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Opinion | I think Trump is going under and yet I keep having the same nightmare – UnlistedNews

Watching the outpouring of invective and megalomania that poured out of Donald Trump on Tuesday after his second appearance, what struck me was not so much the falsehoods as the desperation.

“I am the only one who can save this nation”, Trump declared. He spoke of the “most evil and egregious abuse of power in the history of our country,” referring to his own “persecution.” He denounced the special counsel, Jack Smith, as “unhinged.”

Yet Trump’s raving didn’t seem to energize him or the crowd, and this classic con man seemed to cringe under the prosecution’s scrutiny. It was hard to help but think of other leaders I’ve covered for decades as they were fighting to avoid prison; under investigation, they deflated before our eyes. Now the net is closing around Trump.

An absurd question continues to plague me: Can an inmate in federal prison get a permit to attend his own inauguration?

I wonder that because Trump seems to be moving simultaneously in two opposite and irreconcilable directions. First, it seems increasingly plausible that he will become the first former president to be convicted of a felony. Second, he also seems increasingly likely to win the Republican nomination for president, and the betting markets are also giving him about a 22 percent possibility of continuing and being elected president.

Every defendant must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But some smart lawyers believe that for Trump, the “the danger is extremeas a former federal prosecutor put it. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr saying“If half of what he says is true, then he’s done.”

Trump could, of course, take a break. Evidence from his own lawyer could be declared inadmissible at trial, or the trial judge may allow delaying tactics by the defense, or a staunch supporter of the Florida jury may refuse to convict. But Trump could eventually be impeached in four separate criminal cases, and with so many cases hanging around, the odds that you will be convicted of at least some serious crimes increase.

He would be a first offender, and it is not certain that he would serve a prison sentence. So far, officials have been very deferential to Trump: He has not been handcuffed or subjected to a mugshot.

Still, deference can end with conviction, and defendants in less serious cases have ended up with substantial prison sentences. Just this month, a former Air Force officer was sentenced to three years in prison for keeping classified documents, pleading guilty and therefore presumably given leniency. And during the Trump presidency, Reality Winner leaked a single document and was sentenced to more than five years in prison.

Even if Trump is convicted and jailed, he could continue to run for office and even presumably serve as president, if he isn’t too busy at the prison factory. making license plates. Eugene Debs, the Socialist candidate, ran for president from a federal prison in 1920 and received nearly a million votes.

I suppose arrangements could be made so that prison officials would not listen to telephone conversations between Federal Inmate No. 62953-804 and Chinese and Russian leaders. Perhaps the summits could be held in a larger cell? State banquets in the prison dining room?

A low-level precedent: Joel Caston, while serving a sentence for murder, was chosen one in 2021 to be an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Washington, D.C. But that’s a two-year unpaid advisory position, a bit different from the presidency.

If Trump is jailed and elected president, perhaps his cabinet could invoke the 25th Amendment and declare him unfit to serve. But presumably, Trump would handpick cabinet members who would never do that. Alternatively, maybe if he was chosen, he would try to forgive yourself?

Is it conceivable that voters elected a man who had been or was about to be convicted of serious crimes for president? It seems hard to believe, but I also thought Trump was ineligible in 2016. It’s notable that as the legal cases against Trump gained ground this year, he, too, rose in the Republican polls.

A plausible guess, based in part on the latest polls since the federal indictment, is that the prosecutions could help him in the Republican primary and hurt him in the general election. Looking ahead, news organizations must not let the buck pass like they did in 2016, giving Trump a platform without properly checking him out. We should be enabling democracy, not empowering an undemocratic demagogue.

All things considered, I think Trump is falling. But my nightmare is that the United States falls into a recession, that voters blame President Biden, that there is a crisis in the Middle East that drives up oil and gas prices, and that there is a third-party candidate that will take more votes from Biden. that of Trump. . Or maybe Biden is having a health crisis and the Democratic nominee is Kamala Harris, who I’m afraid would make a substantially weaker candidate. In short, the election of Trump as president seems unlikely, but not impossible, and the consequences could be catastrophic.

A sitting president who rules behind bars? It’s completely unimaginable, right? The uncertainty speaks of a tragedy for our nation.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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