The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay against Trump’s Executive Order on immigration. That’s not a surprise. Nor is it a surprise that one of the main reasons for the Court’s decision was that the government lawyers presented no evidence that the immigration ban served any purpose.
Lack-of-evidence is almost Trump’s middle name. In his hubris* Trump truly believes that all he needs to establish truth is to “have an opinion.” How many times have we heard Kellyanne Conway remind us that Trump has a right to hold and express opinions? She assumes with Trump that this is some sort of validation. I liked the time when Sean Spicer defended some bit of Trump’s nonsense by saying, “The president believes that.”
The proper thing to say would be that the president believes something because of this reason and that reason. It is, however, the lack of interest in justifying his opinions which seems to be a dominant characteristic of Trump’s mind.
It is hardly possible to excuse Trump’s constant broadcasting of his opinions. What is most blameworthy is that he expects people to believe that his opinion carries the same weight as facts. Such an attitude, of course, is one of the common marks of a tyrant, not unlike Nixon saying nonsensically, “If the president does something, that means it is legal.” For Trump the equivalent is, If I believe it, that means it is true.
Dictators cannot abide by limitations. It is not just people but laws, and not just laws but reality itself, which is supposed to bend to match the dictator’s will.
In a democracy, the president is accountable to the people and to the law. And in life itself, the president is accountable to reality and ultimately to the judgment seat of the Righteous Lord of the Universe.
*If you’ve read other of these posts, you know my conviction that excessive pride always covers unbearable insecurity.