On August 14, 2023, former U.S. President Donald Trump was indicted on criminal charges in the state of Georgia along with 18 others for conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
This state indictment — the fourth indictment facing the ex-President — charges Trump with 13 felonies including creating and filing false documents and statements, forgery, computer theft, harassing election workers, and soliciting public officials to violate their oaths of office.
In an unprecedented move, Trump and his 18 co-defendants have been charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), an act which is normally used to prosecute organized crime.
Those charged along with Trump are his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, his election lawyer Sidney Powell, five other Trump officials, five Trump allies, three fake electors, and two alleged voting system breachers.
The Georgia indictment adds weight to Trump’s previous August 1st federal indictment — the third against the ex-President – which similarly relates to his attempts to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump was also indicted in June 2023 (updated in July) on federal charges for the retention of classified documents and conspiracy to hide them from the government and from his own attorneys. Earlier, in March 2023, he was indicted in Manhattan on state charges related to a hush-money payment to an adult film star.
On top of all these indictments, on May 9,2023, he was convicted of sexual abuse and defamation against a female advice columnist, with his victim awarded $5 million – an award later upheld by a federal judge.
The Georgia criminal charges are arguably the most serious as convictions would almost certainly result in prison terms. And while Trump or a future Republican president could arguably pardon him on federal convictions, this would not be possible in Georgia. Under Georgia’s Constitution, pardons can only be granted by an independent five-person State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and a pardon cannot be applied for until after five years of any sentence has been served.
So much has been written and discussed in the media about Trump’s many criminal indictments that I don’t want to comment on them further, other than to say I hope he is convicted and sentenced to prison for the rest of his life.
What I do want to write about today is my ongoing confoundment at the continued support he receives from the American public.
This is despite his many criminal indictments.
This is despite the fact that a substantial number of his former cabinet ministers and administration officials have stated publicly that he is unfit for the presidential office.
Trump lies as a matter of course. By 2021, the Washington Post had catalogued an astonishing total of 30,573 untruths he had told during his term as president.
He is certainly aided and abetted in his behaviour by the parts of the media and social media which push controversy at the expense of rational assessments. Lies by politicians are repeated and embellished by commentators. Outlandish conspiracy theories are reported as facts.
Sadly, many people obtain more pleasure from witnessing a political leader railing against vulnerable individuals and supposed ‘enemies’ than they do from listening carefully to well thought out arguments and policy proposals.
Celebrity is now seen as a qualification for public office. Politics has become about entertainment as opposed to good governance.
And far too many people in society are looking for a saviour. Someone who can do their thinking for them.
Trump appeals to our base mentality. Not the best in us but rather the worst in us.
Watch the Trump debacle if you wish but also try to understand why so many otherwise good citizens so strongly support such a bad individual.
Those like me who are concerned about the strength of our democratic system know that we ignore Trump’s persistent popular support at our peril.
Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]
Latest daily total (August 20, 2023): 419.76ppm
One year ago (August 21, 2022): 416.35ppm
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