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date: Fri Jul 14 11:11:44 AM CEST 2023
A formative pillar of mine growing up was that, eventually, the federal government would step in and “do the right thing”, and that “nobody was above the law”. In the US this is engrained is us as children in schools and in movies and tv shows like Law & Order or in books like any John Grisham novel, etc., the Law is supposed to be the great equalizer.
It makes sense. To conduct business and have a stable way-of-life a society needs laws that everyone knows and agrees to follow where consequences are executed and redress is available and trials are fair. Otherwise captialism gets to run rampant and it’s a very quick race-to-the-bottom of who has the biggest stick and who can wield the most power.
That idea that the law makes the field more-or-less fair ties right into the American Dream where if one works hard and gets a bit lucky one can be anything one wants to be.
Entire books, volumes, magazines, etc., are likely devoted to debunking this notion. Rampant racism, corruption, cronyism, lobbyists, foregin intervention in domestic affairs both political and business, etc. make it tough for newcomers to challenge incumbents. Large corporations are increasingly devoted to employing many former polticians and other connected folks to engage in regulatory capture – a process by which an incumbent company uses the laws to allow it to profit. For example by being the only licensed entity to do something or otherwise making it financially untenable for a smaller firm to compete due to current law.
Also, if hard work was the sure fire way to financial freedom and success every maid, janitor, strawberry picker in California would be driving Rolls-Royces.
Okay, snide asides, ahem, aside… hard work sometimes pays off. Members of my own family took on immense university debt, lived on ramen dinners, and struggled to get to upper middle class incomes and wealth to hopefully one day pass that on to their progeny.
From Trump’s campaign to how he handled himself in office and who he surrounded himself with it became very clear that he was a grifter, a liar, and a charlatan that co-opted the Republican party to be his platform to “own the libs” instead of govern.
I have no problem living under the regime of a conservative, Republican lead whitehouse if they govern in self-consistent ways. Trump was something else and I think he did more harm than good both domestically and at home. In this case, it seems his judgement was also lacking for his mishandling of classified documents has gotten him into hot water. And in every case it seems he has used his wealth and lawyers to game the courts and prevent justice from happening.
I think he survived two impeachments because Republicans found him worthwhile having in office to push their agenda on many things and so while Republicans with principles voted to impeach (Mitt Romney) many did not.
Now it seems that Special Counsel Jack Smith is the reckoning that we have all been waiting for. Now, hopefully, it seems Trump will get his day in court.
So that is point #1 I wanted to make with this post is to highlight the historic and monumental day that Trump was indicted on Federal charges related to espionage and possession of classified documents when he was no longer president. Never in my 36 years did I think a former president would be charged like this and to have allegedly sold out the US and its intelligence services and its interests for lols at Mar-a-lago.
I remember hearing clips of the press conference Jack Smith gave and hearing the words he spoke on the Rule-Of-Law moved me. During the investigation Smith didn’t speak to reporters much. Many Trump critics who want to see him in an orange jumpsuit were livid. But I think it was because Smith was biding his time and making extra sure and then extra sure again that the case and its investgation was all above board and going to stand up at trial.
From everything I have read Smith has brought a cold, calculating, indifferent demeanor to the investigation. I believe he and his office and investigation would have operated in the same professional manner had it been any other president.
This clip, from the Wall Street Journal’s Youtube Page (link provided but hosted here locally in case the YouTube link changes or is removed) is only a few minutes long but well worth the watch.
One of the best parts is where Smith says this:
“Adherance to the rule-of-law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice, and our nation’s commitment to the rule-of-law sets an example for the world. We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone.” - Special Counsel Jack Smith
Watch it here:
Nobody knows how the case will end up. Most pundits believe it’s a very solid case. We shall see. And what the courts decide we must abide if we are to believe in the rule-of-law.
This Wikipedia article has a really good timeline of the whole thing.
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Copyright Alex Narayan - 2023