When anyone violates the laws, they violate a society's norms. Usually, the type of norm violated relates to how it is punished or enforced. If you burp at a meal you are expected to excuse yourself and refrain from it. If you continue to do it, then you are asked to leave.
If you fail to leave, then you will not be invited back to future meals until your behaviour improves. If you run a stop sign, other drives will honk at you or the police, if they see it, will pull you over. If they don't see it someone might report you to the police. In time, if
you continue to run stop signs, you will either have an accident or be caught by the police and face a fine or potentially imprisonment as well as the associated costs of having to deal with either, time off work, points added to your licence or your licence being removed.
If you continued to violate those norms, then they are enforced or punished at an increased level ending with imprisonment.
The president is no different. He can violate the norms around the presidency for a time but never without consequence. The consequences can be censure or
impeachment. The final consequence is that the President is defeated at the next election because the public grow tired of someone violating the norms that support decent society and decent politics. Without these norms being followed the average citizen who cannot violate them
at will or without immediate consequence is subjected and subjugated to those who can violate them with near impunity or with a higher level of impunity. In this the relationship between citizens becomes unequal. Thus, the violation of norms shows a decay in political equality.
The loss of political equality means the core element of the American experiment, the American political regime, is weakened and that puts everyone at risk. To be sure, sometimes a person's violation of a norm can be necessary and is defensible. However, this is only for a short
time and because it is clearly justified in a way that the public can understand, and if in the same situation, also violate under necessity.
What Trump has done, though, is make it appear arbitrary as there is no apparent or at least no justifiable necessity for violating the
norms. In effect, he exercises arbitrary power to suit his interests not the interests of his office or the people. In this way he undermines the Constitution and the relationship of the government to the people because it is no longer a government of, by or for the people.
If the public tolerate a President who violates the norms of his office, then they have surrendered their freedom since that relies on equality before the law and before society's norm.
In the end, violating the norms erodes our democracy and our freedom. Is this what you want?
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