Once again, with one tweet, Donald Trump set the liberal media ablaze. This time he suggested that Americans be either stripped of their citizenship or face up to a year in prison for burning the American flag. It’s another one of those populist ideas that sounds good, riles up his base, and he never has to take action on. It’s such a bipartisan issue in fact that his main competitor for the Presidency once proposed something similar. Back in 2006, Then-Senator Hillary Clinton cosponsored a bill which would have imposed one year in prison, and a $100,000 fine, for flag burning.
Although Hillary Clinton tried incredibly hard to pander to the left for her most recent run for President she’s long been a very conservative Democrat. After all, her husband Bill Clinton also liked to think of himself as a “New Democrat”. Senator Clinton often joined hands with Republicans to support conservative legislation. One of those most famous bipartisan actions was her support of the Iraq War. Although, another one of the more visible (at the time) joint ventures with Republicans was when Hillary Clinton cosponsored the Flag Protection Act of 2005. It proposed one of the same severe punishments – up to a year in prison – that Trump would call for in his tweet a decade later.
It called for a punishment of no more than one year in prison and a fine of no more than $100,000; unless that flag was property of the United States Government, in which case the penalty would be a fine of not more than $250,000, not more than two years in prison, or both.
This is yet another example of how conservative Hillary Clinton was and how liberal Donald Trump is. Both of them share a desire for a strong national government with near limitless powers. The only problem either of them had with the current government is that they weren’t in charge of it. Unfortunately, one of them now is.
Thankfully, President Trump won’t be able to do anything about flag burning. The Supreme Court has ruled on multiple occasions that the act is Constitutionally protected free speech. They have also ruled that stripping Americans of their citizenship is not a Constitutional power either. Even if this were a serious proposal, which it isn’t, Trump’s hands would be tied.