By pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Trump has now directly, publicly, and openly undermined the rule of law in the U.S. I strongly suspect the president of financial crimes related to Russia and of possible conspiracy to undermine our electoral process, but there’s not yet sufficient evidence to establish this within a sufficient degree of certainty–at least for me at this time. I also question the president’s mental competence to execute his duties, but I don’t know for sure. With the pardon of Arpaio, Trump has essentially given a middle finger to the judicial process and said that criminals can violate the law with impunity as long as they back him before they have served any time at all and before they have even apologized or asked for forgiveness. It also says to racists and xenophobes that the president has their back. This is shameful and a scandal. It undermines our Constitution and therefore violates the president’s oath of office. It promotes a culture of chaos and lawlessness.

Will most Republican politicians do anything? No. They will stand in silence while the president tears down our country so that they can avoid alienating their racist and xenophobic base that might rise up and defeat them in a primary. They too are failing our nation by serving as bystanders to evil. Senator McCain has criticized the pardon, but he also mitigated his criticism by defending the president’s right to pardon. In other words, McCain isn’t likely to defend our Constitution at a time of crisis–let’s hope I’m wrong about that. Republican politicians need to get off their butts and act in defense of our country, whatever the political consequences. This is not a game, but about leadership and courage and the future of a nation that calls itself “the leader of the free world.” Is that the truth or a lie?

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DR. LAURENCE H. KANT (LARRY KANT), MYSTIC SCHOLAR: Engaged Mysticism and Scholarship in the Pursuit of Wisdom; Discovering meaning in every issue and facet of life; Integrating scholarship, spirituality, mysticism, poetry, community, economics, and politics seamlessly. Historian of Religion: Ph.D., Yale University, 1993 (Department of Religious Studies); Exchange Scholar, Harvard University, Rabbinics, 1983-84; M.A., 1982, Yale, 1982 (Department of Religious Studies); M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 1981; B.A., Classics (Greek and Latin), Tufts University, 1978; Wayland High School (Wayland, MA), 1974. Served on the faculty of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), York University (Toronto), and Lexington Theological Seminary (Lexington, KY). Works in many languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, English, French, Italian, German, Modern Greek (some Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish). Holder of numerous honors and awards, including The Rome Prize in Classics (Prix de Rome) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome.

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