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Donald Trump and the Bill of Rights


President Donald Trump declared 15 December 2017 as “The Bill of Rights Day” [1].

This date was chosen to commemorate 15 December 1791. This was the date on which this text was adopted by the 13 states which then made up the United States.

During his electoral campaign, Donald Trump made a pledge to defend the Bill of Rights, suspended for terrorist matters following the voting in of the USA Patriot Act, itself brought into being following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Thomas Paine, the British journalist who alighted the revolution against King George and the War of Independence, went on to become a French MP. His work on the Rights of Man (Human Rights) was the most widely sold and published book during the French Revolution. It explains that this term is used in totally different ways in the US and France. In his opinion, the US version of Human Rights aims at protecting citizens from an abuse of Power, from the “raison d’État”. In contrast, the way the word is used in French, human rights aim at establishing democracy by separating the private and the public spheres. Thus it is not at all the same thing, despite the semantic confusion that reigns today.

Subjecting his own conduct to logic, Thomas Paine clashed with Robespierre and refused to vote for the death of the King. This was because he considered that one could not hold a man (the King) responsible for a system (the Ancien Regime). He guaranteed that the regicide would mark the end of the Revolution and was then imprisoned. Indeed, the Revolution ceded its place to Terror.

President Donald Trump has already uncurled the wrath of “progressives” by defending the principles of human rights embedded in the Bill of Rights. Thus he supported the Extreme Right demonstrating at Charlottesville (exercising their rights under the First Amendment), as well as the rights of citizens to carry arms (Second Amendment).

On this subject read: “An assessment and the perspectives of Donald Trump”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 5 December 2017.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1] “President Donald J. Trump Proclaims December 15, 2017, as Bill of Rights Day”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 8 December 2017.

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