Trump's Indictment: Politics or Justice? and 650+ New Anti-LGBTQ Laws
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Actors often talk about how they approach playing a villain. The trick, they say, is that the villain sees themself as the hero. They are able to justify every horrific deed with the belief that it is a noble act. One clear demarcation between heroes and villains is that the villain believes that the ends justify the means, while the hero believes that the means are the end. How you do something is as much an expression of one’s values as is the end goal. Thanos randomly kills half the universe in order to cure the problems of overcrowding and depleted resources. He sees himself as a savior—but he has destroyed more than lives; he has destroyed justice, democracy, free will, and rational thought.
I bring this up because I know that most of us think of ourselves as “good people.” But I question the rubric that we use to make that assessment. It’s like when you’re buying a new car and you go into the salesperson’s office. They always have photos of their family, especially the cute kids. They are virtue signaling to us that they are good parents, therefore they are good people, not the kind who would gouge you on price or upsell you unnecessarily.
I know that those insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol Building on January 6th think of themselves as patriots and good people. Yet, their actions undermined the foundation of the government. Election-deniers think they’re good people, but doing so when there is no proof harms the electoral process, which is the foundation of democracy. They believe they are good because they may be loving parents, supportive spouses, and always there for their parents, siblings, and friends. They give to charity. Cry when a dog is abused. That is all good.
But when their behavior harms others, takes away their rights, or puts the country in jeopardy, they just aren’t good enough. They might stop to help a Black family whose car has broken down, but then they vote for someone who wants to enact laws to restrict the rights of Black voters. They may show up at every game their kids plays in, but then they support banning books which will interfere with their children’s education. They may shout “Girl Power” when their wives or daughters accomplish something, but then they choose to restrict their autonomy over their own bodies. They may scream about protecting the children, but what do they believe children will think when they see their parents and other adults tearing down the institutions they want them to cherish?
In 1963, political writer Hannah Arendt published Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, in which she discussed how Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann and those like him were able to rise in the Nazi party and justify their horrific actions. She claimed Eichmann was neither a fanatic nor a sociopath, but instead an average person of barely average intelligence (unable to finish school) who was a joiner and a follower, unable to think for himself but reliant on the cliches and propaganda of those he followed. The “banality of evil” has come to refer to those average citizens who see themselves as good because they are unable to analyze their own actions to recognize them as evil. This is because they are marching in step with others just like them and therefore judge their actions based on what everyone else around them is doing. The good feeling of belonging disconnects their brains from the harshness of self-reflection.
When you’re too lazy, arrogant, entitled, complacent, or cowardly to search for the facts and understand the consequences to others of your actions, then you aren’t “good people.” You can tell yourself otherwise so you can get through the day. You can hide among others like yourself who do the same thing. You can all gather in a place of worship and proclaim yourself God-loving. But, on some level, you know better.
Here’s a simple way to tell if you’re good people: if you support a candidate who has been accused by two dozen women of rape and sexual misconduct, who has admitted walking in on fifteen-year-old girls when they were naked because he could (child abuse, pedophilia), who admitted to lying to the public about the deadliest pandemic in recent history which caused many unnecessary deaths just so his popularity ratings wouldn’t diminish, who cut taxes for the wealthiest people causing our deficit to skyrocket, to publicly proclaim that the U.S. Constitution should be torn up, and more—then in what multiverse or alternate reality are you good people?
Politics: And Justice for All
SUMMARY: “…A CNN poll released Monday found that 60% of Americans approve of the indictment.
Support for the indictment fell along party lines, with 94% of Democrats approving of the decision to indict Trump, while 79% of Republicans disapproved of the decision to indict.
62% of independents approve of the decision to indict Trump.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday found that 45% of Americans believe Trump should be charged with a crime in the case, while 32% say he should not be charged.
“…The CNN poll, which was conducted March 31-April 1, found that 76% of Americans think that politics played a role in the decision to indict Trump, with over half, 52%, saying politics played ‘a major role.’”
MY TAKE: A Quinnipiac poll concluded that 62% of those polled believed the indictment was mainly motivated by politics (93% of Republicans believe that). The question itself is nonsense because everything is motivated by politics, so the results of that question don’t matter. The real question needed to be more specific: did the 23 members of the grand jury agree to indict Donald Trump because of their personal political bias? (District Attorney Alvin Bragg did not indict; he only presented the evidence.) Now we’re asking whether at least 12 members of the grand jury voted to indict based on evidence and testimony presented to them or if they were out to get Trump based on their political prejudice.
That’s a lot trickier than pointing the finger at a Black lawyer who is Harvard educated and a Democrat. Catnip for Trump supporters.
What gets lost in all this is that, based on what we already know from Stormy Daniels and Trump’s own former attorney Michael Cohen, Trump had sex with a porn actress four months after Melania gave birth. Not illegal, but his supporters are okay with this behavior. He then allegedly paid her off in such a way that he used campaign money, which is illegal. If these same charges were brought against Joe Biden, would Republicans be protesting about the weaponization of the law? We know the answer from their previous “Lock her up!” chants at Hilary Clinton.
The reason so many Republicans hate going to the courts is that they require evidence, not bluster or slogans. That’s why although Trump and his supporters filed 63 lawsuits denying the results of the 2020 presidential election, they lost all. (They won one minor case but that was later overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.) They lost in multiple states. In front of some Trump-appointed judges.
By the way, if Joe Biden had done this same thing, I’d be in favor of charging him with a crime because I don’t think anyone should get away with a crime based on their money, celebrity, or political clout. That’s especially important in laws pertaining to elections. I would think Republicans would agree since they are busy passing “election integrity” laws across the country. DeSantis is sending armed police to arrest people who were mistakenly assured they could vote. None of those cases have been successful in the courts. But DeSantis got lots of political publicity for his presidential campaign (and he didn’t have to spend a dime of campaign funds, he just used the taxpayers’ money).
If you love The American Way, why not support the American judicial system? Unless you’re afraid of facts.