Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the constitution? By genera

Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the constitution? By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it.

President Abraham Lincoln, Letter to AG Hodges, April 4, 1864

There is much controversy presently over the censoring of President Donald Trump on various social media outlets. What is beyond dispute is that at a rally on January 6, 2021 Donald Trump incited the riot that subsequently occurred on Capitol Hill while the Congress was fulfilling its constitutional duty to count and certify the Electoral College votes for the new presidential administration that will begin on January 20, 2021. The riot and the bloodshed and mayhem associated with it temporarily disrupted the counting and certification of the Electoral College votes. Congress, to its credit, came back and completed its constitutional duty, finished counting the electoral votes and certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the incoming President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively.

President Abraham Lincoln was highly criticized for occasionally acting in a blatantly unconstitutional manner at various times during the American Civil War. As an attorney, President Lincoln revered the US Constitution, but he revered the continued survival of the Union even more. As President Lincoln explained in his letter to AG Hodges, ensuring the survival of the nation in the midst of the greatest crisis America ever faced required occasionally violating the letter of the US Constitution. By doing so, President Lincoln observed the larger spirit and intention of the US Constitution: to promote the survival and thriving of the United States of America as a successful, going nation-state.

President Trump, on January 6, 2021, clearly violated his oath of office to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States, and by so doing, put the preservation of the the rule of law and the Constitution under grave threat from an angry, riotous mob he deliberately incited and sent to Capitol Hill to assault the Congress in the performance of its constitutional duty.

At this point in time, President Trump clearly needed to have his access to social media restricted in order to help preserve the rule of law and ensure a smooth, seamless transition of power on January 20, 2021. While seemingly a violation of Trump’s First Amendment rights under the US Constitution, as President Lincoln so wisely observed during the Civil War, it is occasionally necessary to sacrifice a limb in order to save the body. No one sacrifices the body to save a limb.


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