The good news and bad news about the Mar-a-Lago Indictment
The Era Adrift
Donald Trump is, amazingly, running for President again! A lot of folks are understandably freaked out about it. Trump is also facing serious legal burdens, as well he should. Both his political problems and his legal problems likely stem from his same selfish, absurd worldview. His wanton recklessness seems to be coming home to roost—BUT—
He MAY be found not guilty of all crimes charged, and we should steel ourselves for that possibility! I think he’s morally loathsome, but he’s entitled to run for President the same as any other person. Yet, his presence on the political hustings should be considered TOTALLY separate from his appearances in courts of law. Predictably, he is using the substantial political opposition as a “defense” of his legal troubles, and his witless supporters are lapping it up. Whenever those legal troubles are brought up, his supporters IMMEDIATELY invoke references to Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton, as if those are relevant.
Trump’s POLITICAL fortunes have almost NOTHING to do with his “legal” fortunes, and all of us are obliged to keep them separate. Apples and oranges. Otherwise, his rants about “witch hunts” are validated—that he would not be facing the LEGAL troubles but for our political opposition! Most of us know those are totally separate issues, but none of us should contribute to the confusion in any way.
I think we must all shut up about Trump and just let the legal machine do its thing, for better or worse. Politically, the less attention he gets from ALL OF US, the better. God knows we can’t force journalists to ignore him, but the rest of us can and should do so. And journalists need to know we don’t care to hear or read about Trump anymore.
(No offense intended, Mr. Alter.)
So, I am going to try to keep quiet about Trump from now on. It will be difficult, but most of us already know he’s a low-rent thug and, as Bill Maher says, a “whiny little bitch.” I doubt there is ANYTHING he could do that would surprise me. And I earnestly hope to see him AND his lovely family one day all in mass-produced jumpsuits that match the color of his skin!
H. Watkins Ellerson
Something of this era reminds me of raising my teenagers. They can make monumental decisions that impact the rest of their life, but don’t have the wisdom required. It’s emotion and culture driving those choices.
The era of “American Puberty”
Sigh...Personally, there’s no question in my mind that America as we know it won’t survive another Trump presidency and it will be very, very ugly. So,
with that in mind, I think the best course of action
would be to use sec.3 of the 14th amendment. It states that anyone who has previously taken the
oath of office and then participated in a rebellion,
insurrection, etc. is ineligible to hold public office
ever again. Just take it off the table. There can be
no second Trump presidency.
Of course his supporters will go berserk, but they’ll
probably go berserk anyway if he runs for office and doesn’t win. He’ll claim he’s the winner and the election was stolen from him twice. We’ve already seen that show and the havoc resulting from it.
I don’t think he CAN win unless there’s some totally unforeseen illegal interference on his behalf--like what happened in 2016. So, why not get it over with now? Preventing him from holding office is mandated by the Constitution. In fact, if the 14th amendment isn’t used, an argument could be made
that by allowing him to run, the government waived
the right to invoke it.
Excellent essay, Jonathan—importantly insights and reminders. And I sure hope Nick Ackerman is correct. Also, the GA and January 6 cases are very much alive, and will add to the political and civic complexity. I continue to be baffled by the hold that Trump has on a huge chunk of the GOP electorate; and the Republican MCs who refuse to buck him is also a matter of great concern.
Suggested Names for the Trump Era:
1) First, a name that might seem a tad juvenile but which I find hysterically funny:
"THE SECOND COMING OF IL DUCE’S DOUCHEBAGS."
Trump and Rudy Guiliani have a lot of the bombast of Mussolini. Trump reminds me of Il Duce all the time. He even moves and gestures like Muss.
2) Second, "THE ERA OF THE NEO-NEANDERTHALS." Given the marked stupidity of the Trumpers, this name needs little explanation.
3) Third, THE ERA WHEN THE FAR RIGHT ADOPTED THE ILLOGIC OF THE 60’S LEFT.
I love the Sixties Left, but I must concede that its rhetorical excesses were chock full of flights of fancy that lacked logic, e.g.,
a) Allen Ginsberg, at a 1967 demo at the Pentagon, claimed that his Buddhist incantations would "levitate" the pentagon,
b) Norman Mailer saying that smothering bureaucratic life was conducive to cancer, and
c) Sustan Sontag’s stormy proclamation of 1968: “The White Race is the Cancer of Human History.”
(And this from a woman who two years earlier wrote "Illness as Metaphor" and said that physical illness was a biochemical reality that should not be mystified with all sorts of political and ideological baggage,)
I see connections to the patent illogic of Marjorie Taylor Greene.
When women spies were at trump’s winter palace I thought they were only eaves dropping on heads of state eating on balcony watching secret bombings shared by president. How did they know boxes filled with high security briefings were stacked in pool supply rooms, stages & bathrooms?
I have sort of thought about it as “the Dark Night of the Soul.” From which, I hope, we will emerge, stronger and more steadfast.
Thank you for your excellent book re: President Jimmy Carter, "His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life" I've read the book cover to cover and have recommended it multiple times.
The Era of Grievance
Or has experienced threats to her life. Or has been offered riches beyond her wildest dreams. Naw. I think she's just swimming in that sea of self-importance.
Spot on. We continue in the most perilous era of our experimental republic since the civil war. Outcome very unclear.
How about "The Great Psychotic Break" ??
Jon: the answer lies in your closing paragraph. This is “The Benighted Era”.
The era of whataboutism
Trump wormed his way into the U Penn.
Now he’s desperate to stay out of the US penn.