of the world. In highlighting his tweet and the hysteria that will naturally follow, Trump knows that some will be incited to do more flag burning to protest what they perceive as his tyrannical stance. In doing so the left will again be on display for all to see. The rabid hatred that many people who have been born and raised in this country have for it is astonishing, and the more that they expose themselves, the more people will reject their message, and support for Mr. Trump will be stronger and perhaps even increase.

Donald Trump is a classic Twitter troll in many respects. He knows how to rile up the traditional media. He understands very well that it does not take much for those who oppose him to become unhinged. Tweets like the one he sent out yesterday are purposeful, and true to form, the leftist/Democrat media sycophants whose job it now formally is to discredit Mr. Trump at every turn, reacted according to script. Donald Trump cannot do anything to people who burn the flag, he has no intention of even trying, but he does certainly intend to continue trolling the media and the rabid haters afflicted by Trump Derangement Syndrome.

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