Former President Donald Trump announces a third run for president at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. Credit: Rebecca Blackwell / AP

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The now former Peruvian president, Pedro Castillo, unsuccessfully tried to dissolve the country’s Congress earlier this month. Lawmakers responded to this attempt by removing him from office.

Castillo’s effort came after a tumultuous tenure that included multiple attempts to impeach him. He sought to force new elections and a rewrite of his country’s constitution. Surely, such chaos could not happen here in the land of the free, right?

Well, it could if Donald Trump has his way.

Our own disgraced former president, who has already helped inspire a violent attack on our own Congress, recently hit a new rhetorical low even by his standards. Trump called for the U.S. Constitution to be suspended, if not terminated, due to his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

Trump suggested that this supposedly systemic fraud, which was not found despite over 60 unsuccessful court challenges, “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” He actually said that.

For someone who tried to style himself as a “law and order” candidate, he seems to have long given up on both U.S. law and constitutional order.

“Suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our Oath of Office, it’s an affront to our Republic,” Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said in a statement responding to the former president’s remarks.

This is still America. One man doesn’t get to just terminate the Constitution because he lost an election, or because a private company made questionable decisions about content moderation during that election. We have recounts and court challenges. That is how we settle election disputes in our constitutional republic, that is how we settled them in the 2020 election, and that is how Trump’s loss was confirmed.  

It continues to be odd that a man supposedly so obsessed with American greatness seems hellbent on turning our country into a despotic mess. The attempt to upend constitutional order didn’t work for Castillo in Peru and it won’t work here. The American people, particularly Republican voters who care more about the U.S. Constitution than the cult of personality surrounding one person, must not allow it.

These comments from Trump can’t simply be dismissed as the ramblings of a sore loser. He has already declared his candidacy to seek the Republican nomination for president once again. His recent comments, taken together with his past actions, are not just musings; they are a map showing how he would govern if given the keys again.

Peru resisted a power grab from Pedro Castillo, and the U.S. should resist any thought of empowering Donald Trump once more. Yet again, he has shown us who he is, and what little regard he has for democracy and the rule of law.

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The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...