To Save Democracy, we Must Charge and Prosecute Trump

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Trumpists attacked the seat of democracy at the U.S. Capitol. As horrific and despicable as that was, I’m even more worried now than I was then. It’s become readily apparent, in my mind, that the only way we ever can begin to reverse this troubling march to a failed democracy is for the disgraced 45th president to be charged and prosecuted for trying to overturn a legal and fair election.

The idea that we need to move on from that day, promulgated by the Republican Party and their backers in the right-wing media world, cannot be further from the truth. Because the fact remains, and there can be no doubt, that, but for Donald J. Trump, January 6, 2021, does not happen. In other words, he bears all of the responsibility and subsequently must pay for his crimes.

Those on the radical right will say he believed in his gut that the election was stolen from him, which drove his actions afterward. He’d surely use that as a defense in any subsequent court case. But to believe such BS is to disregard what any sane person would think.

The millions of us who are not insane and voted in the 2020 election know what happened, as did all 50 state governments, including many led by Republican and Trump-loving governors. The election was certified, audited, and audited even more. There can be no question whatsoever who won the election, yet, the man who legally and fairly lost continues to push the Big Lie daily.

In my mind, and I’ve said it before, Trump is the most dangerous man in America, for he represents the idea that the will of the people can be overturned if the loser of the presidential race can’t handle that they lost. It’s the bedrock of our democracy that a smooth and orderly transition and concession from the losing candidate is paramount. Otherwise, our government institutions are at risk to the whims of a crazy man.

It’s never happened before, not in the history of the United States of America, where we did not have a smooth transition. Sure we’ve had contested and close elections. But in the end, the loser concedes because it’s the only way a functioning democracy can ever survive.

Look no further than the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore if you want a recent example. If you’re going to talk about a close election, that would be the one. Bush eventually won the Electoral College, 271–266. The election that year came down to one state, Florida, where Bush had a lead of slightly more than 500 votes. There was much confusion that night, with Gore at one point conceding to Bush — then retracting it when the vote count was shown to be much closer.

Without retracing all of the details, the race was eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which stopped the Florida Supreme Court-ordered recount of approximately 45,000 undervotes. Many on the progressive side wanted Gore to keep challenging the results in court. But, in an act of true patriotism, Gore gave up the fight and conceded on December 13, 2000. In his speech doing so, he said the following:

“I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”

We saw no such concession from Trump, and the contest was nowhere near as close as Bush v. Gore. Again, had there been such a concession, January 6 would have been nothing more than watching Congress do their Constitutional duty officially certifying the election. Not only did he not concede the election when warranted, but when asked whether he would do so several months earlier by reporters, he refused. “We’ll see what happens,” he said at the time.

This behavior, of course, was nothing new when it came to the former president. He began sowing the seeds of so-called election fraud months before he and Hillary Clinton faced off in 2016. If he won, everything was fair and square. If he lost, it’s because the Democrats stole it from him. Sort of a heads I win, tails you lose strategy.

And it simply ended up being the same playbook in 2020. Only this time, there was much more at stake. With several investigations hovering over him, Trump knew he had to win at all costs. It’s what would enable him to avoid accountability no matter what. He could pardon all who stayed loyal and ride out the statute of limitations on whatever came his way.

So, of course, he was willing to pull out all stops to stay in power. And he had scores of people around him who were more than willing to do his bidding to do just that. But here we are a year later, and accountability is nowhere in sight. Yes, the foot soldiers of the attack are still being rounded up and charged, as have some far-right white supremacist groups. 

We did hear from Attorney General Merrick Garland yesterday, reminding us that the wheels of justice are painstakingly slow. It was refreshing to hear him say that those who were at the Capitol that day, and even those who were not, would all be held to account, no matter what level of power they might possess.

But what we did not hear from the Attorney General was whether Trump’s actions leading up to January 6 were being pursued. What about the phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State, demanding he “find” 11,780 votes? Is that not an attempt to corruptly influence and overturn a legal election?

We do not know what’s going on at the Justice Department. We can only hope those wheels begin to churn a bit faster because before we know it, it’s going to be 2024. Is there any doubt now that Trump is planning to run again?

If only ten more Republican senators had grown a spine and held Trump accountable at the second impeachment trial. They could have kept him from ever seeking political office again. Instead, they failed the American people. Now we’re left with the January 6th Committee that does seem to have the former president in their crosshairs. We can only hope because time is running out, folks.

Joe Biden, today, delivered what has to be considered his most incredible speech as President, calling out the disgraced 45th for the Big Lie. It’s the kind of speech many of us have been wanting from Biden for a long time.

It was personal, and it was all true. One of the best lines of the speech went right at the heart of the matter:

“He values power over principle. His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy. He can’t accept that he lost.”

Biden can’t come out to say we need to arrest the man. He can’t tell his Justice Department to launch an investigation into the former president. It wouldn’t be prudent, and it’s not what the norms of our democracy say he should do. By the way, those are the norms that Trump never adhered to or ever believed.

But make no mistake, the only way we’ll ever be able to safeguard our beloved democracy is to use every lever of power we have left in the federal government to investigate, charge, and convict the disgraced 45th president for trying to overturn a legal and valid election.

Are there risks to charging him? Of course. We’ve never done it before in this country, and those are the kinds of things familiar to third-world banana republics. And for sure, his lunatic supporters would rise to his defense as they always do, elevating him to a politically persecuted martyr.

So be it. It’s worth the risk, for we cannot let the actions of a dangerous and corrupt man go unpunished. To do so merely allows for the possibility of it happening again — the next time, God forbid, with an even more despicable demagogue.

We simply must meet the moment. Joe Biden met the moment today in his speech to the country. The question now is, will the rest of our government of the people, by the people, and for the people rise to the occasion and take a stand for the survival of democracy?


  1. SUPERBLY ARGUED. If people are to believe in Law and in Justice it must be shown to be applicable to all equally. It’s not fair if only the foot soldiers are prosecuted and not the organisers. That’s only proof that verdicts can be bought and that politicians protect their own. No doubt the GOP will back Trump as will the remnants of the MAGA crowd if a second insurrection is called to end the Investigation or in order to boost his chances as the Republican choice for 2024 but Democracy will not survive or recover if that’s allowed to go ahead. This Investigation must be ended but with Law on the winning side as an unbiased watcher of Congress and those who bear a responsibility towards the People.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks David and good to hear from you. I see no other way. The guy has gotten away with stuff his whole life. All of these investigations, however, mean absolutely nothing if he continues to get away with it. My hope is that the T’s are being crossed and the I’s are being dotted. In other words, they’re building a meticulous case against him, whether it’s the New York AG, or our Justice Dept. If none of the investigations bear fruit, he merely becomes even more powerful to his crazy MAGA base. We’ve never had to deal with a crazy ex-president spouting lies in exile. It’s a dangerous time David. I hope we come out of this ok. I’m worried.


  2. All excellent points, Jeff, and if I have one major desire regarding this whole mess, it is to see the former guy in an orange jumpsuit behind bars. He knows he lost the election … there is no credibility to “he believed in his gut that the election was stolen from him,” for he knew he was destined to lose months before the election ever took place. Why else would he have tried so hard to suppress the postal vote, and why else would he have hired a huge team of lawyers before the election even took place. He KNEW that, given his consistently low approval rating and the fact that he had been impeached, not once but twice, he didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. He should already have been rendered ineligible to ever run for ANY public office again. The difference between Gore and the former guy? Gore is a human who ultimately cares for the nation and its people, while the former guy is a monster who cares only for himself and what he can destroy. He’s been that way since his early childhood years, according to news reports and his own niece’s telling.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Jill. The idea that we simply don’t prosecute ex-presidents in this country because it looks bad, has long passed. We’ve never had a dangerous liar like this lurking in exile. He cares not one lick about this country. Only him. Nobody, nobody can be above the law, although we both know rich and powerful people always have the upper hand. What’s completely amazing is we have one political party that still kisses his ass over and over. No spines. No patriotism. No allegiance to democracy whatsoever. There’s no choice Jill. I hope the Jan 6th committee ends up making a referral to charge him. That’s, I think, our best hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There may be a fine line between a president being prosecuted for an honest mistake or an intentional one, but in this case there can be no doubt … the former guy acted with malice aforethought and his actions were treasonous. He MUST be charged and convicted and never again allowed to hold public office — not even garbage collector or dogcatcher!!!

        The question now becomes, how do we convince his ardent, misguided followers that he is evil incarnate, not their saviour? Sigh.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. When people do not get information from legit news outlets, they have no idea. Of course most of them do not want to know. The old ‘confirmation bias’ theory. They listen and read what they want to even though what they’re getting is bullshit. As long as Fox and the like are around, we’re never going to get these people to see the light Jill. It’s why Democrats are now the last great hope for preserving and ensuring our democratic way of government continues. They better damn well be up to the challenge!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Agreed, and since we cannot constitutionally shut down illegitimate news sources such as Fox and OANN, we MUST do a better job of educating people so they can distinguish between propaganda and facts. However, humans are inclined to believe that which fits in with their own views or that which is most convenient for them. Sigh. I don’t know how we work around that, how we convince them that the truth is often inconvenient, but nonetheless must be valued. Yes, my friend, let us hope the Democrats are up to the challenge, though I’m not seeing signs of it yet. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff, when we hear push back from the Trump base and sycophants, we need to point out this is not a witch hunt. We can never let this happen again. Full stop. But, what is lost on too many, the failures of the former president occurred long before the insurrection. It began with his staged election fraud spiel that he set in motion by hiring over 1,000 attorneys and belittling the mail in process for months. What is also lost is how can a person with 1,000 attorneys and all the financial resources be so unsuccessful in proving his election fraud claims – winning only one court case out of over 65 and still losing every recount, review and audit of results. His failure was so profound, funders asked for their money back as they felt misled. Truly, it would be hard for him to lose any more than he has. Mr. Trump, you lost – be a man and get over it. I encourage people to look up these stories and not take my word for it. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As usual Keith, you’re spot-on. Unfortunately there are millions of people in this country who never hear anything about all of those things because they do not listen or read any reputable news outlets. It’s all right-wing disinfo and misinfo. They aren’t getting the real truth, and quite frankly, they do not want to hear it. It’s a dilemma and the only thing you and I can do is keep putting the truth out there and hope it can resonate with some people. None of this would be occurring back in the day before social media, or Fox News btw. It really is a huge problem and I don’t know how we fix it. It might be beyond fixable.


      1. Jeff, we must try, but it may be beyond fixable. A social media analyst revealed in an interview that conspiracy news is read six times more frequently than the truth online. That is why Facebook was so slow to fix the problem as they sold more ads. As for sources, people like Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham will get their comeuppance, but they will just be replaced by another peddler. Sadly, some people who act based on their mis and disinformation, go off half-cocked and a few wind-up in jail. It is like what parents are told, know your kids’ friends. If they hang around Donald, Tucker and Alex, something bad will happen.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sad, but so very true Keith. We may find ourselves past the point of no return. I hope not, but I’m not encouraged.


  4. I would prefer not to think of the entire episode where Trump bereft of dignity, maturity and honesty screamed and threw his toys around the room because he had lost. Of course it was what his creators wanted, the mob of whites nurtured on 30 + years of lies by radio hacks, snake oil merchants masquerading as religious ministers and crawling out of sewers neo-nazis. It was the only card he had left to play, and to their glee he played it.
    And thus they came, the mad, bad and deluded in an imitation of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, spitting on the graves of the men and women who had died or were maimed for them in WWII.
    Meanwhile the small, shrieking, talentless, folk of negligible worth who had capered and sang to be voted in either said nothing and howled their own lies.
    The whole pack would rather see the USA tore asunder, so blind and ridiculous are they. No words can truly sum up the contempt they have for the nationhood of the USA.
    There can no longer be neutrals. There can no longer be ‘So What’.
    The USA has reached the crossroads so many nations have stood at, and there are no easy choices.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with you Roger. There can no longer be neutrals. That’s an absolute spot-on take of things. You’re either on the side of democracy, or your not. Unfortunately too many over here fall into the latter. It’s not going to end well my friend. I hate to say that but it’s sure looking that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once more to paraphrase Thomas Paine “These are the times that test souls. There is no room for the summer soldier, the sunshine patriot, the fashionably nihilistic, nor the comfortably apathetic in this crisis. To shrink from the service of their country is to shrink from Reality,’

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed they are Jeff.
        I was discussing another aspect of this situation with Keith and the name Joe McCarthy cropped up.
        He tasted hubris when he stepped over a line and Joseph Nye Welch legal representative for the Army retorted (part of the quote) “Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, Sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” and then Edward R Murrow’s ‘See It Now’ programme delivered the killing blow. The US public turned against him.
        For the many faults of the 1950s, this underlying trend of decency which could then be called upon amongst the overwhelming majority is no longer there. Because a substantial minority have ditched that sense of decency and loyalty to the nation for tawdry bag of make believe and denial that even a travelling snake oil merchant of the 19th / early 20th century would have had second thoughts about using.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, they did turn against McCarthy Roger. And you may be on to something as far as the decency of human beings. Instead of running from Trump, they run to him and keep his filth and lies going. It’s such a sad state of affairs my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That it is Jeff.
        Many are nations who at times have swathes of their populations gripped by a psychosis resulting from looking for a simple and extreme solution to ills. The base of MAGA have invested too much of their credibility in Trump to back down, they would pull down the nation rather than accept hubris has come a ‘ calling.
        Not unique in History.
        After all we have the diluted version…Brexit and an equally inept though less megalomaniac guy still at the top (though for how long is another matter, dirty and unforgiving business UK politics)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. One of Jefferson Airplane’s darker songs springs to mind:

        You and me we keep walkin’ around and we see
        All the bullshit around us
        You try and keep your mind on what’s going down
        Can’t help but see the rhinoceros around us
        And you wonder what you can be
        And you do what you can
        To get balled and high
        And you know I’m still goin’ need you around
        You say it’s healing but nobody’s feeling it
        Somebody’s dealing, somebody’s stealing it
        You say you don’t see and you don’t
        You say you won’t know and you won’t let it come
        Everything someday will be gone except silence
        Earth will be quiet again
        Seas from clouds will wash off the ashes of violence
        Left as the memory of men
        There will be no survivor my friend
        Suddenly everyone will look surprised
        Stars spinning wheels in the skies
        Sun is scrambled in their eyes
        While the moon circles like a vulture
        Some stood at a window and cried
        ‘One tear I thought that should stop a war
        But someone is killing me’
        That’s the last hour to think anymore
        Jelly and juice and bubbles, bubbles on the floor
        Castles on the cliffs vanish
        Cliffs like heaps of rubbish
        Seen from the stars hour by hour
        As splintered scraps and black powder
        From here to heaven is a scar
        Dead center, deep as death
        All the idiots have left
        The cows are almost cooing
        Turtle doves are mooing
        Which is why a poo is pooing
        In the sun

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Those are some wild lyrics Roger! Never heard that one but It’d be a good bet someone was doing a bit of psychedelics when they wrote it! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      7. That’s what happens when you try and write a song about fears of nuclear war when you’re on acid. 😏 (and thus get a Eugène Ionesco play mixed up with your ideas)
        That said it’s been one of my go-to songs when viewing a grim situation.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Biden’s speech was superb. 2022 and the midterms will set the future..I’m not hopeful, but I live in Fla., the crazy state. We have the honor of the most terrorists arrested for the Jan 6th insurrection. My immediate friends are not trumpers, but the bulk of my county is…makes me ill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Biden was excellent. Tell me Mary, how is it having Ron DeSantis as Gov? Is he going to win a second term to you think? Please tell me no way!! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I would t be surprised. All the rednecks love him. And rumor is if trump does not run in 2024, he will or that if trump does, he will be the veep.
        Fla. Is insane, but I love the weather and have great like minded friends..


      2. Oh yeah. I know that guy. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. They seem to really latch on to public health quacks and put them out there like there geniuses or something. Again, it’s all about conspiracy theories and anti-science. We’re doomed! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, the weather!! That’s tough to hear, though. There’s some relatives back in Ohio, whose friends absolutely love Desantis. Of course, they’re anti-vax Trumpers too. I do not get it for the life of me Mary. I never will.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Me either and I can’t buy it’s that they all watch Fox News, though many do or that they are all racist and bigots. Religion I think plays a part though, especially the fundamentalist types. Other than that I can’t figure it out. It is really strange to me. I. Sure it will be studied some day.


  7. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    In total greement … “It’s become readily apparent, in my mind, that the only way we ever can begin to reverse this troubling march to a failed democracy is for the disgraced 45th president to be charged and prosecuted for trying to overturn a legal and fair election.”

    Liked by 1 person

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