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Deal With It: Donald Trump Is A Criminal, And The Most Influential Republican In America
Trump Will Not Magically Be Disqualified From Politics
If only real life were like a network TV drama, with dynamic plot lines wrapped up in a tidy bow before the credits roll. That would be so nice.
To sometimes hear liberals discuss Donald Trump, you would think the world really operates this way. Trump’s crimes are obvious and clumsy, from inciting and instigating an attack on the US Capitol, to presenting slates of fake electors to undermine the election process and making threats to election officials so they can decide a race in his favor. Heck, he even stole boxes and boxes of classified material, hauling them to his gaudy mansion to do God knows what with. He is no master criminal.
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So now all that has to happen is a federal charge, then the quick work of a jury, and we can all wash our hands of him as he is carted off to prison and out of sight and mind. Easy, right?
The problem is this is a story liberals have told ourselves is on the verge of happening since early in 2017, as we dealt with the fallout of Trump’s election “win” and his actions with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Surely, the third party institutions that we collectively believe in will get the bad guy like in the on-screen depictions we’ve seen of the G-Men getting their man. The square-jawed FBI agent working in concert with the district attorney or attorney general will have Trump and his cronies in a perp walk and like the third act of a script penned by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, the story arc will come to an end.
But that is a fantasy. It would be wonderful if such a thing ever happened, and I would be lying if I said I never thought about the comedic implications of Trump in prison. Yet the odds of such a thing happening are remote in even the best scenario.
The reality is that despite all his corruption, criminality, racism, misogyny, idiocy and beyond, Trump is the single most powerful political figure within the Republican/conservative movement and that isn’t changing anytime soon. As such, it would take a miracle for him to face the legal consequences of his actions, because the United States does a piss-poor job of prosecuting criminals like that.
Trump’s lieutenants — people like Roger Stone, Paul Manafort — have been prosecuted (and pardoned) but a mob boss like Trump often evades the long arm of the law. It’s the same long arm that was thwarted with Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon and didn’t even bother pursuing the misdeeds of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
It would be a wonderful day but the likelihood of a deus ex machina in the third act taking Trump off of the table without hands having to be dirtied politically is not very realistic.
The most consequence Trump has had to face politically was on November 3, 2020, when across the country more than 81.2 million voters chose President Joe Biden as their leader over Trump and his failed presidency. Despite his efforts to subvert that response, Trump failed and democracy won. For now.
That will likely have to be enough for liberals. The collective obsession in institutional white knights slaying the dragon of Trumpism is a delusion that needs to end because it leads to more disappointment and bitter feelings.
People like this rarely go to prison, especially in America, so the work to defeat it cannot be outsourced to anyone. The job is up to the public, not Attorney General Merrick Garland or groups of FBI agents. Certainly the legal process should be allowed to proceed and any crimes unearthed need to be fully prosecuted — not pardoned — but this must be thought of as a cherry on top of electoral victories.
Republicans have thoroughly embraced Trump and his toxic brand of politics, and there isn’t any way besides voting for their decision to be ruled out of bounds. There isn’t a referee or judge who will come along and say “you can’t do that,” leaving Republicans to walk away sulking. It has to be voters who again and again tell the party if they choose this path that the result will be a denial of power, rejection at the ballot box that leaves the party and wider conservative movement out in the political cold.
Liberals cannot allow themselves to be lulled into comfortable thinking that their political problems are going to be solved outside of the messy world of politics. That won’t happen. We must deal with the messy reality that is, not the TV drama we wish it was.
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Exclusive Kal-El Photo
Kal is the second dog I have had (the first, C.K., was with me from 1999-2012), and in the seven year gap between dogs I honestly forgot just how much they sleep. Kal reminds me every day, and especially because he spends so much time on my shoulder while sleeping. I like to think of him as a battery storing up energy while he sleeps, recharging for sessions of running around like crazy