Friday, July 5, 2024

MCPP: What Donald Trump's Conviction Says About America

 You can tell a lot about someone’s politics given what they might have to say about the conviction of Donald Trump.

Anyone telling you that Trump’s conviction is comeuppance for a sordid hush-money scandal, in which he broke the law, probably leans left.
Someone explaining that it was all a disgraceful attempt by Joe Biden’s Democrats to stop the 45th President from being re-elected, is likely to be a conservative.
In an increasingly post-religious society, politics has become a substitute belief system for many.  The danger is that we view everything through the prism of politics.

Rather than ask what Trump’s conviction means for your side in the Reds versus Blues battle, perhaps what we ought to reflect on what this might all mean for America. 

For most of human history, the law meant whatever the powerful said it meant.  Anyone who has ever tried to do business in Russia or China knows that’s still the way things are in much of the non-Western world.

A system in which the law is elevated above the executive – in which the rule of law has supremacy – is historically unusual.  Indeed, it is largely the creation of people who spoke and wrote in the language in which you are reading this.
It was English-speaking civilization that invented the notion that the powerful are constrained by rules, and that the rules should apply to everyone equally.  A straight line runs from Magna Carta at Runnymede to the Founders at Philadelphia.  The US Bill of

Rights of 1789 was preceded by an English Bill of Rights of 1689.  

America has become the most successful society on earth precisely because in this Republic, government doesn’t get to change the rules as it likes.

“Exactly!” the anti-Trumpers will say. “Trump’s conviction is true to that tradition!  Even former Presidents are subject to the same rules as everyone else”.

But is that really so?  In what way has Trump been subjected to the same set of rules?  Surely, those on the right will say, he has been singled out, prosecuted over something essentially trivial?
Those that brought the charges, it seems to me, were motivated by politics, rather than justice.
Prosecuting political rivals is what they do in Russia, Brazil or Malaysia.  It is awful to see political prosecutions in the United States – and it bodes ill for the future of freedom in this country and around the world. 

Twenty years ago, George Bush’s electoral strategist, Karl Rove, hit upon the idea of using ‘wedge-issues’ to galvanize the conservative base.  At the time, Rove seemed to be remarkably successful.  Republicans won.
Two decades on, I wonder if it was partly Rove’s ‘wedge-issue’ approach that provoked the left into doing something similar.  Under Obama, the left became increasingly inflammatory.  Perhaps there is a straight line that runs from the politics of ‘wedge-issues’ in the noughties to the culture wars we see today?
Some on the left might be tempted to celebrate the use of lawfare to try to take down a political opponent.  They might want to stop and think first.  It is, I worry, only a question of time before we start to see something similar from the right. 
If lawfare becomes part of American politics, what chance is there that the United States remains exceptional compare with all those other less happy republics? 

It is not just the legal process that America needs to de-politicize.  We need to stop making everything a question of where you stand in the culture war.  Your views on Disney or money management, Taylor Swift or Chick-Fil-A should not automatically correlate with the way you vote. 

If it is politics alone that gives you a belief system in life, you are going to end up desperately disappointed with both politics and life.
The United States was founded by people that believed that to survive, a Republic needs a moral citizenry.  America needs to believe in something above politics and beyond the next election cycle.


Douglas Carswell is the President & CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.  MCPP sponsored this post. 



Anonymous said...

"In an increasingly post-religious society, politics has become a substitute belief system for many."

This is a salient insight by Carswell, and the theme of his editorial. Now if we're allowed to say/name who/what caused the drift away from the moral/Christian-based society we were supposed to sustain - that will be the miracle of the modern age.

Anonymous said...

Lee Atwater and Rove indeed started refining " negative campaign" tactics. And, while churches were part of the Civil Rights moment, it was television evangelists and Reed who organized the propaganda campaign and elevated mixing religion and politics. Billy Graham visited both candidates in the White House and stayed out of the political fray. That's no longer the case.

I would remind everyone that it wasn't Watergate when the GOP first engaged in criminal behavior to win a campaign. They now have a convicted criminal who is also a serial adulterer, who took his current wife(then a nude model) to a Jeffery Epstein party where neither seemed to recognize teenage girls and old men as the party guests. Not since Warren G Harding have we seen such unethical behaviors.

That anyone is trying to excuse these behaviors and forget that is was the GOP who went after the legal profession so and gutted the vetting process so that the ABA no longer had any clout in determining whether those running are qualified.

Democrats are more than a little to blame for politicizing the process in Supreme Court appointments after Bork, but the GOP Senate politicized the appointment process worse by stopping the sitting President's appointment from even being considered when Ginsberg died.
So now, everyone is surprised that some Democratic politicians are foolish enough to decide " two can play this game"?

I hope the MCPP have all read 2025.

I suspect it's too late and please try not to be surprised when political opposition becomes a prison offense here. It happened when money and media entertainment become more important than character and honor even in our churches. It's happened in other civilizations in the past and we learned NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

Trump, in his magnificent escape from Biden's unconstitutional many tentacled gulag, is the resounding winner of Biden's soviet show trial kangaroo acts.

Anonymous said...

Lawfare , sounds like a word my fifth grader would make up to explain how the wall got repainted while his friends were over. During the debate I heard right out lies by Trump about the J6 attack. Whether he gets protection from the Supreme Court or not he still has been convicted of business fraud . It’s public knowledge that he has been unfaithful to every one of his wives. He has been ordered to pay more than 90 million for an encounter with a lady in a dressing room. Sure it’s a conspiracy .

Anonymous said...

I can stop reading when an author mentions "conservative" or "conservatism." There aren't any meaningful, substantive conservatives; there is no meaningful, substantive conservative movement, and there hasn't been for half a century now. If these so-called conservatives conserve anything at all, it's only conserving a place for their own snout in the Big Government slop trough.

In the controlled mainstream media, a real conservative will have already been deplatformed and relegated to the Dark Web or internet hinterland, his domain name stolen with no provider willing to give him any place to restart a web page. And almost everyone -- especially these contemporary conservatives -- are just fine with that.

Anonymous said...

Tit for tat. When listing Presidents who were unfaithful to their spouses let’s not forget John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton and the unforgettable Lyndon Johnson who is also suspected by many of having a role in the murder of several including Kennedy. There are certainly others of both parties that could be included.
But I do agree both parties seem to be on course to interpreting the law in a way that fits their needs.

Anonymous said...

The author and I couldn't be more different on the school choice issue but this piece is terrific.

Trump lost me on January 6. I voted for him in 2016 despite not being a fan of his rhetoric and didn't think he had a chance at winning nationally. I think he was so surprised he actually won he didn't know what to do next. TDS was a very real thing by the media and left wing but the adoration Trump received by many on the right was unfounded.

This isn't an endorsement of Biden at all. He;s a paper tiger and other people have been running the country the last four years as we've seen a continued fracturing of all around us. I'm 50 years old and worry about the US my grandchildren (not yet born) will see.

Anonymous said...

im not even like a huge MAGA tard but the political persecution of Trump does nothing but draw synpathy to him. Also makes him seem like a schmuck for not prosecuting Biden, Hilary, and Obama for their “alleged” crimes. Seriously, Obama is worth like $500 million now.

reximus said...

“The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it’s more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life,”
- General John Kelly, former Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump

Moral Citizen said...

"The United States was founded by people that believed that to survive, a Republic needs a moral citizenry." That would leave out the Republican nominee for President.

Anonymous said...


You're kind of all over the place except for an astute accuracy toward your ending:

"It happened when money and media entertainment become more important than character and honor even in our churches."

Again, when will we be allowed to say/name those who controls the world's banking system (money) and corporate media industrial complex (entertainment) that you identify as the primary reason for our downfall?

Burke said...

Intelligent and balanced. The comments less balanced but intelligent. Where are the clowns (the trolls)?

Thanks, Mr. Carswell.

Anonymous said...

"...lies by Trump about J6"? See the Feds and Bennie Thompson and Pelosi if you want J6 deceit.

Paying women to shut up is legal. He also keeps paying for his exes' upkeep, also not a crime.

Watch the Manhattan trial overturned, in a few months, regardless of who wins presidency, and suffer some more.

Anonymous said...

"he still has been convicted of business fraud"

I read where a lawyer said there's no conviction until the judge sentences the defendant. Is this true? If that is the case, there's a lot of slander, and libeling going on.

Anonymous said...

Sure is funny watching and listening to all of this talk about adultery/being unfaithful from the Democrat party of:

Teddy “Chappaquiddick” “Killed Mary Jo Kopechne” Kennedy,
Bill “Ruined a Poor, Only 21 Year Old Monica Lewinski’s Life” Clinton and
Joe “Ashley Biden’s Diary has been Authenticated” Biden.

Maybe Webster’s should use said comments as the example definition of “Hypocrisy.”

P.S. Re: convictions, etc., it’s not called a “conspiracy,” it’s called weaponization, i.e. if the same s__t eaters were prosecuting Democrats for their crimes, we would all be on the same team.

Whereisjody said...

The real president (Hunter) is a convicted felon, who does not have a security clearance but sits in on all meetings with his dad (sleepy Joe).

DJT's faux conviction will soon be reversed by the trial judge.

Anonymous said...

Holy Shittoli! I came in from a day of yardwork, thought I was clicking on Jackson Jambalaya and this damned C-Spire connection has linked me to The View with guest appearance by that Maddow guy.

I'll now see if I can bow out of this page, respectfully, and leave it to
to nipple-ringers, perpetual malcontents and other assorted Never-Trumpers.

Anonymous said...

Trump needs to learn how to keep his big mouth shut! It’s all about him,always has been!

Anonymous said...

After all the time and money spent on project 25, Trump is disavowing any connection . I am done with him.

Anonymous said...

@7:23pm It does appear that KF has decided on a new audience because he does not post a LOT of conservative voices, and is letting the "younger" views through kind of like the Southern Border. I guess he needs replacements to financially support his blog because the conservatives aren't anymore. Can you say "sell out" KF? Oh, you're a business man...we forgot.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks the conviction for bookkeeping errors is anywhere close to legitimate has an IQ less than 80. Same with the “business fraud” where the Judge said a $500 million property was with only $19 million despite the bank and several appraisers agreeing on the much higher number. These trials are nothing but a charade. Oh, and FDR had girlfriends while he was in office.

Bill Dees said...

11:14 AM. Trump is indeed convicted. The jury convicts, and the judge only sentences.

Anonymous said...

I really miss Reagan and GW Bush.

Anonymous said...

Bill Dees....the U.S. Supreme court rendered Trump immune from prosecution. Did you take your meds today?

Anonymous said...

Now the RNC is removing a federal abortion ban from the platform to appease Trump. How low can we go ?

Anonymous said...

July 8, 2024 at 2:11 PM, Trump is doing the right thing. Abortion is, and should remain, a state issue. The power should remain in the hands of the people.

The only way to get the power closer to the people would be to vote on the issue county, by county. A federal decision is too far from the people. I say this because the representation, in Washington, D.C. cannot be relied on to do the will of the people. That's my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit you either stand for what is right or you weasel out !

Anonymous said...

that political show trial ''conviction ''is gonna be taken out with the rest of the biden garbage on election day in november.

that garbage will really stink by then.

Beauregard said...

July 8, 2024 at 8:50 PM, if doing the right thing is considered weaseling, I will weasel every time.

The Supreme Court ruled that abortion is an issue belonging to the states, that was a correct ruling.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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