top of page
Search

If Trump Isn’t Punished Imagine What Someone Like Ramaswamy Or DeSantis Would Do In The White House



I would always put America first. So even if my personal predilection is for a speedy, televised Trump trial, followed immediately by a televised firing squad, I am more interested in what would be better for the country than ins hat I would personally like to see. Maybe the rest of his short life should be spent in a cell would be better for America than a death sentence. Maybe. If I had a role in deciding, I’d be open to that argument. What I wouldn’t be open to is a pardon. And “life in prison” leaves that as a possibility. Having lived through it— albeit from my Nixon-proof home in Amsterdam— I was horrified to see Nixon’s pardon and I have no doubt that it not only set a bad precedent that allowed future presidents— particularly one specifically bad president— to believe that they were above the law. The pardon emboldened Trump and other politicians to believe that they could get away with criminal behavior, while creating a culture of impunity in the White House, allowing Trump to engage in criminal behavior without fear of consequences.


The argument that Trump is a life-long career criminal and that he just continued that life in the White House is no excuse for Justice to not finally catch up with him. In fact, quite the contrary. My desire to be personally part of a legally constituted firing squad is even stronger because it would make up for everything he’s done even before stealing the2016 election and moving into the White House.


Over the weekend, Jelani Cobb looked at the pardon question. I didn’t read a word of it until after I wrote the above. He began with Jerry Ford as well, but not with his pardon of Nixon but with his pardon 11 months later of another arch-villain “whose actions had posed a grave threat to American democracy”— Robert E Lee. That was a disgrace and Ford will be forever remember as one of America’s shittiest presidents, not on a level with Trump or Buchanan or Andrew Johnson, but in the next category of shittiness.


Now people are actually talking about granting Trump a preëmptive pardon (at least in his federal cases). Cobb wrote that “After the first federal indictment, in June, Marc Thiessen and Danielle Pletka wrote, in the Washington Post, that ‘millions will see Trump’s prosecution as illegitimate, and any conviction as unjust. That will further erode public confidence in our judicial system and the principle of equal justice under law.’ After the second, in August, an op-ed in the Miami Herald held that Trump should be pardoned ‘because the impact an extended trial and sentencing might have on our democracy is just too terrifying.’ The senseless sloganeering that produced the phrase ‘too big to fail’ during the Great Recession has a contemporary corollary: too big to convict. The common theme underlying these arguments is the sentiment that the Trump era was rancorous and difficult enough, and the work of upholding the rule of law is slow and protracted and will only deepen national divisions. It is time— let’s say it in unison— for the nation to move on.


What about the sensibilities of the millions of Americans— a majority according to the polls— who want to see Trump tried and punished? Or do only the sensibilities of people with 2-digit IQs and lots of semi-automatic weapons count?


Of all the rationales for pardoning Trump, the most substantial is the contention that prosecuting political rivals is almost always the hallmark of an autocracy. Under most circumstances, this would be true. Yet the proponents of this argument seldom acknowledge the inverse— that the refusal to prosecute someone, or reflexively pardoning that person precisely because he’s a political rival, is at least equally corrupting to a democracy. It’s not unimaginable that thoughts of the Nixon pardon assuaged the members of Trump’s inner circle as they rampaged over norms, policies, and laws. Abiding lawlessness among the powerful has a way of breeding more of the same. The relatively lenient terms of the Confederate amnesty, for instance, almost certainly facilitated the rise of violent white militias that nullified the voting and citizenship rights of Black people throughout the South in the Civil War’s long aftermath.
It’s also worth recalling that Trump glided into the White House buoyed by an understandable sense of his own impunity. Despite the years-long tax schemes, chronicled by the Times, and the claims of sexual assault made by more than two dozen women, there has always somehow been a reason not to prosecute Donald Trump. He has enjoyed the amnesty of wealth his entire life— a troubling exemption, though one that, unlike the current calls for amnesty, was never passed off as something in our collective best interest.
The key problem with “moving on” is the indeterminate direction. Where to? There are times when it is in the best interest of a nation not to seek justice despite egregious wrongs. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was premised upon remorse and transparency, is one such example. Trump, whose campaign claimed to have raised seven million dollars in less than three days after his mug shot was released, adheres to opposite principles: belligerence and deception. At seventy-seven, for the first time in his life, he may suffer real consequences for his actions. In the short run, this will stoke deeper divisions and heighten animosities. In the long term, this is the safest course for a democracy to take. A pardon would embolden Trump and others like him. It would allow the nation to move on, but toward an even more dangerous future.

OK, after carefully and thoroughly studying the pros and cons, I’ve come to the conclusion that Trump and anyone in his circle who acted in such a way as to have seriously threatened American democracy, should all face firing squads. I’m old; I hope I live to see it.

154 views

7件のコメント


Jesse Salisbury
Jesse Salisbury
2023年9月05日

why should we care what trumps sycophants want.


いいね!
ゲスト
2023年9月06日
返信先

because when they get him elected they will do what they want?

いいね!

ゲスト
2023年9月05日

after 55 years of refusing to prosecute the rich and powerful, the hardest part will be to get someone... anyone... to actually do something. It actually gives trump a legit bitch about being picked on.


the irony, that nobody ever seems to see, is that if trump had just stayed in his lane, he still WOULD be above the law and immune to all prosecutions. the ONLY reason he's being picked on.. after this long.. is because the democraps want biden to win.

いいね!
ゲスト
2023年9月07日
返信先

koolaid swiller, heal thyself. yes, it won't be long now.

いいね!

Marc Thiessen is a detestable human being and the opposite of smart. A right wing asshole. Whenever I see his name on an editorial I read the headline, roll my eyes and shrug in disgust. Why he has such a position in the Washington Post is beyond me.

いいね!
ゲスト
2023年9月05日
返信先

american media is lousy with nazis. has been since reagan. democraps don't seem to care. and democrap voters absolutely don't care.

bezos owns the post. as bad as murdoch.

いいね!
bottom of page