BLOW: Trump is a brat, but not a child | Opinion
Rep. Liz Cheney had this to say in her opening statement Tuesday at the House Select Committee’s seventh hearing on Jan. 6, as she dismissed what she said was a new strategy among Donald Trump’s defenders: pretending that he was manipulated by outside advisers and therefore “incapable”. to distinguish good from evil.
“President Trump is a 76-year-old man,” she said. “He’s not an impressionable kid. Like everyone else in our country, he’s responsible for his own actions and his own choices.
Basically, Trump lied about the election because he was lied about the election.
But, as Cheney pointed out, Trump has actively chosen the advice of the “crazy” over that of the authorities, and therefore cannot, or at least should not, “evade responsibility by being willfully blind.”
Willful blindness is self-imposed ignorance, but as Thomas Jefferson said, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If that were the case, the laws would lose their effect because you can always pretend.
If Trump is a pro at anything, he’s faking it. He’s a kid, but he’s not a child.
Cheney’s argument immediately reminded me of the case of Pamela Moses, a black woman and activist in Memphis, Tenn.
In 2019, Moïse wanted to register to vote. A judge told her she couldn’t because she was still on probation.
So Moses turned to another lower authority – a probation officer – for a second opinion. The probation officer calculated (incorrectly, it turns out) that his probation was over and signed a certificate to this effect. Moïse submitted the certificate with his voter registration form.
The local district attorney later filed a lawsuit against Moses, arguing that she should have known she had no right to vote because the judge, the person with the most authority in the equation, had told him.
Moses was found guilty of electoral fraud and sentenced to six years and a day in prison, the judge saying: “You tricked the probation service into giving you documents showing that you were no longer on probation.”
How is that materially different from what Trump did as he tried to overturn the 2020 election results? All authorities – Bill Barr, head of the Department of Justice; White House attorneys; and state election officials – told him he had lost the election, but he sought other opinions, ones that confirmed his own view.
This is not to say that the prosecution and conviction of Moïse was justified, but rather to illustrate that we live in two different realities of criminal justice: people without power, especially minorities and those who cannot afford lawyers. expensive, are trapped in a ruthless and inflexible system. while the rich and powerful encounter an entirely different system, cautious to the point of cowardice.
This year, Moses’ conviction was overturned because a judge ruled that the Tennessee Department of Corrections withheld evidence and the prosecutor dropped all criminal charges against her.
Yet by the end of the ordeal, Moses had spent 82 days in detention, time she could not recover, and she is now permanently barred from registering to vote or voting in the state.
This is the least of the consequences that Trump should face: he should now be prohibited from participating in the electoral process.
Some of the laws Trump may have broken in his crusade to void the election — like the conspiracy to defraud the government — are more complicated than illegal voter registration, but that’s to be expected in a leaning system. in favor of the rich and powerful. Petty crime is always easier to prosecute than white collar crime.
It’s a country in which the Internal Revenue Service audits poor families – households with less than $25,000 in annual income – at a rate five times higher than it audits everyone else, according to an analysis by Syracuse University.
The way we target people for punishment in this country is rarely a pursuit of justice and fairness; it simply reflects the reality that the vice grips the tightest at the points of least resistance.
The fact that Trump has so far faced few legal repercussions for his many transgressions is eating away at people’s faith.
I believe this has contributed to our growing confidence in American institutions, as measured by a recent Gallup poll.
Many factors undermine the faith Americans once had in their institutions, of course, but I believe an unfair justice system is one of the main ones. In the poll, only 4% of Americans had great confidence in the criminal justice system.
The only institution that did worse on this metric was Congress, with just 2%.
We have a criminal justice crisis in this country, and people are painting Trump’s behavior as childish in hopes of preventing him from facing consequences in a country that imprisons real children.
According to the Child Crime Prevention and Safety Center, “About 10,000 minors under the age of 18 are incarcerated in jails and jails for adult offenders, and minors make up 1,200 of the 1.5 million people imprisoned in correctional facilities. state and federal detention”.
There is no excuse for what Trump has done, and if he is not held accountable, even more faith in the United States as the “country of laws” will be lost.