The First Trump Conviction (Actually, 34 Convictions)

Riveted to the TV, were you?


This Trial Has Been Talked About Ad Nauseum. Focus on Just 4 Key Points to Take Away

The System Worked, Darn Near Perfectly

In spite of delays, distractions, lies, threats, and more, the system did what was needed to be done. Twelve citizens (and six back up jurors) took the oath, took the time took the risks, and did the right thing. The judge was the model of patience, decorum, and fairness.

In some ways, this reminded me of the last presidential election and the midterms after that. In spite of threats, harassment, bullying, etc. a lot of people across the country, election officials and volunteers, simply chose to show up and do their jobs.

Bless them all. And protect them all. Genuine risks are still out there for them.

The REAL Lesson – And Danger – is Public Figure Reactions 

One should not be surprised, but the level of blasphemy by elected politicians, damning our entire judicial system because their orange puppeteer lost is beyond shameful. You say this kind of stuff long enough and it gets baked into those who follow such so-called leaders.

I am genuinely ashamed as an American of all of them. Not one deserves a single vote from any citizen, for any office. Ten senators declared they would no longer pass legislation, fund the government, or vote to confirm the administration’s appointees because, they said, “[t]he White House has made a mockery of the rule of law and fundamentally altered our politics in un-American ways. As a Senate Republican conference,” they said, although there were only 10 of them, “we are unwilling to aid and abet this White House in its project to tear this country apart.”

In other words, they will not do the jobs they were elected to do because private citizen Trump was convicted in a state court by a jury of 12 people in New York, a jury that Trump’s lawyers had agreed to. Even more ironic that this comes from some who are implicated in the JAN 6 uprising. The list has the usual suspects: Mike Lee of Utah, J. D. Vance of Ohio, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rick Scott of Florida, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Oh, and add Speaker Johnson to that list as well.

They all know this is wrong. They are all in it for the power, all else be damned. May they all rot in infamy and in history.

Even The Beginning Is Not Over

 This could well be the beginning of the end of the Trump burden our nation carries, an outcome that would be much more likely if any of the other 3 trials would ever get underway.

But recognize a long process still awaits us even on this trial. It will be almost a month before sentencing. There will be appeals, perhaps going to more than one level of appeals. We likely have months to go just on this one trial. Irrespective of how the election might go, we likely have a year or more of all this cluttering our lives and threatening to weaken our country.

This Trial Reminds Us of the Four categories of Trumpers and What Is Most Dangerous Among Them

 Trumpers are a mixed bunch, it seems to me. People are on board this doomed train for very different reasons. I count four groups, with some people being in more than one group at a time:

Angry Since 1960’s: These were Nixon’s “Silent Majority” types and they are still here, angry about American culture since the 1960’s. Justices Alito and Thomas are good examples. These people have been grumpy for over 50 years and welcome a chance to strike out at “the others.”

Feeling Left Out, Crowded Out: This includes people who see America’s demographics and culture changing in a way that makes them feel threatened, even though most still fall in the majority categories of race, economics, etc. Surely a good streak of racism herein. People who want to turn back the clock on gay rights, women’s rights, growing minorities, DEI, etc. An illustration would be the marchers in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

 Minions Who Want To Be Back In Power: These are mostly folks who have long been in Trump’s camp, but also includes the embarrassingly willing to do or say anything that might get them the VP nod or a prime appointment. Think Stephen Miller (the Joseph Goebbels of the Trump administration of yesterday) or SC Senator Tim Scott. The Miller types are pure evil and dangerous. The Scott types are just pathetic.

More Serious Plotters Who Are Using Trump: Probably the most dangerous of all these groups. These are people who very much want a different America. Christian Nationalists are here, as are those like the Project 2025 folks. They are anti-Democratic, anti -American, well resourced, and patient. They have been working for decades at all levels. Trump is a battering ram they can use, but they have plans way beyond just Trump.

So, Now What?

Because of so many interrelated factors, this could be one of our most dangerous time in our history – perhaps the most dangerous. But we are a resilient people, fortunate to have a system that can take a lot of punishment. We could well come through all this OK, if we stay alert, vote, talk to others, and are not afraid to confront those who would wound America irreversibly.

As has always been the case, it’s up to us.

If enough of us are willing to commit our time, our talents, and our treasure to the fight, if we are not willing to give up, we will get there.  In the recent (and excellent) Apple series on Ben Franklin, Mr. Franklin explained the idea of America to a French diplomat along these lines: a country based on an idea that the people could self-rule, based on common sense and unity.

The diplomat asked what would happen if the people lacked common sense? Said Franklin: “Then they will get the government they deserve.”

As true a statement today as it was almost 250 years ago.

Bill Clontz

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4 replies to The First Trump Conviction (Actually, 34 Convictions)

  1. Thanks Bill for these thoughts. Having just watched the amazing series on Hulu “A Small Light” I could see Stephen Miller fitting into that world back then. I have to wonder where did he come from? How did he get this way? And why does he seem have so much influence over Trump and his cronies. So sad.

    • Yes, I saw that when it came out. Attention getting headline, eh? Not an unreasonable argument, but I don’t think the case is made that it should not have been prosecuted. I am disappointed that this is the only case to come to trial so far – the others are much more serious in terms of the charges, but this one makes the cut in my view, and I expect it will do well on appeal. Of course if the (not so) Supreme Court erroneously decides to insert itself into this one, who knows what happens. What did you think of the article?

  2. So true. Thanks for putting words to so many feelings.

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