May 30: The Day Justice Prevailed

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Trump blames everyone but himselfO frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! He chortled in his joy. Thirty-four criminal charges and found guilty for every one of them. Thirty four! Of course, I don’t have to tell you the name of the person, since the whole world knows whose recent court case I’m writing about. And have been celebrating about, ever since the verdict came in.*

May 30, 2024, was a historic day everyone will remember like they remember 9/11, the day Kennedy was shot, and the day the Canadian hockey team beat the Russians: it was the day when American justice was not subverted by the radical right and instead prevailed, showing that everyone is still equal under the law, at least in New York. Privilege does not exempt anyone from justice. Yet. That will change if the Felon-in-Chief gets re-elected, of course. He has, after all, promised retribution against his opponents. He will out-Putin, out-Hitler, out-Stalin those dictators he loves.**

The guilty verdict was the first good news coming from the USA in a long time; we’ve had years of Repugnican states banning books, banning abortions, banning voting, banning education, repressing women, cutting government services and support, banning unions, closing libraries, pushing racist narratives, giving corporations and billionaires tax breaks, repealling environmental and child labour laws, and making life miserable for Americans but cozy for the elites while pandering to the pseudo-Christian Talibangelists (aka Christian Nationalists, or Christofascists). And singing hymns to their Putin-loving Lord and Leader and neo-Jesus, Donald Trump.

Trump cartoonThe day after the verdict, Trump said in a rambling, often incoherent, combative, lie-rich, self-indulgent, grievance-dense I’m-the-victim speech from his hotel.

“If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone,” he said. Which is the whole point of a fair, equitable justice system. And an absolutely transparent lie from Trump. The verdict clearly said: no one is above the law. Trump believes that he — and he alone — should be. He used that speech to blame his crimes on the judge and the legal system, violated his gag order, blamed his convictions on Washington, called the current president a fascist and claimed “we are living in a fascist state,” attacked immigrants, and made many, many lies, as he always does. No one who saw or listened to that speech can help but question his sanity. Or his deep allegiance to Putin.

Trump also said, “It’s a very unpleasant thing, to be honest, but it’s a great, great honor.” As if he has ever been honest for even a minute in his life: US media counted more than 30,000 lies from him in just his four years in office. By his final year he was making an average of 39 lies a day. And for all his whining, he has never taken responsibility for anything he has done, aside from having Roe v Wade overturned. Like all political cowards, he refused to take media questions after his speech.

(He also went on a racist tangent to bash migrants, complain about immigration, and insult immigrants speaking foreign languages.)

And if you followed the trial, you know that Trump himself was too cowardly to testify even though he promised he would (just one of the hundreds of promises he has broken),. He was unable to bring a single credible witness to support him, not even his own family members (and his “star” witness was a disaster who antagonized the judge). Neither his lawyers nor his witnesses ever tried to deny his adultery or the payment for Daniels’ silence.

(Where was Trump’s wife all this time? Why didn’t she want to sit in court as a visible sign of her support for the husband who cheated on her with a porn star?)

And, of course, in daily comments to the media outside the trial, Trump attacked the justice system that eventually convicted him because he has always openly despised the legal system that doesn’t give him special privileges. In his flaccid attempt to cast himself as the victim, Trump whined that “Mother Teresa could not beat those charges.” And now he’s nicknamed MAGA Teresa. Sarcasm aside, it fits because some of his hard-of-thinking cultists are comparing Trump to Jesus simply because Trump has compared himself to Jesus. And you’ll notice his pseudo-Christian Talibangelist backers haven’t risen up in outrage over it.

Let me sum up Trump’s current situation with these reminders (most courtesy of Robert Reich):

  • 34 felony convictions;
  • 54 pending criminal charges;
  • 2 impeachments;
  • 2 popular vote losses;
  • $88M owed to E Jean Carroll;
  • $450M owed for civil fraud;
  • $8T was added to the US national debt during his term;
  • 2.9M net loss of jobs during his term;
  • 467,954 deaths from COVID during his term (average 1,298 people dying per day).

Angry TrumpTrump is now a convicted felon. He has four more criminal trials to face, and more than 50 charges against him. O frabjous day! It was a happy day to celebrate! But even as we chortle in our joy, we have to keep in mind Trump doesn’t play by the rules of democracy or law. He could and likely will call on his puppets in the deeply anti-democratic, pro-fascist, and utterly corrupt Supreme Court of the USA to bail him out and overturn the convictions. After all, justice is not part of the MAGA ideology.

And, given the fascist nature of the MAGA cult, that’s a real possibility. Trump and his followers will not stop trying to overturn this and any subsequent convictions and using his pet SCOTUS judges to overturn the law is always likely.

Although the trial exposed Trump as a sleazy operator, the MAGA crowd closed their eyes and would not see it. There are several reasons to still be a MAGA supporter. Being intelligent, patriotic, pro-democracy, politically savvy, educated, or having any real ethical or moral beliefs are not among them. I’ve compiled a list of reasons. These are not exclusive attributes: many MAGA supporters share several or even all of them:

  1. Stupidity. That accounts for a vast swath of MAGA hatters. Just look at any interview with attendees at one of his rallies and you’ll ask yourself who ties their shoelaces every morning because they are clearly not capable of complex tasks, or anything involving thinking. These are the marks who buy into his grift, send him money, and purchase his cheap trinkets.
  2. QAnon Believers. This is a special sub-category of gullible stupidity that lives deep within the dark regions of paranoid conspiracies and outright lies spewed from far-right social media including QAnon and Trump’s own “Truth” Social. They are likely to go off the deep end into conspiracy-fuelled violence.
  3. Cultists. This has a large overlap with reason number one. Cultists are easily identified by their almost exclusive dependence on the disinformation firehose, Fox Newz — the American arm of Russian TV — or NewsMax — Americans answer to Hitler’s Der Strumer — for their opinions, ideas, “news” and ideas and not realizing they’re being played. These Kool-Aid drinkers praise Trump as the next Jesus and threaten civil war if he is not re-elected. They are the ones in the crowd wearing diapers in support of Trump and calling the trial “bullshit.”***
  4. Sycophants. There is a large body of egregiously self-embarrassing ass-kissers in the MAGA cult. Some people just need to be oleaginous followers, and pretty much all of the elected Repugnican Party is in this category. Many of the lower lifeforms in the party sloughed off their responsibilities to be in Congress or the Senate, for which they were elected and paid, to stand in front of the court and loudly praise Trump while insulting the American justice system for being impartial and fair.
  5. Putinists. These are people who are helping — often quite deliberately — Putin destabilize democracy and destroy the USA by sharing Trump’s disinformation and lies. They see Putin as a strong leader they want Trump to emulate; they despise international organizations like NATO, the UN, the WHO, and the WEF, and they hate Ukraine for not bending over to let themselves be conquered by Putin. Trump’s advisors Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are examples. They openly want to overthrow democracy and have promised to tear it down.
  6. Trump's insurrectionistsInsurrectionists. These are the violent MAGA anarchists and cultists who took up arms and tried to overthrow the US government on January 6, 2021. Most are QAnon believers. They enjoy violence, murder, destruction, and rioting for their own sake and would easily advance to murder and lynching if the opportunity arises. They like to dress up in faux military gear and pretend they are warriors. They have a special affection for guns.
  7. Fascists. This sub-category of the insurrectionists includes the organized, openly fascist and para-military groups with extremist, pro-authoritarian agendas, including the Proud Boys, neo-Nazis, KKK, Diagolon, Boogaloo Bois, The Three Percenters, The Wolverine Watchmen, and others. They are Trump followers because he empowers them to violence, and they are eager to help Putin overthrow democracies. Many are also QAnon followers.
  8. Ambitious Hypocrites: These are the hangers-on, the “Klingons” and opportunists who expect to gain power, position, or money by being abject his sycophants although they know full well the threat to democracy, truth, honesty, and their values Trump poses. They know he is a neo-fascist, but they don’t care as long as he elevates and empowers them. Most of these are already politicians and all are in the Repugnican party. This group claims to support plan and order until it is inconvenient or applied to them, then they claim it’s rigged, corrupt, and unjust. They support the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and vocally claim they were only normal “tourists,” despite the overwhelming evidence they were rioters. Marjory Taylor Greene is one of their star members.
  9. Talibangelists: These are the fake Christians who push a repressive theological agenda, expecting Trump will help them implement their American Sharia regime and bring about their cherry-picked biblical wrath. Their targets of hatred are women, homosexuals, immigrants, people of colour, atheists, anyone who can read, and everyone with a university education. They fanatically love Israel and what it’s doing to Palestinians but hate Jews. They believe in the mythical Rapture and End of Days and can’t quote the Beatitudes. And some claim god speaks to them about Trump’s greatness, although their deity appears incapable of saving him from the 34 verdicts of guilty.****
  10. Misogynists and Incels. These are male MAGA followers who want women to be subservient, unemployed, and baby factories. Incels want them to be their sex slaves, too, because they lack the social graces to have actual relationships with women. They all want to make Margaret Atwood’s fictional Gilead from The Handmaid’s Tale a reality. They think giving women the vote was a bad idea and allowing them to be educated is worse. They share a lot in common with the Taliban and share similar fundamentalist views about women’s rights and bodies.

For anyone who actually cares about democracy and the rule of law, May 30 was, indeed, a day to celebrate, but MAGA followers, regardless of where they fall in the spectrum of deplorable attributes, will never accept the verdict or Trump’s guilt. They don’t care if he’s a criminal, a serial liar, a serial adulterer, a vocal misogynist, a vocal racist, a proven con man, a multiple-times failed businessman, a raging narcissist, that he is barely literate, that he slurs words, that he is clearly not very smart, or that he stole classified documents and in a clear violation of national security laws showed them off to lackeys and foreigners. They don’t care if he insults people (including the judge who will sentence him), threatens people, accuses others of his own wrongdoings, or blames others for his crimes. They listen to his rambling, often incoherent speeches but don’t care that he loses his train of thought every few seconds, or that he mumbles, that he makes up words, or that he doesn’t make sense most of the time. None of it matters: he’s their saviour. And they want him to be their Great Leader: a dictator just like the others they and Trump admire: Vlad Putin, Kim Jung Un, Viktor Oban, or Xi Jinping.*****

Already Trump’s political lackeys are spinning the verdict as a victory for him, and allege he raised more than $34 million in small-dollar donations from his most gullible followers as a result. For them, May 30 is a day in infamy.

Will MAGA’s next step be more violence? I expect at least some of them will take that step because that’s who they are: radical Repugnicans care nothing for the lives of others. And I expect Trump’s corrupt pet judge, Eileen Cannon, will continue to stall his next court appearance rather than let him be again found guilty during his campaign. Which he is: guilty and a danger to national security.

But let’s save a comment on her for another post.

Notes:

* The post’s opening words are from the penultimate verse in Lewis Carroll’s poem, Jabberwocky, in his novel, Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass. I often call Trump the “Flabberjocky.” The poem’s memorable first verse is:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

** Those of us old enough to remember the latter two: 1963 and 1972, respectively.

*** From Newsmax’s Putin-loving Chris Plante comes the wingnutty conspiracy that Joe Biden is ruining chocolate chip ice cream sales (emphasis added):

…the International Dairy Foods Association — we have one of those — they found that Joe Biden’s beloved chocolate chip didn’t even crack America’s top five favorite ice creams. that’s kind of sad, isn’t it? ice cream producers, they even scooped to low as to call it a seasonal ice cream. it’s not even an all year ice cream any more. the flavor now sits in eighth place, after being ranked at fifth place just two years ago. I think Joe Biden is probably guilty of the decline in chocolate chip ice cream popularity.

This is the sort of madness that fuels the MAGA cultists into a frothing rage.

**** From historian Heather Cox Richardson (emphasis added):

Trump has been hailed as a savior by his supporters because he promises to smash through the laws and norms of American democracy to put them into power. There, they can assert their will over the rest of us, achieving the social and religious control they cannot achieve through democratic means because they cannot win the popular vote in a free and fair election. With Trump’s conviction within the legal system, his supporters are more determined than ever to destroy the rules that block them from imposing their will on the rest of us.
Today the Federalist Society, which is now aligned with [far-right dictator] Victor Orbán’s Hungary, flew an upside-down U.S. flag as a signal of national distress. Their actions were in keeping with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s statement that Trump is being persecuted “for political reasons” and that the cases show “the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.”

***** From The Atlantic (emphasis added):

Why do Donald Trump and his acolytes heap such reverent praise on Vladimir Putin? The question is born of disbelief. Adoration of the Russian leader, who murders his domestic opponents, kidnaps thousands of Ukrainian children, and interferes in American presidential elections, is so hard to comprehend that it seems only plausibly explained by venal motives—thus the search to find the supposed kompromat the Kremlin lords over Trump or compromising business deals that Trump has pursued in Moscow.
But there’s a deeper, more nefarious truth about people on the right’s baffling unwillingness to criticize the Kremlin: They actually share its worldview. Putin worship isn’t even an aberration in the history of conservatism, merely the latest instance of a long tradition of admiring foreign dictators. Over the past century, without ever really blushing, the American right has similarly celebrated the likes of Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, and just about every Latin American military junta that called itself anti-communist

Extra: Here’s a quote from The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, Ph.D., Three Rivers Press, New York, 2005 (emphasis added). Does this sound like Trump?

Narcissism is, in a metaphorical sense, half of what sociopathy is. Even clinical narcissists are able to feel most emotions as strongly as anyone else does, from guilt and sadness to desperate love and passion. The half that is missing is the crucial ability to understand what other people are feeling. Narcissism is a failure not of conscience but of empathy, which is the capacity to perceive emotions in others and so react to them appropriately. The poor narcissist cannot see past his own nose, emotionally speaking, and as with the Pillsbury Doughboy, any input from the outside will spring back as if nothing happened…
For their own reasons, sociopaths sometimes marry, but they never marry for love. They cannot fall genuinely in love, not with their spouses, their children, or even a pet. Clinicians and researchers have remarked that where the higher emotions are concerned, sociopaths can “know the words but not the music.”

And from Susan Shirk, Overreach: How China Derailed its Peaceful Rise, Oxford University Press, 2022, another uncanny likeness, this time talking about Mao (emphasis added):

He wasn’t satisfied with mere political conformity and compliance: he demanded the people’s wholehearted commitment, selflessness, and activism. And he sought to inculcate this embrace of the cause through ideological education, mutual criticism sessions in small peer groups… and mass campaigns targeting ‘bad elements’…
People lived in constant fear of making a slip of the tongue that could ruin their careers… [He] warned of the dangers of putting personal friendships ahead of political loyalty. A person’s commitment to the values of the regime was measured by their willingness to criticize a friend’s political mistakes. For [him the] future lay in mobilizing the energy of the people through mass campaigns…

Words: 2,986

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4 Comments

  1. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-supporters-try-doxx-jurors-violent-threats-conviction-rcna154882
    Trump supporters try to dox jurors and post violent threats after his conviction
    On social media and web forums, users called for jurors, judges and prosecutors to be killed after the former president was found guilty on 34 felony counts.

    Advance Democracy, a nonprofit that conducts public interest research, said there has been a high volume of social media posts containing violent rhetoric targeting New York Judge Juan Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, including a post with Bragg’s purported home address. The group also found posts of the purported addresses of jurors on a fringe internet message board known for pro-Trump content and harassing and violent posts, although it is unclear if any actual jurors had been correctly identified.

    The posts, which have been reviewed by NBC News, appear on many of the same websites used by Trump supporters to organize for violence ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. These forums were hotbeds of threats inspired by Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, which he lost, and that the voting system was “rigged” against him. They now feature new threats echoing Trump’s rhetoric and false claims about the hush money trial, including that the judicial system is now “rigged” against him.

  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-guilty-verdict-trial-conviction-news-today-b2555219.html

    This is the future of the USA if Trump wins again:

    Trump supporters call for riots, violence in wake of guilty verdict
    Hardcore supporters of the former president are calling for violence against the jurors who convicted him
    Hardcore Donald Trump supporters are calling for riots, insurrection, and assassination after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

    Trump became the first US president to be criminally convicted on Thursday, but said he would “continue to fight” the decision. He will have 30 days to do following his sentencing on July 11.

    In messages seen by The Independent, and others reported by Reuters, Trump die-hards on social media are calling for violence in the wake of the verdict.

    “Find the jurors. All of them. Take no prisoners,” wrote one user on a Trump-focused message board.

    “Just give them the rope,” said another, in an explicit reference to lynching. “The time for talking has long gone. Let them swing outside the courthouse.”

    Meanwhile, Trump gave a rambling speech at Trump Tower on Friday, blasting the US as a “fascist state.”
    A jury found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of an election conspiracy that involved covering up a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose story of an affair threatened to derail his 2016 presidential campaign.

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