Email #34, Subject: uphold our constitution?

I wrote to you about my fears that President-elect Trump will violate the Constitution and that you and the GOP-controlled Congress will do nothing about it. In your response you reassured me that you will “uphold our Constitution and put the interests of the citizens of the 6th District of Virginia and the country as a whole above the interests of any individual or political party.” But instead of referring to any of the President-elect’s worrisome statements and actions, you instead gave a concise textbook description of U.S. government: “Our constitutional system of three co-equal branches of government and a Bill of Rights therefore prevent one branch from assuming too much authority without a challenge from the other branches of government.” This is not reassuring. Especially since the GOP controls both Congress and the White House. When the GOP-controlled Senate refused to vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee last March, they violated the Constitution—with no repercussions. Instead, they will be rewarded with a nominee from their own GOP President, a nominee who if confirmed will put all three branches of government under GOP control. How can we trust you to challenge yourself?  If the three-branch system is the only mechanism protecting the Constitution, then soon there will be no protection at all. Rather than reassuring me, your letter gives me reason to be even more worried.

Chris Gavaler

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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