We've become used to President Donald Trump shattering the norms of political, not to mention polite, behavior. But he has taken a further step in recent days. First, by attacking his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions — the man he chose for the job — Trump is attacking the rule of law. This isn't a norm, it's a principle, one of the foundational principles of the United States.
Trump is attacking Sessions, because Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election. This investigation has been a constant irritation for Trump and threatens to undermine his presidency. Trump seems to think, if Sessions hadn't recused himself, he -- Trump -- would be able to control the course of the investigation. All this is alarming. As Sessions himself has repeatedly emphasized, the attorney general must be independent from the president. The attorney general's allegiance is to uphold the laws of the country, not to protect the president.
And then, in a recent tweet, Trump wrote this: "In America we don't worship government - we worship God." Actually, in America, by law, we don't worship anything officially, including the God of the Bible or any other god. The president's declaration that "we worship God" attacks the principle established in the Constitution that the United States is a secular state, welcoming to people of all faiths and people of no faith, organized under a secular government that does not discriminate on the basis of religion. That also is a founding principle of the country.
Trump is a dangerous clown, blundering about and knocking things over. But he is also a man with an instinct for acquiring power and no regard for this country's most important principles. He is a threat to our system of government.