April 11 2023
That Donald Trump routinely lies or pays others to lie is nowhere in dispute. That some of these lies have violated criminal statutes is reasonably self-evident. The Republican argument for not indicting him is that former presidents, provided they are Republicans and white, should not be indicted until everyone else accused of comparable crimes has been prosecuted first. Thus, this prosecution is politically motivated. We must defund the FBI, which by pursuing white collar criminals is unfairly oppressing Republicans.
Ordinary patriots, however, argue that the nation takes its ethical guidance from the head of state. A president devoid of personal honor, like this one, taints the honor of the political party he hijacked but also rots the moral fiber of his entire society. Therefore, the rule of law must be applied to politicians more strictly, rather than less, using whatever statutes the available evidence justifies.
Trump attempted to violate the U.S. Constitution by mobilizing dishonest lawyers and then an armed mob to overturn the election results. The violated Constitution, however, is not self-avenging, nor was its enabling legislation drafted with a Trump in mind. None of the ongoing investigations – on false business statements, mishandling classified documents, attempting to subvert the Georgia elections – squarely addresses his crimes. His conviction and eventual imprisonment – IF a jury is allowed to do its duty faithfully – will be a loose approximation of justice. But the alternative to convicting him is to see America fail first as a society and soon afterwards as a democratic state.