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A Constitutional Congress Revisited: Why America Does Not Need Howard Schultz

Nicholas Vincenzo Barney

Posted on February 6, 2019 08:30

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With the Executive office now a supine branch for special and conflicted interests both domestic and foreign, and the mirage of a Pax Romana on the horizon with Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz peeping through the blinds of the West Wing in Octavian clothing, it's never been more crucial to review a premonitory speech delivered to Congress by Benjamin Franklin on the 1787 eve of our Constitution's birth.

It amounts to nothing more than a softball to annotate any speech or utterance of the President's with the intent of putting his hypocrisy in stark relief. The President's quite capable of espousing his conflicted interests on his own, thank you, and things are stark enough as is - there’s hardly a Trump staffer or cabinet member left who isn't in some way embroiled in investigation, been indicted by Robert Mueller's Special Counsel, or been accused of criminal self-enrichment and ethical breaches.

But there was a moment during Trump’s State of the Union Address which particularly rankled. Addressing the last vestige of checks and balances afforded the American public in the form of the FBI’s investigation into his collusion with the foreign state of Russia, Trump said, “If there’s going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.” Unhooking his eyes from teleprompter and speech (the draftpen of which I hope it doesn’t need speculating he was nowhere near during the speech’s writing) he turned his bulk towards Nancy Pelosi and ad-libbed, “It just doesn’t work that way!”

Of course, it does work that way. If the law has been broken, as the 10 indictments of Trump staffers shows it has, and the Constitution has been breached in the form of Treason, there is no peace or legitimate legislation until justice is doled out to the criminals. Consider Mike Pompeo, who last week announced with a cronyish grin that the US would be backing out of a nuclear disarmament pact with Russia after Russia’s failures to meet the agreement’s standards. To a feeble mind, this sounds like the administration is finally cracking down on Russia - except when you consider Trump’s unaccompanied meetings with Putin, the subsequent handing over of Syria to Russian forces against the wishes of US Intelligence and Congress, and now, with no nuclear agreement on the table, that Russia will have no limit to the proliferation of their nuclear arsenal. 

This dishonorable term of peace with Russia, Benjamin Franklin saw coming. As Americans gathered to write the Constitution with the prevention of despotism in mind, Benjamin Franklin warned how America's degeneration into tyranny could play out through the intersection of avarice and "Love of Power" in the Executive Branch:

"Place before the Eyes of such Men a post of Honor, that shall at the same time be a Place of Profit, and they will move Heaven and Earth to obtain it... And of what kind are men that will strive for this profitable preeminence... it will not be the men... fittest for Trust... The Government of these States may in future times end in a Monarchy. But this catastrophe may be long delay'd... if we do not... make our Posts of Honor Places of Profit."

And now, billionaire Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is positioning himself for a Presidential run, a veritable Augustus who, after Julius Caesar dissolved Rome's Republic, restored peace in Imperial form to a dead, and never-to-return democracy.

Nicholas Vincenzo Barney

Posted on February 6, 2019 08:30

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Source: HuffPost
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