A World-class Skater
By Patrick F. Cannon
Despite being the most disreputable man to ever serve as president of the United States – which is saying something — Donald Trump has managed thus far to avoid being charged with anything that could send him to jail. This has caused severe consternation among his many enemies, but they are now hopeful that the January 6 investigation, or the document business at Mar-A-Lago, will at long last do the trick.
While Trump has lost in many civil matters over the years, and had to pay up in some cases, heck, it’s only money (and often other people’s at that). And he may well end up settling before trial in the latest civil suit in the State of New York. Even if it goes to trial and he loses, and is banned from doing business in the state, I suspect he’s long since moved most of his operations to Florida.
But what if he’s actually criminally indicted for his obvious crimes? I’m indebted to David Brooks of the New York Times for questioning whether 12 tried and true American jurors would unanimously vote to convict him. As I know from my own experience as a juror in a murder trial, one holdout can make a lengthy trial a pointless exercise.
Trump and his supporters are fond of saying all of this is a political witch hunt. Of course it is. With a few notable exceptions (Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Mitt Romney, and a scant few others), it’s Democrats who are leading the charge to indict him. But it’s also political for the Republicans office holders who are willing to overlook Trump’s obvious moral, ethical and legal transgressions – and world-class narcissism – because (a) he seems to have a solid base of support among Republican voters, and (b) they’re scared he’ll go after them come election time.
This is clearly not the same Republican Party that sent a delegation consisting of Senators Goldwater and Scott and House Minority Leader John Rhodes to the White House to tell Richard Nixon in August, 1974 that the jig was up, and he was certain to be impeached, convicted and removed from office. Who now would want to compare Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham to Barry Goldwater?
As it happens, I tend to be more conservative than not. I have voted for as many Republicans for president as Democrats. I believe in free trade, free speech, actual separation of church and state, fiscal restraint and international engagement. That’s pretty much what Republicans used to believe in; some perhaps still do. Too many, alas, have fallen victim to a cult of personality. While there is still time, I would urge the rational ones to organize now to stop Trump from even getting the nomination in 2024.
First, they should discourage fringe candidates from entering primaries. In 2016, the debate stages were full of candidates whose names you have likely forgotten. Encourage someone like former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to run; discourage sure losers like Ted Cruz (bribe him if necessary). Force Republican voters to choose between Donald Trump and a rational human being. Choose integrity.
By the way, Trump wasn’t and isn’t a Republican. He ran as such because it was his best chance to get nominated. He was and is a Trumpist, and, thus far, a world-class skater. But all skaters eventually fall.
Copyright 2022, Patrick F. Cannon