By Johnathan Creque

President Donald Trump was elected on a message of isolationism and intolerance. He spoke openly about how illegal immigrants are“rapists and murderers” and that America’s immigration policy was destroying the country. Claiming that terrorists were sneaking across the border and that his political adversaries should be locked up. Trump’s comments along with the comments of the people he puts into positions of power show that he is completely unconcerned with the rule of law. The rule of law states that all people are equal under the law, regardless of position or wealth. Yet Trump acts as if because he is president, he is an exception to the rule. Trump has said that “Executive Privilege” protects him. Executive Privilege is a power given to the President to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the other branches of government. President Trump has used this power to restrict access to documents by the Senate during the confirmation of JusticeKavanaugh and many other instances. Executive privilege is a relatively new concept, only gaining its official name during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s, although it has been used in some form or another since the creation of the country. Executive Privilege was defined during the Army–McCarthyhearings of 1954. President Eisenhower used the power to prevent Department of Defense employees from having to testify and to stop the subpoena of telephone records sent by Senator McCarthy’s committee.

Senator McCarthy was a senator from 1947-1957, this was during the Cold War and the fear of communism had led to the massive paranoia of secret communists plotting the destruction of America. McCarthy would conduct investigations into prominent members of society, politics, the military and anyone else he suspected of being a communist. The HouseUn-American Activities Committee would call hearings which lead to hundreds of Americans being labeled communists or communist sympathizers. This caused massive damage to these people, many of whom were innocent. Their political affiliations, or being associated with other people who were suspected of communist sympathies, lead to hundreds of people being fired or blacklisted. Most of the actual punishments were later overturned, and the laws that allowed McCarty so much power were found unconstitutional. McCarthyism is now viewed asome the darker periods in American history. One in which the Country was blinded by fear, all orchestrated by a paranoid and power hungry Senator.

There are many parallels to what happened during the 1950sto today. Sen.McCarthy used fearmongering as a way to control and manipulate the population. The common enemy of the “Communist Takeover” united many Americans behind him but also lead to the destruction of hundreds of lives. Currently, during the 2016 presidential election, and even before, PresidentTrump has used the same tactics to gain support as Sen.McCarthy. President Trump called into question the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship by claiming that the President had been born in Kenya and he had proof. Trump never produced any proof and the claims have been completely discredited. During the 2016 campaign, Trump claimed that illegal immigrants were committing crimes and killing innocent Americans and has called them “rapists and murders”, despite the fact that illegal immigrants actually are less likely to commit crimes than the average American as stated in an article published by the Washington Post. Trump also ran on a so-called “Muslim Ban” that was reated to allegedly stop terrorist attacks. Trump claimed that banning Muslims from entering the country would make us safer, despite the fact that almost all Muslim people entering the country are not terrorists.

Trump has consistently used fake statistics or just flat out lied to convince people that Muslims and illegal immigrants are dangerous and are something we need to fear. This fear may help the president get more support from people unreasonably scared by people who are different, but it has a detrimental effect on the country. By stoking the fires of anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic sentiments, the president only increases the divide between the left and right and leads America down a dangerous path. President Trump’s complete disregard for the rule of law combined with his use of fear-mongering is incredibly dangerous and if not checked by the American people can have an irreversible and destructive impact on the country as a whole.