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
4 thoughts on “A World-class Skater”
Oh, no, not another “Trump is a bad man” piece!
I suppose it’s debatable how many times one can take a cudgel to a moribund, if not in fact, room temperature albeit tanned horse, but there is always the Guinness Book of World Records to consider.
Normally, such a degree of animus is directed at someone who has inflicted a personal wrong. The scenarios are many — betrayal, violence, swindle — and all represent deep, personal grievance.
Myself, I can name several politicians who I believe have harmed the country and its institutions. A few are in office at present. But even the worst of these rascals fails to merit obsession.
No question that TV entrepreneur and real estate speculator Trump is an opportunist who was ill-suited to serve in the nation’s highest office. He also may be a caricature for narcissism, from the exaggerated haircut to the elongated red necktie to the white golf shirt with tacky MAGA baseball cap. Narcissism may be his strongest trait, but as disturbing as it may seem, it is not a punishable offense under our legal system. If it were, our prisons would outnumber Walgreens and CVS outlets combined.
True, he has flirted with the limits of the law, but so far strenuous attempts to indict have fizzled.
Some may overlook his obvious flaws and point to benefits resulting from his presidency: a robust economy, energy independence, a somewhat less chaotic immigration policy, a stronger military, and so on. Aside from Hillary Clinton, it may be difficult to say who was actually harmed by his White House tenure. Certainly Anthony Fauci would never have achieved sainthood without him. But his term is ended and it’s time to move on with better leaders.
As for possible alternate targets of vituperation, the list is long.
Why not start with the current puppet government headed by the Ghost Who Walks, a creature who almost single-handedly has undercut the armed forces (Afghanistan); scuttled a once robust economy with inflation, runaway spending and onerous regulations; warped our education system through unions and woke ideology; crippled our energy industry with bans on pipelines and fracking; opened our borders to drug trafficking and criminality while burdening social resources with millions of illegal immigrants; and unleashed public ministries such as the FBI, IRS and Justice Department to prey on political opponents? The list goes on, but you get the idea.
On questions of individual character, one could certainly find motive for loathing the president and his influence-peddling, debased and incestuous family. Is pedophilia less deserving of disapproval than narcissism?
And if social institutions stir one’s bitterness, there’s journalism and the mainstream press who have sold out to moneyed political interests, done their bidding and censored independent voices. Dear New York Times, can we please have yet another breaking news story on the perfidy of Donald Trump?
Let’s allow this man to fade into the twilight of old age. Let him hit golf balls until the putting greens transform into the greens of the graveyard. There is little chance he will publish memoirs to maintain his memory. The only thing that keeps him alive, and his supporters active, is public criticism and controversy. Without it, he vanishes.
I agree with much of what you say, but I’m afraid not about Trump. He may be fading, but his influence?
True, his influence persists but I know the voting public can be fickle. All it takes is a newer, stronger leader to emerge, and we may be seeing one now taking charge amid the catastrophe in Florida.
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Have two nieces who have places in Ft.Myers, but neither there. Hope DeSantis up to the task.