Politics - News Analysis
The Boston Globe: We Must PROSECUTE Donald Trump to Save Our Democracy
For well over a year, this site has expressed reluctance about the state of New York prosecuting Donald Trump. We have continually said that such a monumental decision, one to prosecute an ex-president, has to be done by the entire country, and brought in the name of the entire country. The prosecution of an ex-president shouldn’t read “The State of ________ v. Ex-Presidnt,” it should/must be brought as “The United States of America” versus Donald Trump.
We have also discussed the “No win” situation. If one doesn’t prosecute Trump, it opens the door to further abuses. Future presidents will see a nation that couldn’t bring itself to punish some of the most blatantly corrupt policy and acts ever taken by anyone near the top of the U.S. Government, never mind a president. On the other hand, the 35-40% of this country that still loves Trump has proven itself – already – to be dangerously unstable and may get violent anyway. There is an argument to be made that the country would invite a true violent second Civil War if the DOJ chose to prosecute Trump and it simply wasn’t worth it. Expose them, embarrass them, and start writing the history, “Most corrupt president,” “Worst President,” etc. etc. and just hope.
Lincoln went to war to keep the entire country together while also freeing the slaves. Lincoln didn’t have to worry about weapons that kill hundreds with the press of a button, including civilians. Lincoln didn’t have to worry about destroying much of the infrastructure that has taken one hundred years to build up.
There is no “good” answer. There is a “less bad” answer and we’re not qualified to make it. The editors at the Boston Globe have come to their decision:
Stay up-to-date with the latest news!
Subscribe and start recieving our daily emails.
There is only one way left to restore deterrence and convey to future presidents that the rule of law applies to them,” the board argued. “The Justice Department must abandon two centuries of tradition by indicting and prosecuting Donald Trump for his conduct in office.”
“That’s not a recommendation made lightly,” they wrote. “The longstanding reluctance to prosecute former leaders is based on legitimate concerns about the justice system being used to settle political scores. But filing charges against former leaders is not a radical step, either: Foreign democracies, including South Korea, Italy, and France, routinely manage to prosecute crooked former leaders without starting down a slippery slope to authoritarianism. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France was recently found guilty of bribery, a decade after his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was convicted of corruption. France’s democracy and its image around the world remain intact.
“A commander in chief tried his very best to subvert democracy,” they argued. “He attacked his own country. Five people died. Allowing him to go unpunished would set a far more dangerous precedent than having Trump stand trial. To reform the presidency so that the last four years are never repeated, the country must go beyond passing laws: It must make clear through its actions that no person, not even the president, is above them.”
Very persuasive. May well be right. The problem is that we could write just as persuasively about the dangers accompanying such an attempt and that it’s best to simply let the sleeping hog lie… while also continuing to sue the hell out of him and exposing what he did. We could easily be wrong.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak