Monday, August 1, 2016

Khizer Khan Nailed It -- Now Mainstream Journalists Need to Follow Up on Trump's Knowledge of the Constitution

Mr. Trump may or may not have a "black soul," as the Gold Star father of a fallen American soldier suggested in a recent interview, but the Fascist/Republican nominee's familiarity with the US Constitution is a valid and important question this election cycle. Journalists have a responsibility to pursue it.

Mr. Khan electrified the Democratic National Convention with a powerful speech celebrating his son's memory and questioning Mr. Trump's qualifications to be Commander-In-Chief. In what has become the campaign's signature moment, he withdrew from his pocket a copy of the Constitution and offered to lend it to the reality TV star.

Lots has happened since then. In predictable fashion, the Fascist/Republican nominee insulted the parents of the soldier who died in Iraq. As fascinating and important as that response of his was, it was a distraction. This man excels at distractions. I hope the (supposed) journalists in charge of the Clinton/Trump debate discussions will ask each of the candidates questions that directly explore their knowledge of the Constitution and its history. Do they, for instance, know what the "establishment clause" is? Do they know what the Seventeenth Amendment changed? Do they know what precedent the case of Marbury vs. Madison set?

Mr. Trump's senior advisor Paul Manafort has a history of propping up dictators, including Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko. It is fair to ask whether his boss is more familiar with their playbook ... or with ours. So ask, please.