It's game time, liberals! We've got to screw Trump and his MAGAs harder than they screwed America!
This may be easy for me to say because I don’t live in the shooty Ignited States anymore, but—
—We have to hold Donald Trump fully accountable for his countless crimes. We can’t let him get away with any of it and we can’t be swayed by accusations of political witch hunts, not to mention threats (perhaps encouraged) his base will get violent and/or attempt to pull another Jan. 6.
I find it heartening that what may have been Trump’s ‘trial balloon’ last week resulted in a far less violent response from his base, which may have sent not-so-Teflon-Don a message that his base’s support for him has eroded.
A Fox News poll—Fox News, people!—showed 61% of Americans don’t want Trump to be President again. Trump must surely be aware of this, and his ex-fixer Michael Cohen, a reigning talking head since he got out of jail for paying a porn star to pretend she hadn’t had sex, claimed from the beginning that Trump’s ‘election campaign’ is a bid to stay away from jail (so far, so bad) and that it’s just a giant grift of his clueless, easily manipulated base (so far, so good).
Trump’s nutty MAGAs pose a real threat. They can’t entrust future victory to elections, at least not for Trump since they can’t fix and steal them, although their gerrymandering and games to prevent minority voting are still an effective technique for Keeping America Stupid.
Last week, police around the country responded to bomb threats and some white powder mailed to the Manhattan DA’s office presiding over the grand jury which was quickly determined to be not a dangerous substance. This is a long-time right-wing intimidation tactic; they did this to countless abortion clinics in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
We know Trump’s base is packed with heavily-armed extremists. But they didn’t seem terribly inclined to put themselves in danger of getting arrested, and the few protesters who showed up, anywhere, were largely peaceful.
But we’ve got to stay strong, and brave.
I know. Easy to say when you’re sitting safely in Canada.
Lessons from t’other side of the world
One huge mistake the Middle East has made is to put their homegrown terrorists in control. People in Islamic countries are often afraid to speak out against terrorism, fearing the terrorists may attack their families or themselves. That’s a very real threat, and it’s why terrorism runs free in some parts of the Middle East. Too many governments tolerate it, either because they love it to squoodgy-woodgy pieces, or they at least partially agree with known terrorist groups, or because they’re simply afraid of them. On the other hand, popular terrorists could help them win whatever passes for elections in their countries if they play nicely.
Citizens, too, have varying views on terrorism. Some fully support it, some not, and some sound as wishy-washy as America’s not-quite-racists: “You know I’m not a prejudiced woman but—” “I’m not a racist but—”.
The gay Muslim writer, speaker, and Islam critic Irshad Manji has noted the same about wishy-washy Muslims. They announce they’re about to say something kinda pro-terrorist with something like, “I don’t support terrorism but—”
I think we’re all guilty of this at times. I found myself thinking last year after a lefty went to assassinate Brett Kavanaugh (and lost his nerve), “Well what did you expect, MAGAts? You’re the role models, didja know guns shoot right as well as left? What’s it feel like to be on the other side of the gun barrel? You asked for this!”
That’s not an acceptable response. It’s understandable, I think, but we have to be better than they. We have to hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold others. I agree with Michelle Obama’s statement, “When they go low, we go high,” at least up to a point. We do have to protect and defend ourselves, but we have to take the moral high ground on violence. We can’t debate whether it’s okay to punch a Nazi in the face. We can’t punch Nazis in the face. Not unless we’re defending ourselves against a proactive attack. It’s otherwise against the law. If there’s one area where Republican vision has failed, is its traditional respect for law ‘n’ order. It’s glaringly obvious which party now is more on the side of law ‘n’ order, however imperfectly and wishily-washily, today.
Kudos to Joe Biden’s administration for having the balls and labia to go hard after everyone they were able to arrest in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. As of January of this year, close to 1,000 people have been charged and arrested for numerous attack-related crimes. Three hundred and thirty-five people have been sentenced and over 100 Congresspeople and others have been issued subpoenas, along with companies like Meta, Twitter and Reddit.
Watching so many get arrested and subpoena’ed and testify under oath to lawyers much smarter than the ones who chose to represent Donald Trump may have dampened the enthusiasm of many to engage in anarchic destruction. There are undoubtedly many who are plotting something now, and may have the will to carry it out. But how many are willing to go to jail for it? Possibly far fewer. For many it will be just fantasy. We have to be vigilant for the ones for whom it isn’t.
We can’t know whether extremist reticence is influenced by a desire not to rot in prison, or whether they’ve simply lost their will to be violent. Some may have moved on, accepting halfway through Biden’s term that Trump ain’t coming back. Nearly two-thirds of Americans not wanting him to be President again indicates he’s lost at least some of his base, like those who count themselves as ‘Never Trump’ Republicans.
We have to take Trump and his base through the wringer of all the crimes of which he’s been accused, recognizing at the same time that if no one is above the law, everyone is also presumed innocent. We all have our personal opinions as to how true that is about Trump, but that’s how the law works. Due process is also for everybody.
Democrats and liberals don’t have a great track record for being tough on crime and corruption. We’re pretty squishy on drawing moral lines in the sand and we’re as afraid of our own extremists and outrageous regressives as the Republicans and conservatives. While we watch a wishy-washy GOP try to find its balls and labia to just throw itself behind Ron DeSantis or maybe some other not-Trump candidate like Nikki Haley, Democrats and liberals twist themselves in knots whispering into the wind about whether medical-transitioning children or maybe MeToo accusations go too far. Speaking of going too far, why do we allow our own extremists to wield the cancel culture weapon as recklessly as a Gawd-Bless-’Murica thug swinging his mighty baseball bat on Jan. 6?
We kowtow before our bullies just as Republicans and conservatives kneel submissively before their own.
One wonders who Trump’s base will vote for if the Republicans just say, “Screw it, deal with it, people, we’re backing DeSantis/Haley/Herschel Walker’s favorite vampire, Trump is so over!” Will they vote Democrat? Or stay at home and sulk the way Millennials did in 2016 because their boy Bernie Sanders wasn’t the Democratic candidate? Remind me again, who won in 2016?
We have got to send a strong message not just to Trump’s wannabe successors but also to his morally bankrupt and violent base: You are not above the law. Not your candidate, not his violent fanboys, not anyone’s. Not even a guy as rich and powerful as Donald Trump. Not even an ex-President.
Let’s remember why the indictment of a former President is ‘unprecedented’. It’s because 49 years ago, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon after he resigned in disgrace in the Watergate era. It’s entirely possible Nixon would have been our first indicted, arraigned, and perp-walked former President had it not been for Ford’s pardon, widely credited with why he lost the 1976 race to Jimmy Carter.
Yes, this may become an excuse for future Republicans to harass Democrat Presidents, ex- or otherwise, with the law. And Goddess knows how violent the rabble may get again under a Republican-dominated government.
But this is on us, folks. We the people. We the voters. Will we let Republicans push us toward a failed state? Will we allow them to shred what’s left of our democracy? Will we continue to elect politicians who think payback’s a bitch, bitches?
Consider this: The GOP hasn’t even attempted to launch an impeachment attempt against Joe Biden, after two attempts on Trump. They used to angle for it for Obama, who wasn’t tarnished by a fuckup kid with a drug problem and Ukrainian friends, or a penchant for starring in his own porn videos. But it went nowhere because there was no there there.
I think liberal voters require at least a baseline decency in most of our candidates, along with a certain level of intelligence and competence we no longer see on Republican resumes. Although our candidates don’t necessarily score appreciably higher than the Republicans on the corruption-o-meter.
What we lack is the gumption to pursue criminal charges against the other party, gumption the GOP has in truckloads. We let George Bush get away with what were likely war crimes, and twenty years later the Senate has repealed authorization for the Iraq War, 4,700 allied troop deaths and over 100,000 Iraqi deaths too late. Where the fuck was their resolution in 2003?
Why wasn’t George Bush investigated for war crimes? Why didn’t we at least make the attempt? We let him get away with it. All of it.
We empowered them to think they could get away with more.
And they were right.
I hope Trump’s indictment is a sign America’s liberals and progressives - the real ones, not our illiberal extremists—are ready to grow some balls and labia and do the right thing.
Hold criminals accountable.
Hold Trump accountable.
Plan for how we’ll deal with future Republican witch hunts, and continue ensuring our own candidates don’t have fatal moral flaws or criminal tendencies.
It’s up to us. We the people. It’s our country.
All of us.
Yes, even them.
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