Tighten your seat belts. Here we go again!
I am pleased that the New York DA got an indictment on the Stormy Daniels sleaze coverup charge, but with the grand jury decision comes unlimited news coverage and attention focused on The Donald, calls by his followers to overthrow the government, and heightened regional, class, and racial tensions. Trump is now using the word “Armageddon” to describe the situation. He is raking in millions of dollars every day for his legal defense and anything else he wants to spend the money on. Many pundits now say because of all this attention his nomination to be the Republican candidate for President is a done deal.
But the Fat Lat Lady has not yet sung in this sordid drama. There are three other investigations, each of which would appear to be more serious than the Stormy Daniels indictment, which some say is risky and by comparison relatively frivolous. Still in the works are the investigation about Trump’s trying to change the results of the Georgia election, his misuse of classified documents at Mar a Lago, and his role in the January 6 Insurrection. What are the chances one or more of these investigations could result in an indictment? Pretty high, it seems to me.
Most interesting is that the New York trial is not expected to begin until January 2024 just when the primary campaigns will be heating up. Some legal experts predict that the trial could take weeks or longer. Imagine Trump sitting in a courtroom when the Republican primary campaign is in full swing. If other indictments happen, Trump could be sitting in courtrooms all spring. Good heavens! Talk about grist for the American history mill. The whole world will be watching.
So how are we going to get through the Trump Show, Act II? We have enormous issues facing us: climate change, inflation, a possible recession, racial tensions, economic disparities, regional and class divisions,, and social/cultural issues like woke book banning in public schools, abortion and sexuality. And then there is the War in Ukraine where Putin is now threatening to use nuclear weapons. China has labeled us Enemy Number One. And historians have observed that the United States is more divided today than at any time except the Civil War. How are we going to weather these challenges?
I do not know the answer to this, and will admit that not all is doom and gloom. If nothing else the months ahead will likely be entertaining, and there are some hopeful signs as well. The Democratic candidate for the Supreme Court in Wisconsin won yesterday–and that is huge. It could mean weakening the Republican grip on gerrymandering in that state and weakening the Republican extremist actions on abortion. The progressive Democrat won the Chicago mayor’s race yesterday beating a law and order candidate. The 2022 elections surprised a lot of people that Democrats did as well as we did, and there are hints that moderate Republicans are becoming weary of the Trumpster. Plus, if Trump does have to endure multiple trials and is convicted in one or more of them, certainly that would assure he would lose in a general election. Right? Right?
But at times the uncertainties are unsettling. Sometimes it seems that the storm clouds gathering on the horizon may be too much. The stakes right now are so high, given the warnings about climate change. In addressing climate change and the other major issues, the margin for error is narrowing. We do not have time to waste. I think of the poem written in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I by Yeats:
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?