The most recent indictment of Donald Trump is politically motivated, a legal stretch, and not likely to lead to a conviction.
But it does describe a course of conduct that was essentially treasonous and which would, under other circumstances, make Donald Trump a pariah not only unfit for public office but despised by freedom-loving people of every political orientation.
While the disturbances at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, were troubling, they were essentially nothing more than a riot facilitated by stunningly lax security. January 6 was an embarrassment, it was not an insurrection. It in no way threatened the American Republic or its operation.
But the deceptive claims by Donald Trump that the election had been stolen and was illegitimate, and his assertions that he would retain power after January 20, were an affront to the peaceful, constitutional transfer of presidential power. That wasn’t playing with fire; that was spreading gasoline and sparking a match. It betrayed the spirit and example of George Washington, surpassed the insolence of John Adams, violated Donald Trump’s own oath of office, and came as close to being a coup as the United States has ever known.
It was a despicable, horrifying act that threatened the very nature of our Republic and the Constitution upon which it is built.
A jury may not ultimately convict him on the charges he faces in this indictment, but history will condemn him for the actions which underlie it.
Donald Trump, however, does not exist in isolation, and he is not the only recent president who is a traitor. In fact, as unlikely as it seems, Donald Trump is probably not the greatest presidential threat to freedom and the honest working of our constitutional Republic.
On the other side of the scale of public opinion is the current president, Joe Biden, a man whose actions pose an even greater danger to American liberty.
Joe Biden has weaponized federal law enforcement to prosecute political opponents, be they candidate Donald Trump or mothers speaking at school board meetings, or conservatives paying their taxes. Joe Biden has vilified and ignored rulings of the United States Supreme Court and actively worked to subvert public support for the court as a constitutionally co-equal branch of government. Joe Biden has used his offices to support a multi-million dollar scheme by his son, Hunter, to either sell access and influence or to commit fraud by implying that he is selling access and influence.
Joe Biden has monetized his public office for the financial gain of his family, he has turned the FBI into the KGB, and he has rallied his supporters in an insurrection against the Constitution’s balance of powers.
That’s worth an indictment, or an impeachment, and the same vilification Donald Trump is receiving.
That’s the context.
In the modern world’s first and largest Republic, the two presidents vying in next year’s election for control of the White House and the country are men who have violated their oaths of office, betrayed their nation’s highest ideals, and become drunk on their illegitimate lust for power. The best of nations has produced the worst of leaders.
Is that a function of corrupt political parties, of subversive conspiracies, or of a failed culture and a fallen people? How could this terrible situation be the situation? How did the United States get to this point?
That’s like asking how you got cancer. It doesn’t really matter. It only matters that you have cancer and that you are in a fight for your life.
As a practical matter, it seems inescapable that these two men will be the candidates for their parties in next year’s presidential election. As polling stands right now, head to head for the presidency, they are in a dead heat, with identical support numbers. In a lesser-of-two-evils election, Tribe A is rallying around its candidate and Tribe B is rallying around its candidate.
And in a lesser-of-two-evils election, the choice comes down to which of these men’s parties, during four years in office, did better for the country. Which set of policies, priorities, and principles brought greater benefit to the people and interests of the United States? If both candidates are reprehensible, which philosophy is preferable?
The answer seems obvious.
In almost every measurable way, the United States was in a better circumstance when the White House was guided by conservative principles than it has been under the progressive agenda of the current administration.
We find ourselves in a sad situation. Sad, but not hopeless, and not directionless. The two men have failed us. But this was never to be a Republic of men, it was always to be a Republic of principles, administered by individuals, but led by the people.
And next year the people will vote for the principles, not the men.
Men will fail, but principles will forever be true.