Trump Wants Dissent To Be A Crime...

Another day - another bizarre -- and frankly constitution-defying-- tweet from Donald Trump.

At 6:55 yesterday morning -- a time when most Americans were either still sleeping or just getting out of bed -- the man who will in less than two months take over the leadership of the so-called free world sent out this message from his Twitter account:

"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"

That's right.

Not only does Trump think flag-burning should be illegal - he also thinks people who do burn the flag should lose EVERY RIGHT THEY HAVE AS AN AMERICAN.

This might sound like more Trumpian bluster - but it's not.

This is serious stuff.

The only crime currently punishable in America by loss of citizenship is treason - and the President elect of the United States just said we should apply that same punishment to political dissent.

In simpler terms - Donald Trump thinks dissent is treason.

This is literally THE recipe - and virtually the dictionary definition - for authoritarianism.

So where does it all end?

Are our political institutions healthy enough to prevent Donald Trump from becoming an American autocrat?

Will all those checks and balances that we learned about in elementary school do their job?

Or has the modern presidency and the intelligence apparatus it controls become so powerful, so expansive, that it's time to start seriously worrying about a dictator Trump?


CircumcisionTV's picture
CircumcisionTV 6 years 25 weeks ago

Isn't he creating an enemy list targeting people within his own party who challenge him? Pretty obvious and scary where this is heading.

cat18's picture
cat18 6 years 25 weeks ago

It's beyond time to start worrying. We have to figure out how to deal with the reality of an authoritarian takeover. Look at the history of authoritarian takeovers by Mussolini and Hitler.

There is a pattern we have seen before. How we fight it, I’m not sure, but fight we must if we are to save our constitutional democracy. 1.The muddling of thinking by attacking parts of the media to discredit them — see attacks on NY Times — diminishing the press is what authoritarians do. Put out lies and fake news, which are easy for some to believe while denigrating honest sources of information, which today are carried by talk radio and many web sites. (NY Times is not infallible, think Judith Miller, but they are the best we’ve got and Trump and his minions are in full assault on them.) Without trusted sources for information fake news becomes credible as it preys on confirmation bias. Watch for post-truth disinformation, e.g., millions of illegal voters.There is, and will be, a war on reality. 2. Scapegoating of certain groups — Muslims, immigrants, and I’m afraid anti-semitism is already on the way. African-Americans and women are also under attack as our civil liberties. 3. Say those who oppose the dictator are thugs, paid demonstrators, and to come I am sure, un-American, even a cancer on society. 4. Mass rallies — like the campaign but more so (the "thank you tour"?) 5. Changing the laws and attempting to change the constitution. If the pattern holds this will come. 6. Stay in power by controlling the elections — voter suppression in all its forms, gerrymandering, repealing the Voting Rights Act, prevent voter registration drives by outside groups. 7. Distorting or eliminating standard government information on what is really going on, Bureau of Labor Statistics, NOAA, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Census Bureau.

jniffen's picture
jniffen 6 years 25 weeks ago

How's this for a solution, we burn confederate flags?
Still gets the job done of p1ssing off the rigtht and yet, no law has been broken.

The Supreme Court ruling, got it right when they basically said "Freedom of Speech against the Goverment takes a higher precedent that the symbol of the nation that supports freedom of speech."
Tell you the truth, I am more angry seeing the flag, dirty or ratted, like on a car antenna, or left flying in the rain.

I really don't know if this guy realizes what he is suppose to symbolize.
He is not a former reality show host.
He represents the United States of America.

(I've gone through this is Mn when Jessie Ventura was Governor, What a mess that was, the only laws he pass, benefited Jessie.)

I hope there will be enough Republican Senators who will realize what serious damage this guy can do and will look out for the nation, but stopping laws from being passed when needed.
Even if impeachment started, yea I know House and Senate, we still have Pence and Ryan, we're jammed no matter what.

The biggest question is, what is Trump trying to distract the US from this time?

Done with the rant.


blakelybw's picture
blakelybw 6 years 25 weeks ago

When--as Hitler came to power in the time of the Weimar Republic--should the good and reasonable Germans who opposed him have acted? When and what can Americans do to prevent a fascist dictator from seizing control of our country and it's government? If the Cubs can get 5 million out to celebrate their victory what prevents at least that number from mobilizing to save our Republic? How can we mount an appeal to the consciences of 50 members of the Electoral College to take the "last clear chance" to save us by switching their votes to Clinton?

blakelybw's picture
blakelybw 6 years 25 weeks ago

I agree, Trump is a master of the politics of distraction. See my post following yours--impeachment is not the answer, we have to find a way to keep him from ever assuming office.

Ron G McComb 6 years 25 weeks ago

When hitler started naming the things the nazis were planning, no one thought they would....until it was too late. We need to see this as a nazi invasion of America. One thing they've figured out is how to use the openness of Democracy to their own ends. But then, so did the nazis.

blakelybw's picture
blakelybw 6 years 25 weeks ago

I completely agree. What do you think of my post?

Ron G McComb 6 years 25 weeks ago

Constant media comparison between the overwhelming support for Obama's inauguration in the freezing cold and the overwhelming condemnation on Pennsylvania avenue when t rump is inaugurated. Keep answering evey lie with the verifiable truth. Keep laughing at their stupid S&M actions and ideas. T rump doesn't get that he's the butt of most jokes. Fascists have no sense of humor and don't understand satire or irony. Besides S&M, what do these nazis do for fun,??? Come to think of it...I don't want to know.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 6 years 25 weeks ago

It's time for the Powers that (still) be to take away his Twitter Account before he's sworn-in. Or, just declare Trump a threat to all human security and let the Law take it's course. But then, when a mad man tweets, we at least can know who he is going to target... next.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 6 years 25 weeks ago

Burning the flag is treason! The only time to burn the flag is when it touches the ground or is worn out and needs to be retired. Soldiers from the Revolutionary war to Operation Enduring Freedom have bled and died for Old Glory. To descreate the flag is spitting on the veterans who bled and died so there is a flag. Long may it wave! Ooh Rah Retired MGySgt US Marine.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 25 weeks ago

Who told the corpse media outlets to report that the recount is a total waste of time?...ABC characterized the recount not only as a "hail mary pass, but a replay of a hail mary pass" !!!! What info do they have that we don't have? Is the recount rigged too? All the evidence clearly points to election fraud. Control of the message is everything in a dictatorship, and whoever started that message is most likely connected to the fraud itself.

Skeeter still fears that "they're gonna take my guns away." Little does Skeeter know that he's about to lose way more than his guns. He better pray that the forlorn senate hope can save his sorry misinformed ass....god bless him.

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 6 years 25 weeks ago

Trump has a lot to learn in a short time

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 6 years 25 weeks ago

Trump will be impeached or assassinated; it's just a question of when, and by whom.

IM Jussayin 6 years 25 weeks ago

The Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag is not treason but political protest protected by the first amendment. No less a constitutionalist than Antonin Scalia conurred with the majority in his own written opinion that Mr. Tarheel is dead wrong.

Soldiers fighting for this country have never fought for "Old Glory," but for the principles it represents. To say otherwise is jingoistic, not patriotic. Boo Ya! Unretired U.S. Citizen.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 25 weeks ago

I agree. A national flag is nothing but a visual symbol of a nation's founding principles. What significance does a brightly colored piece of cloth have when representatives, elected to uphold those principles, violate them so wholeheartedly, and half the nation doesn't even care? Does waving the flag then lend support to such violations when so many have lost sight of its true meaning? The desecration of principles is much worse than the desecration of a mere flag. Protest is not supposed to be comforting to those at whom the protest is directed. Perhaps burning an effigy of T-rump wrapped in a flag would drive the point home. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism ... especially from this gang of reprobates!

RFord's picture
RFord 6 years 25 weeks ago

No, it's time for the electors to vote for Hillary. (It will be time on December 19th.)

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 6 years 25 weeks ago

I'm not dead wrong. SCOTUS in this country gets more wrong than they do right. Roe V Wade is one example. The why SCOTUS said flag burning is protected speech has more to do with Citizens United vs FEC than it does with anything else Mitch McConnell himself appeared before the court to ensure that money = free speech so when asked does burning the flag constitute protected free speech he replied yes. In order for win the office no matter the cost McConnell had to throw the flag under the bus. Mr IM Jussayin I guess you agree with SCOTUS that money is protected speech.

It is a shame that there isn't a draft anymore people who have served and are serving are patriotic and respect the flag and will protect it to thier last breath. At last check there are more veterans and current service members than 9 some time unwise judges. They should listen to us and throw McConnell under the bus and overturn Citizens United v FEC and agree with us that flag burning during a protest is treason during the Revolutionary War when the British burned our flag it was viewed as an act of war.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 6 years 25 weeks ago

Having a bad week guys?

Before you rant, maybe a little homework before you pee down your own leg?

Hillary Clinton Co-Sponsored Bill In 2005 To Jail Flag Burners

"The Flag Protection Act of 2005 was a proposed United States federal law introduced by Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), with original co-sponsor Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). The law would have prohibited burning or otherwise destroying and damaging the US flag with the primary purpose of intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism. It called for a punishment of no more than one year in prison and a fine of no more than $100,000; unless that flag was property of the United States Government, in which case the penalty would be a fine of not more than $250,000, not more than two years in prison, or both."

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 25 weeks ago

Unbelievable! One conflates flag-burning to money-is-speech -- a childish non-sequitur. And the other cites Hillary, who, according to right-wing conspiracy-theory conventional wisdom, is dishonest, untrustworthy, and corrupt; yet now, she is magically transformed into a paragon of patriotic purity to demonstrate the hypocrisy of others -- a laughable logic that is equally childish.

Besides, if you tout the flag as sacrosanct, you then must uphold the system of government it represents, which includes abiding by Supreme Court rulings, no matter how odious. (Thank God Antonin Scalia is dead!) Otherwise, you come across as the sophomoric hypocrites you appear to be.

Coalage1 6 years 25 weeks ago

Trump's comment is red meat material for the masses. I doubt he really cares one way or the other about jailing flag burners. The democrats nominated someone who supports jailing flag burning as mentioned above. Apparently, this is an issue that finds non-partisan support. Who would have thought it? See....already the two parties may have found common ground.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 25 weeks ago

Haha, good one, Coalage1!

Yeah, I too think it's just pure bullsh-t, a way to manipulate the people and the media to distract them from the cabinet of demons he's beckoning forth and from his massive conflict of interest building to an historic crescendo.

Bob Wickline's picture
Bob Wickline 6 years 25 weeks ago


"The Trumpster's puttin' us in a dumpster with the KKK, Putin, Flynn, and Sessions, as his Nazi propagandist channels Goebbels with aggression! They abuse as they ooze their hateful condemnation of our "government of the people" and civil rights for all our nation! What will it take for US to wake before the tipping point is tipped and we the people finally realize we the people have been ripped off by the Trump who we gotta dump! A Fourth Reich we don't need! Oh, I'm so frickin' sick & tired of gettin' G. O. Peed!Beware the wolf dressed in sheep's clothing and the Fox who guards the hens, and a con man who cons a country...... just like Hitler friends!!! Now's the time for We the People! Now's the time to wake up this nation! Now's the time for we the people! Now's the time! Our tomorrows will depend on what we do today! Let need not greed lead the way! Let need not greed lead the way!"​(MP3 avaiable upon request)

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 24 weeks ago

Loss of citizenship for burning a mere symbol is not logical; it is absolutely un-American and unconstitutional! The right of a citizen -- indeed, the duty of a citizen -- is to protest loudly by whatever means deemed effective when the government is corrupted by demagogues, fascists, and plutocrats, such as it is now. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

The late Molly Ivins once said,"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the the flag."

Clearly your and Trump's understanding of what it means to be a true American is backasswards. Try burning a flag in China, or North Korea, or any other despicable dictatorship. Is that the system of government you admire? Perhaps, it is you who should be stripped of citizenship and forced to live in a less tolerant and enlightened nation.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places