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A Debt of Gratitude to Former President Trump. Here’s why…

Posted on | March 30, 2023 | 8 Comments



Mike Magee

No man is above the law! That is the screaming headline behind last evening’s indictment (first of many) of former President Donald Trump. 

Donald Trump, for a time, sat himself in the middle of America’s triangle of power. From his seat as President, he installed himself as “a Golden Idol” and had a commanding view of the Executive branch of government. He then subverted the Justice Department and directed therm as a “strike force.” By aligning with the Federalist Society, the Christian Right and Mitch McConnell, he was able to stack the Judiciary and deliver a promised reversal of Roe v. Wade. But that federal overreach, which included rejecting  50 years of precedent and compromising women’s freedom and autonomy over their own bodies, fueled his undoing. It led to a resounding 2020 Trump defeat and Republican statewide under-performance in the 2022 Mid-term elections.

It also triggered a first ever President-led armed insurrection on January 6, 2021. But in a real-life “Democracy stress test,” this is the week when one of our three branches of government finally broke the spell and delivered a message to all Americans that no man is above the law.

Consider the record:

First, our citizenry pried the Executive branch free of Trump in 2020.

Second, our Judiciary, including state and federal courts, have rejected nearly 100 bogus cases led by unethical lawyers on Trump’s behalf, and have now indicted (for the first time in our nation’s history) a former President. Multiple indictments of a now, unprotected and disgraced Trump are certain to follow. Along the way,  hundreds of violent and disgraced fringe followers have been secured behind bars.

Third,  a Republican led Congress has been forced to cooperate on real issues in secrecy, while publicly feigning continued fealty to Trump and a small band of farcical Trump look-alike’s intent on driving their party over the cliff. With their hero now publicly indicted, expect this small band of  most ardent Congressional supporters to suddenly lose their voices. And as Trump losses mount, expect these actors to evaporate and slink back into the cracks of our society.

James Madison, author of Federalist No. 51,  predicted as much.

On February 8, 1788, he wrote: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary… the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

It has not been easy on any of us, and the job is not yet done. Our Judiciary has a complicated road ahead and must see it through. Our Congress must take lessons learned and advance legislation to curtail future Executive abuses and ensure that  voting access is secure in all fifty states. And the election of 2024 must lay the groundwork for reasserting women’s freedom and autonomy, sensible gun policy, and sound immigration policy.

But in the meantime, thank you, Donald Trump! Your service, in stress testing the durability and resilience of our Democracy, has been invaluable. Thanks to you, we have uncovered a range of weaknesses in our design, which we will correct.

But as important, we have stood up to you, a Bully and a Golden Idol, and in so doing have proven to each and every one of our citizens that “No man is above the law.”

Our Democracy for certain is a work in progress, but your place in history is permanently secured– the only President ever to be indicted in the history of the United States of America.


8 Responses to “A Debt of Gratitude to Former President Trump. Here’s why…”

  1. Joshua Sands
    March 31st, 2023 @ 10:48 am

    Mike, I love this original take on Trump’s indictment. You make so many cogent points. It’s worth noting 90% of Republicans think his indictment is political and a majority of all voters think it is political (as reported by NPR). Hopefully the DA will make a good case to convict and convince the electorate such that it reinforces the idea that no person is above the law. Trump is the first president but many Mayors, Congressmen and Governors have been indicted and convicted.

  2. James T Flynn
    March 31st, 2023 @ 11:04 am

    Please accept my grateful thanks. Your statement of the debt of gratitude we all owe to Donald Trump is wonderfully well done. You doubtless realize that you let the voters off very lightly. Trump did not make himself president, he was elected. Even in 2020, he lost but did have more than 7 million votes. Trump never hid who he was and what he would do. His election shows that our Democracy is indeed still a work in progress. Citizens must take responsibility more responsibly.

  3. Denise G. Link
    March 31st, 2023 @ 11:20 am

    RE: “Our Congress must take lessons learned and advance legislation to curtail future Executive abuses and ensure that voting access is secure in all fifty states. ” Agree, however I’m not seeing a strong commitment from Congress yet, particularly from the right side of the aisle. It appears that they are still more concerned with keeping their seats by keeping the MAGA wing happy. I think that real rescue and protection of our democracy lies first with the voters. Losses in the mid-terms were a surprise but not large enough at the state or federal levels to stop the persistent rhetoric of election fraud and “witch hunt”. I agree that another major loss in 2024 is needed. That is up to we, the people.

  4. Mike Magee
    March 31st, 2023 @ 11:43 am

    Thanks, Josh, for the important points. Much work remains, but bullies tend to collapse in a heap, as allies flea and the formerly discouraged discover allies and the courage to do what’s right. There is light ahead…

  5. Mike Magee
    March 31st, 2023 @ 12:08 pm

    Thanks, Jim, for your insightful comment. It highlights that the work ahead to lessen the threat to our form of government is significant and real. Still it is remarkable (although a close call) that we have prevailed both on January 6, 2021 and on March 30, 2023. Historians as yourself, more so than others, realize what a long shot unification of thirteen distinctly different British colonies was from the beginning. The lofty ideals in print, accompanied by a mere 6% permitted to vote, and the wholesale subjugation of women, enslavement of blacks, and mass destruction and displacement of native Americans, was and is laughable. But somehow we have prevailed (or squeaked by) in this idea of a “united” states. It is my hope that Donald Trump’s presence in this world (paradoxically) will move our culture and the electorate in the direction of compassion, understanding and partnership. But time will tell. Thanks, Mike

  6. Mike Magee
    March 31st, 2023 @ 12:21 pm

    Thanks, Denise, for your insights. As you suggest, 2024 is critically important and will help determine our pathway toward a culture marked by compassion, understanding and partnership. Multiple indictments of Trump, and determined opposition to his Republican allies, will be necessary to actively turn the corner. But it is possible and doable. Best, Mike

  7. Lawrence Williams
    April 1st, 2023 @ 3:43 pm

    Hi Mike. Another terrific article.
    The preceding comments all identify significant aspects of the never done before act of indicting a former president and the difficult actions that are going to be needed to hold this criminal accountable for his actions. I have a nagging fear that the MAGA Republicans are not going to have a “come to Jesus” moment and turn away from this “Golden Calf”. I see that in just a single day since the indictment Trump has raised over $4,000,000 in contributions. And I have yet to see a single hard core MAGA member of Congress step up to the microphone, admit their transgressions, and apologize to the American people.Their love for Trump has been and remains irrational and irrational beliefs do not respond to facts and logic. Great Caesar’s Ghost, I hope I am wrong.

  8. Mike Magee
    April 2nd, 2023 @ 10:07 am

    Thanks, Larry, for your cautionary appraisal of where we stand as a Democracy. I agree. On the $4M, there is some reporting suggesting this may be inflated by the Trump campaign to exaggerate the “outrage.” Certainly his numbers at called for protesting have been underwhelming. That aside, I do believe that multiple indictments from various jurisdictions, due to Trump’s “malignant narcissism”, will be required to have the message penetrate to him/supporters that indeed, “No man is above the law.” This may take some time, but I believe we will end up a little better/a little stronger for having (as a nation) risen to the challenge. Best, Mike

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