The first amendment to the United States Constitution is pretty clear.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The first five words say it all. “Congress shall make no law.” I wonder which part of that phrase Donald Trump and the Republicans don’t understand. I’m asking this question because two right wing, wing nuts — Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, say they plan to reintroduce a bill that barely gained a House hearing last year. This time, though, they think they can pass the farcical First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). because the GOP controls two of the three branches of government.
I hate, “I told you so,” responses, but I can’t help it this time. I’ve been warning of actions like this since Mr. Trump first threw his Chinese made hat in the ring for the GOP nomination. Throughout the primary and general election campaigns this year, Chief Executive know nothing Donald Trump has made it clear time and time again that he plans to begin restricting rights that Americans take for granted because they are clearly spelled out in the constitution. The first amendment is his primary target and that makes sense because he has skin so thin it is almost transparent.
Trump can’t stand criticism, any kind of criticism so it just makes sense that he would try to limit free expression to prevent it. It’s not only criticism he doesn’t like, it is disagreement. He dislikes it so much that if you cross him you are setting yourself up for humiliation. I refer you to the charade with Mitt Romney and the dangling carrot of the Secretary of State position that was pulled away at the last minute. Early in the primaries, Romney had the gall to attack Trump — then when Trump won the Presidency Romney sold his integrity for the likelihood of gaining the appointment as the nation’s top diplomat. I feel no sympathy for Mitt. He has joined the Trump army of sycophants or at least he tried. We don’t know how he feels about Trump now.
With that history, the Looney Tunes bill that would deprive LGBTQ people of their civil rights makes perfectly good sense. It even makes sense that it would be called the First Amendment Protection Act. It is the ultimate attempt to make chicken soup out of chicken poop. We haven’t seen a contradiction like this since the Donald denied abusing women even though he was on the record admitting he did it.
And — that “Lyin Ted Cruz” should author such a bill should come as no surprise either. He and his friends are adamant and very loud about “Keeping government small and out of our lives,” and then they whisper, “unless you are LGBTQ or a pregnant woman.
These sycophantic numbskulls have somehow convinced millions of people that it is only right and just that we reduce or even eliminate regulations on businesses but absolutely necessary that they have the right to tell you what you can do in the privacy of your own bedroom. It’s ok for the rich to screw everyone, but it’s not ok for two guys or two women to sleep together. But this goes well beyond LGBTQ people. If this law allows businesses the right to refuse service to anyone, then that could be me, a 77-year-old white heterosexual male whose only crime is that I collect Social Security and use Medicare. It also means every other minority, ethnic or religious group could be denied service.
This, my friends, is not the America I know. But it is beginning to resemble a certain European nation of the 30s and 40s.
This proposed law under the guise of protected free expression would allow any business owner to say, “You look like a Queer, get out of here.” None of these nincompoops asks, “How will we know they are LGBTQ so we can toss them out?” Ahhh…I’ve got it, make them wear armbands, that tells everyone who they are. Wait, hasn’t that been done before?
If this cruel and inhuman legislation passes, I can see a whole cruise ship full of lawsuits from people who were denied service because they “looked” like some kind of undesirable not to mention the real LGBTQ people, African Americans, Muslims and others whose civil rights get violated.
And one more thing, why would any sane businessperson, want to deny service to a paying customer? Oh — stupid question. I’m sorry. Everyone knows that if you come in contact with an LGBTQ person you will “catch it” and maybe become one, or you could turn black or maybe double your age overnight. Certainly, if nothing else happens, your marriage will fall apart.
All of this and Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet. Darlin’s we are in for a bumpy ride.
Bob Aronson is a 77-year-old retired heart transplant recipient. He has worked as a journalist, talk show host, Governor’s Press Secretary and Communications Consultant. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with wife Robin and two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy.