(Todd A. Smith)
From both sides of the political spectrum, I have heard people say that the only reason former President Donald Trump is being charged with alleged crimes is because his enemies do not want to see him return to the White House.
Trump himself has said that if he had not decided to run again for the Oval Office, he would not face charges.
What Trump did leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection put America at risk of losing its democracy and turning into a dictatorship.
That is the most un-American and unpatriotic thing I have seen anyone do in my time on this planet.
Even his former Vice President Mike Pence, who had been totally loyal for over four years, said that no person is above the country, not even an outgoing president.
This week Pence told Fox News, “Sadly, the president was surrounded by a group of crackpot lawyers that kept telling him what his itching ears wanted to hear. And while I made my case to him, with what I understood my oath to the Constitution to require, the president ultimately continued to demand that I choose him over the Constitution.”
It was important that Pence, who is also running for president, said that to a Fox News audience because that audience and the audience of other conservative media outlets do not always get the truth from those in front of the camera.
On Wednesday, while all the other morning cable news shows were simply telling the truth about Trump’s attempted overthrow of our precious democracy, Fox Newstried to frame the story as a partisan effort by saying Biden’s justice department was charging Trump with crimes.
While this is obviously Biden’s administration, to make it seem that it is political or partisan to punish a person for trying to overthrow our freedoms is the ultimate disrespect to the nation.
Fox News and others saw what their lies led to on Jan. 6.
And although they might not be technically lying in their coverage, presenting the news in such a biased way could lead to the same result that outright lying would.
Unfortunately, America is at a crossroads because of the 45th President of the United States and his ability to manipulate his supporters into not thinking for themselves.
He has consistently lied.
He has consistently broken the law.
And he has consistently placed himself ahead of the people he wants to lead.
There was a time when politicians put the people ahead of themselves.
Sure, some will say that many politicians were always just power-hungry and that is true.
But at least they did not overtly put themselves above the entire country and its way of governing.
Trump says that charging him with crimes is just election interference.
If that is true, how does he describe his behavior in late 2020 and early 2021?
Trying to appoint fake electors is election interference in my book.
Trying to get officials in Georgia to find him enough votes to win an election he lost is election interference in my book.
And encouraging his followers to use violence to overthrow a presidential election is election interference in my book.
But it is almost to the point where I cannot totally blame the former guy as President Joe Biden calls him.
I must put the onus on his cult-like supporters and the rest of the Republican Party who seem scared to death to criticize him and his un-American behavior.
No matter what he does to destroy the fabric of democracy, his supporters are right there to give him their hard-earned money, which he spends much of it on his own legal defense and not his 2024 presidential campaign.
And no matter how many elections that Trump loses for the GOP, many still jump to get back in bed with him.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for better results.
And right now, the Republican Party and the MAGA movement must be the dictionary definition of insane.
More importantly, they are the dictionary definition of unpatriotic, and that is something I never would have imagined for the party of Reagan and Bush.
A party that once prided itself on the Constitution and limited government now supports a candidate who openly tried to overthrow the government, and disenfranchise millions of voters, simply because things did not go his way.
While Trump called his arraignment on Thursday a sad day for America, I say it is a great day.
It shows that no person is above the law.
Having Trump stand trial, if media outlets cover it in a non-biased way, will show all the Trump supporters that he has committed crimes and that they have been duped to think it is a witch hunt.
And if convicted, it will show any future politician that there is a price to pay when you put power over the people who gave you that power in the first place.
What happened on Jan. 6, 2021, is not what should happen in America.
That sort of thing happens in third world countries.
For centuries, America has shown other countries how to govern.
America has shown other countries what true freedom looks like.
Unfortunately, we almost lost all that because of the selfishness of one person who does not care about America or its freedom, especially the freedom to have one’s voice heard on election day.
Maybe losing his freedom will make us all freer as a result.