We’re sure living in interesting times. Dangerous times. The hottest worldwide July on record. Wildfires in weird places. Florida and Arkansas deciding to erase actual black history and teach something less offensive to white folks. The same states pulling books off the shelf because they might have a sentence supporting other-than-hetero lifestyles. At least one Supreme Court justice who is corrupt to the core and no one seems to care.
But the biggest story is Donald J Trump and whether or not he will destroy the US democracy, as flawed as it is. This CNN front page tells a story I never thought I’d live to see. I agree with John Dean; this is bigger than Watergate.
The Georgia case against Trump is a slam dunk – he committed all kinds of illegal fuckery trying to convince GA to support his coup. He didn’t even hide it. It’s recorded, well documented, and with so many witnesses, it’s simply a fact. He’s guilty of election tampering and abuse of power at the highest level, federal and state felonies. Guilty. But the big question is, if/when he’s convicted, then what?
- Does this make him a martyr and more likely to be elected in 2024?
- How will he serve time? House arrest? A dedicated one-person prison?
- Will SCOTUS rule that he can serve as President, or will they punt and let him do as he pleases?
- Will he incite violence during the trial and/or after sentencing? Will his followers take up arms in a much larger insurrection?
- Will some portion of the military and law enforcement break away and support another armed insurrection?
- Found guilty or not, will this tear the country further apart and erode trust in all things government?
I just don’t see a happy ending in this. We might see justice, but it will come at a great price.
One thing I am 100% sure of – found guilty or not, if Trump is re-elected America as we knew it is done. Kaput. 2016-2020 was a practice run. Now he knows how to tear all the US government’s checks and balances apart, and he will do so. He and a crazed minority will make sure he doesn’t leave office again, and he’ll die there with some MAGA shitbag as VP, ready to continue the carnage. Meanwhile America’s pre-eminent political and economic position in the world will end. Our long run as the world’s most powerful economy will be over.
If Trump is re-elected, the only rational move is to leave the US if you can. Hunker down in Canada, Europe or S America and watch the disintegration from afar. A mostly-functional democracy containing the world’s largest armed forces is scary. An autocracy with someone like Trump at the top, commanding those same armed forces and weaponry, is *terrifying*. Unthinkable.
Clearly, I’m a little freaked out by all of this. I thought my post-retirement years would be smooth sailing, but nope. So far since 2018 we’ve had a global pandemic, an ongoing wild run of climate instability, my recent personal health crisis, the deaths of parents and friends, and now we’re betting everything on democracy surviving the trials of Trump. The last five years have been one crisis after another. So yeah, I’m
a little freaked out.