Week in Review 11/16/2018
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed and created the first Thanksgiving Day.
Washington wanted it be a day of reflection and gratefulness, "too enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed..."
As we move into the Thanksgiving week, it seems appropriate to reflect on Washington's words. Today it seems at every turn Donald Trump is seeking ways to trample the Constitution.
The ACLU has called Trump a one-man Constitutional crisis because his statements and policy proposals would "blatantly violate the inalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution."
These include his efforts to ban reporters from covering his news briefings to ending birthright citizenship and DACA, and installing Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General.
Trump's failure to divest his business holdings violates the emoluments clause, which prohibits elected officials from accepting gifts from foreign entities. He benefits when foreign officials stay at his hotel in Washington, D.C.
The same year Thanksgiving became a national holiday, the U.S. held its first elections. Since then, the responsibility to ensure our democracy is protected lies with us, the voters.
More than 47 percent of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot, marking the highest turnout for a midterm since 1966. While voter turnout could certainly be higher, this is encouraging news.
Last week's election sets us apart from every other nation. Our elections are peaceful and transitions to newly elected leaders are non-violent. Even as recounts are underway in several races, they are being performed in a judicial manner.
We hope that when you gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving you will find meaning in Washington's words. Pledge, through your political participation, to continue to work to elect candidates who will uphold to the fullest extent the Constitution so that it may continue to protect our rights, as it has done for the past 231 years.