No one wants to see Donald Trump in prison more than I do. No one. But whether or not it happens is another question. But there’s a reason why putting Trump in prison isn’t a major part of every Democratic candidate’s platform. And it’s complicated.
For one thing, this is America, and America is not in the political prisoner business. I know, Trump going to jail isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a criminal one. And I further know that “lock her up” was a Republican campaign slogan that was interchangeable with “Make America Great Again.” But the idea of putting someone in jail because their political opinions differ from ours has always been justly odious to most sane Americans. That is the stuff of tinpot dictators, not us.
But I further know and agree that if Trump goes to prison it won’t be for his political ideologies, if he has any, it will be because he has committed actual crimes. These crimes could include (but are not limited to) incitement to murder, rape, sexual assault, emoluments violations, money laundering, perjury, conspiracy as outlined in the Logan Act (committed when Trump was a presidential candidate), reckless endangerment, espionage (specifically, the unlawful passing of American secrets to a foreign power), extortion (and yes, what he did to Ukraine is not bribery, it’s extortion), theft, insider trading and stocks manipulation. These are real crimes. I get that.
But Republicans won’t see it that way. Republicans will see it as pure politics, Democrats getting payback because Donald Trump was “too strong.” That Trump is a weakling is lost on them. The point is that’s how Republicans will see it, and you should have figured that out by now after listening to the Republican rants during the impeachment hearings.
Also, if you don’t think Republicans believe they owe us an impeachment, think again. The next time the Republicans are in power, that is, the next time they hold a majority in Congress with a supermajority in the Senate and a Democratic President, they will impeach and convict that president. We already have that much to contend with without Trump seeing a day in jail.
What’s that, you say, you doubt the Republicans will ever return to power after Trump? Well here’s something for you to think about: six years after Watergate — six years! — the Reagan era began, characterized by twelve years of unrestrained Republican deregulating, “trickle down,” elitist rule.
This is why many Democrats are worried about putting Trump in prison. They know perfectly well it could happen to them. Yes, it would be outrageous, yes it would be a gross miscarriage of justice, but there will be no one to stop them.
I don’t think the Republican Party that was around during Watergate would take such vengeance. But the current one will. The current Republican Party doesn’t merely support Donald Trump, they have become Donald Trump. And Donald Trump is the most petty and vindictive president of the United States we have ever had. If Trump could send everyone who has ever said anything remotely unflattering about him to prison he would do it. And that is what the Republican Party has become.
And that is why the Republican Party has to go. This is no longer about partisan politics as usual. We can’t “work with Republicans” any more than the Allied Forces could work with the Nazis. (The fact that they did anyway was to their enduring shame.) Republicans are beyond rehabilitation. They have become pure evil.
Once Republicans are gone we also have to remove money from politics. Completely. All candidates should have federally mandated free equal time on the television and in the media, with no one candidate receiving special privileges. Political donations must become illegal. A presidential candidacy should cost $100 in filing fees. That’s it.
There is nothing in the Constitution that says we have to have two political parties. In fact, Alexander Hamilton was opposed to political parties. But if there must be parties they will have to satisfy certain legal requirements, and those requirements should include that no political party can hold affiliations with terrorist organizations, such as the American Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan or the NRA. Nor can they be terrorist organizations themselves, as the Republican Party has become.
John F. Kennedy once said that you can’t negotiate with someone who says, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” America has a standing policy of never negotiating with terrorists. Let’s start enforcing that policy the minute we reclaim power by eliminating the greatest American terrorist organization of all, the Republican Party. Because if we don’t get rid of the GOP, putting Donald Trump in prison could prove very dangerous. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.