“A nation of laws, not of men”

ByMichael J. Knowles

President Trump’s decision to shutter the Palestine Liberation Organization mission office in Washington has his opponents up in arms. Former State Department advisor Aaron David Miller, writing in USA Today, wailed that the move left hopes of peace in the Middle East “broken and shattered.” The LA Times assailed the move as “the latest step backward” and recalled the halcyon days of 2011 when “the Obama administration permitted the Palestinian flag to fly over the office.” Yet contrary to the claims of the president’s critics, the decision to close the PLO mission wasn’t actually Trump’s at all. It constitutes not a change in law but rather enforcement of the law, albeit 30 years late, after Congress officially prohibited the Palestinian group from maintaining an office anywhere in the United States in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987.

In June, the mainstream media howled when federal immigration officers detained illegal aliens and the minors they dragged across the border in separate facilities while the adults awaited prosecution. Vanity Fair called the arrangement “jails for toddlers,” while The Washington Post wailed, “Trump’s family-separation policy faces international condemnation.” The only problem with their huffing is that, like the PLO decision, the family separation policy too was no invention of President Trump. While Hollywood actress Debra Messing bemoaned Trump’s election over Hillary Clinton in 2016 as leading to the “catastrophe” of the administration “ripping children away from parents seeking asylum,” that policy was actually initiated under the administration of Hillary Clinton’s husband and has been on the books for over two decades per the 1997 Flores settlement.

In July, Democrat candidates from upstart congressional challengers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all the way up to sitting U.S. senators like Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand settled on a radical, two-word campaign theme: “abolish ICE,” or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They promise not merely to change the law but to disband law enforcement all together; for the Left, President Trump’s greatest crime is not that he passes new laws but that he enforces the law at all.

The Left projects its own misdeeds onto its opponents. Hillary Clinton, who colluded with the Russians, among other foreign governments, now accuses President Trump of “colluding with the Russians.” The Democrat Party, which weaponized federal agencies to target political opponents, now accuses President Trump of politicizing federal agencies to target political opponents. Likewise, those same lawless partisans now accuse President Trump of lawlessness for enforcing the law. In 2018, Democrats have elected to run on a platform of lawlessness in a nation described by the Framers as one “of laws, not of men.” We will soon learn whether our people remain committed to that republican proposition.