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Are Republicans Ignoring Donald Trump's Defiance of Presidential Norms?

The lengths the Republican Party is willing to go to defend the President of The United States of America, Donald Trump, is unprecedented. From the day President Trump took office, we have discovered that the White House and the Republican Party know no boundaries when it comes to them turning a blind eye to Donald Trump’s defiance of presidential norms. Day in and day out they defend him disrespecting our allies, spreading confidential information to countries that are not our allies, and making inappropriate statements.

Recently President Donald Trump has said that he has “the absolute right to pardon himself,[1]” if he were to potentially be charged for a crime. However, no one should be placed above the law, and it’s inappropriate for the President to make such suggestion. As our Founding Father and fourth President, James Madison, said, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity[2].” If the President were to commit any crimes and pardon himself, it would be nonsensical. While it is true that the constitution doesn’t state that the President can or cannot pardon himself, it would be unacceptable for him to do so for the exact same reasons that our Founding Father stated. After this statement was made, Republican leaders had no response to this comment. Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, notably waited 18 seconds after someone asked him if what the President said was correct. Many other Republicans stated that it would never get to that point so there is no need to discuss the President’s statement, but no one definitely spoke out against the statement he made.

A few months ago, Donald Trump expressed his distaste for people entering our country from “shithole countries.” Insiders from that meeting also recalled him asking why we want people from countries in Africa and Haiti and insisting we should alternatively welcome more people from countries like Norway. It is important to note that the countries our President did not want more immigrants coming from are predominately Black, while Norway is predominantly White. The White House and the Republican party tried to spin this statement by stating the President never made the statement. Then they stated that he probably did, but the people living in Africa and Haiti are not only Black and we should not assume that his statement was racially motivated. “Anonymous Republican sources have pushed the story that Trump in fact used the phrase “shithouse countries.” According to the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, Robert Costa, and Ashley Parker, Senators. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) told the White House that is what they remember Trump saying in the meeting.”[3][4] It is ridiculous that the President and his colleagues cannot come to consensus about what really happened in the meeting. I also think it is important to note that President of the United States represents people of all races, skin colors, nationalities and immigrant backgrounds, and it should not matter what your political affiliation is; the President of the United States should not get to have preferences on which immigrants he prefers, especially when he is the representative of all immigrants residing in the United States.

Steve Helber | AP Photo

More recently, the Trump Administration has taken a lot of heat for creating a new practice after the president introduced his zero tolerance immigration policy, that has separated children from their families along the southern border. The vile conditions these people and their children are living under are very similar to prisons. It was also reported by the Associated Press that “Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three ‘tender age’ shelters in South Texas” [5]. To make this sensitive matter worse, Donald Trump insisted in a tweet that ripping young children away from their families was a policy created by the Democrats. Yet the Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated on May 7, 2018, “If you do not want your child to be separated, then do not bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault”[6]. This statement by Jeff Sessions shows that it was the Justice Department’s concern to not do anything about immigration enforcements implementation of the Trump administrations zero tolerance immigration policy. “What changed was the administration’s handling of these cases. Undocumented immigrant families seeking asylum previously were released and went into the civil court system, but now the parents are being detained and sent to criminal courts while their kids are resettled in the United States as though they were unaccompanied minors”. And according to Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, “During the Obama administration there was no policy in place that resulted in the systematic separation of families at the border, like we are now seeing under the Trump administration” [7].

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News

This behavior the Republican party has enabled Donald Trump to get away with is unprecedented. The President needs to be called out on his detestable and deceitful language otherwise he will continuously not be held accountable for his abnormal actions. Donald Trump should not forget how he got elected and who he represents. The President of the United States does not only represent one group of people. He represents all of us, and it is his duty to live up to that promise and have some empathy for others. As for the Administration and congressional leaders that defend his appalling behavior and decisions, they can either be complicit or stand up for what is right.


[1]Caroline Kenny, “Trump: 'I have the absolute right to pardon myself,” CNN, June 4, 2018

[2] Matthew Franck, “Misreading Federalist No. 10,” National Review, January 20, 2015,

[3]Josh Dawsey, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker, “Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration,” The Washington Post, January 15, 2018,

[4] Andrew Prokop, “The “shithouse defense,” explained: how Trump’s allies are trying to dig him out of his “shithole,” Vox, January 16, 2018

[5]Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza “At lease 3 tender age shelters set up for child migrants,” Associated Press, June 20, 2018

[6] Bill Chappell and Jessica Taylor “Defiant Homeland Security Secretary Defends Family Separations,” NPR, June 18, 2018

[7]Salvador Rizzo “The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border,” The Washinston Post, June 19, 2018

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