The Trial of Trump

Unless you’ve been living under the rock these past few months, you’ll be aware that former US president Donald Trump has been on trial for falsifying business records. His is the first criminal trial of a former president, and that alone would have been enough to generate considerable media attention. Since this is Donald Trump, and since he is bidding to return to the White House, there has been frenzied interest in this case. Even before anyone sat down in a courtroom, there has been tremendous speculation about the impartiality of the jury, and lots of allegations – primarily from Trump and his supporters – about bias against him.

Mr Trump is certainly a polarising figure. There are those who virtually worship him, even going as far as to acknowledge his failings, yet still somehow parading him as a paragon of virtue, and somehow a worthy man for scores of Evangelicals to flock behind. Trump’s legacy of failure is well-documented, and the length and breadth of criminal and civil charges brought against him cannot be dismissed as nothing more than a conspiracy against him. There is too much going on for it to be merely anti-Trump bias.

Yet Trump’s worshippers supporters continue to be steadfast in their belief that the only fair outcome to his trials would be for him to be found not guilty. There is no standard of evidence they will accept that displays him to be guilty. This is a huge case of poisoning the well, and pre-emptively crying foul against any outcome they do not want or like.

How is it that Trump has so effectively hoodwinked so many into believing his rhetoric? He is not even an especially articulate or charming speaker. Recently, his media account on his own social media platform, Truth Social, shared a campaign that spoke of a ‘unified Reich‘. Now, I will grant that Trump may not direct and dictate everything that his account shares on his social media platform, but the Nazi-esque styling of the post, and the language used, is not far away from his usual fiery style, a style that so many of his followers lap up. It brings me back to that question: how has he hoodwinked so many? I am struggling to figure out how the man who openly mocked a disabled reporter could be regarded as such a virtuous leader.

I’ve gotten off-track a bit. The relevance of the above paragraph is to show that Trump can be routinely awful, yet his supporters will refuse to concede that with all of his failures, dodgy activities, and outright cruelty, he could somehow be guilty of crimes. It is inconceivable to them that a guilty verdict would represent justice, because they swallow Trump’s preaching of bias without hesitation, and without question. True justice is not served by letting Trump’s belligerence influence proceedings, and we have to trust that the jury – which has been painstakingly selected to avoid bias as much as possible – will draw the right conclusions from the presented evidence. Trump’s supporters would be wise to take their blinkers off, and accept the verdict, come what may.

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