I just finished reading the Jack Smith indictment on Trump’s “Stop the Steal” activities, the third indictment in the last 12 months for Mr. Trump, with one more to go. Three things stand out. First, in 2020/2021 we came a hair’s breadth from losing our democracy. Second, we were saved by brave Republicans, mostly election officials in the contested states who stood up to Trump and refused to act illegally. There were a lot of them, and they deserve awards for bravery. If they had caved, who knows what would have happened? And Pence, not exactly one of the most inspiring political figures, should be ranked high in the next addition of Profiles in Courage. Third, if you read the indictment, there is no way that Trump will be acquitted. The indictment is clear, concise, and loaded with chapter and verse examples of blatant, illegal activity in his efforts to overturn the election. The dude is toast.
But what can happen is that this trial and some of the other trials may not be completed before the election, or, more likely, appeals will be underway. Trump has already told us what he will do if reelected President. He will pardon himself and all involved in the January 6 Insurrection. It is not unthinkable that he would make the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys part of his private security guard.
The polls this week show a head to head matchup between Trump and Biden , each getting 43% of the vote. What? How could this be? How could almost half of the voting public in the United States vote for the Orange Narcissist? To the dismay of his adversaries, now that the indictment is out, Trump’s favorable numbers will probably increase. He notoriously boasted in 2016 that he could shoot and kill someone in full view on the sidewalk in front of Trump Tower, and it would have not affect his base. Is there nothing he could do that would cause his MAGA base to abandon him?
Yes, I know we are a divided country with racial and class divisions and that there is resentment of “elites” by people who are struggling financially, have trouble adapting to a changing world, and who are offended by Wokeness, political correctness, and gender issues. But still. What is appealing about an arrogant billionaire, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and whose policies during his first presidency did nothing to help the struggling lower middle and white working class? The only way I can explain it is “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But why are we bleeding heart Democrats who support unions and strengthening the safety net the enemy? Far more jobs were created in the first 30 months of the Biden Administration than in four years under Trump. And evangelicals? How could they see Trump as the New Messiah? Good heavens!
In a word, he must be defeated at the ballot box. We can’t count on the legal system to act in time to force Trump to the sidelines before it is too late. The future of our country as the longest lasting democratic republic on the planet is at stake. The Germans, Italians, and Spanish were not fascists before World War II. Yet each country abandoned democracy for authoritarianism in the 1930s. Many advanced countries have gone to the dark side of totalitarianism from time immemorial starting with ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Yes, it could happen here. We can’t let it.