The Verdict

The Verdict

Last Thursday was a day that will be long remembered.  The jury spoke, and our Republic died.



That is not hyperbole.  Donald Trump was not on trial… the legal system was.



And it lost.




As many of you know, but it bears repeating again, I am not a fan of President Trump.  I think he is a bore, a narcissist, a cartoonish misanthrope… or at least that is how he brands himself.  Honestly, I really don’t know who he “is”.  His entire adult life has been spent creating a marketable persona and he appeals to the masses.



In that sense he is truly brilliant.



He knows that half the electorate yearns for chains, and calls their embrace of slavery “freedom”.  The other half recoils at this notion and rejects the siren song of deliverance through subject matter experts that populate the marble palaces of government.



Both sides hate each other.



That is not an idle word:  hate.



Yet, that is exactly where we are.



A “man of the people”, uniting us in a collective identity such as Reagan or Bush immediately after 9/11, disappeared from our national trajectory long ago.  I did not want to accept that reality; in fact, I have fought hard against it… and perhaps that is why I have had such a visceral reaction to Trump.



Trump embraces it.



He knows he can only appeal to one side, so why make any pretense of overture to the other?  Quite the other way around.  Trump has mastered the art of saying the quiet part out loud.  He has embraced the inner anger of one side of the electorate, but he has done it in a unique, disgusting, but utterly masterful way… personalize it.



There is a reason Trump engages in name calling, dismissiveness, and rudeness:  He is channeling the inner rage of his constituents… and making it personal.  He is the internet troll blowing up the comment section of a post, saying things most of us would be too ashamed to utter.



I have said before that Trump and I have a conflicted relationship.  If I were to strip out the “man” and just look at the “policy” or, more importantly, the result of the policy, there is no daylight between us.  This is precisely why I voted for him twice… and am about to cast my third vote for him.



How we intellectually arrive at any particular policy is spectacularly different.  But in the end, does it matter?  Trump, I suppose, is my personal embodiment of “A Letter to Garcia”… here is the mission, get it done… I don’t care how.



So, with my personal feelings now laid bare, why do I give one whit about the outcome of the Trump Trial in NY?



Because, as I said, Trump himself was actually not on trial.



A country is only as strong as its legal system, both from a civil standpoint, as well as a criminal one.



Predictability of outcome is an essential, utterly necessary component to ensure that people comport themselves in their affairs in a way that will mitigate loss.  If it is impossible to know how a court will rule in a civil case, then there is no way to mitigate the risk that comes with social contracts.



If someone can be convicted of criminal conduct based on the whims of a prosecutor and a complicit judge, then, in a sense, we are all criminals… just waiting to be officially minted as such by our masters.



When a charge of criminal conduct by the executive branch becomes a foregone conclusion of a conviction within the judicial branch… well… the judicial branch becomes nothing more than a ceremonial formality.



When the judicial branch loses its dignity and, in a sense, becomes irrelevant, we are left with a feckless legislative branch that transfers its rule-making authority to executive agencies, and as such, a behemoth leviathan, the Executive… an authoritarian monstrosity unencumbered by the constraints of the Constitution… seeking power for the purposes of power, cloaked in the meretricious robes of a benign dictatorship.  (Well… up to the point that you fall afoul of its agenda, then it is not so benign.)



Will this conviction on misdemeanors that may or may not have been committed, but whose statute of limitations long ago expired, resurrected by the argument that they were committed to pursue a felony conduct, which… as of this writing has astoundingly still not been articulated with specificity even post-conviction… alter the course of the race to the White House?



I don’t know.



Some will argue it will embolden the Trump supporters who see him as a messianic figure (I can see that), yet turn off the pathologically law-abiding Trump supporters who cannot stomach the idea of voting for someone who is a convicted felon (I can see that too).



Some will argue this will increase Trump’s base.  Democrats and Independents will see him as a victim of a rigged and corrupt system.  In a sense, these same people who themselves have complained about a systemically flawed judicial system will now fall under the embrace that Trump’s foundational base has felt for years.  He will become their voice too… and they will cast their ballots in November for him.  (That makes sense to me as well.)



Or it can have no effect whatsoever.  The lines will still stay drawn, the campfires burning on either side of the field of battle… each side waiting for the call of the bugle.  (Sadly… a high too likely outcome.)



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Comments (8)

  • Chris Reply

    Given the obvious flaws to the trial and timing ( statute of limitations having expired), and the expected appeals Trump will bring forth, is it possible for a less biased (or at least less prejudiced against Trump) judge might oversee the appeal process? Surely there must be some ethical judges out there who would act within the guidelines of the Constitution and jurisprudence. Has our legal system deteriorated to such a degree there are no stalwarts willing to stand against the tyranny exhibited by the current Executive branch?

    06/05/2024 at 08:25
  • Adam Sheck Reply

    Agreed, this has been the most farcical of trials yet. And now that the judiciary on both sides are simply politicians in robes, all credibility has been lost. Which will impact our economy and global economy. And the legislative branch doesn’t want to enact laws based upon the middle ground that most Americans actually seem to agree upon. So the executive branch makes EO’s since no one makes laws or enforces them. Very disconcerting. Thank God I can still go to the beach and stick my head in the sand. And practice at the range, just in case 😉

    06/05/2024 at 09:04
  • Tim Anderson Reply

    Yeah, whodda thunk our 3 separate branches of government could so quickly be deconstructed then reassembled into the single Execulegidicial branch.
    I guess Ben really knew the heart of man when he responded to Elizabeth Powel’s question.

    06/05/2024 at 09:21
  • J.R. Mathews Reply

    Question now is, presuming upcoming election results in November not favorable or contain irregularities aplenty, what are we going to do about it? Sit around another 4 years until the next election and let the system get even worse on its own?

    06/05/2024 at 10:05
  • John Denney Reply

    When his convictions are overturned, won’t he have grounds for YUGE malicious prosecution lawsuits, the likes of which the world has never seen?

    06/05/2024 at 10:18
  • Jerome Schammel Reply

    Our country is sick. There may not be any cure. Much like former empires. Rome and the USSR are examples. It is a sad thing to have grown up when the US was at its height of power, prestige, wealth and mostly of common values and culture and now have to watch the chaos and decline of all that seemed to hold us together as a nation. It hurts me to see so many actually cheer our demise.

    06/05/2024 at 11:02
  • Eddie Ramos Reply

    As we can see from current events, it appears that this experiment called the United States of America is failing rather quickly. The despots have figured out how to manipulate and rig the systems. All of them in my opinion. Checks and balances are no longer as such. I do not recall a system of government in history that survived its short comings by itself or by external sources such as an apocalypse which they could not control. (Think meteor wiping them out or volcanoes etc.
    For those who think that the government would pick a less biased or ethical judge to appeal this verdict, I would not hold my breath. Where is Gabriel et al when we need them.

    06/05/2024 at 18:11
  • Norm Ellis Reply

    I am waiting for the fat lady to sing LOL!!!

    06/09/2024 at 17:16

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