Black Cat Blog

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A Sobering Look At America

Last night was a very pivotal moment in America with the conviction of ex-president Donald Trump on all 34 felony counts. Donald Trump is now considered a convicted felon and I was in personal jubilation over this. Now one day later, I am taking a much different and more concerned look. The times ahead actually look even more uncertain in many respects with several potential outcomes from this trial.

I started considering the implications of Trump’s post conviction speech where he angrily states, ‚ÄúThis was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5, by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here.” These words are not just the whining of a man not accustomed to losing but show utter contempt for democracy, underlining his mission to exact retribution on all of his detractors if and when he becomes president.

The above words are not uttered by someone professing to love democracy, they are authoritarian, strong man words. In some ways, the entire mission of convicting Trump was the classic Catch-22 situation. To do nothing would have shown Americans and the world that some people are above the law and to convict would be to galvanize Trump’s most unhinged supporters; potentially pave the way to the White House for him or worse.

What if Trump loses the election come November 5th? I wonder if we could see civil unrest that makes January 6th look like a Broadway performance by comparison. I wonder if civil war could happen yet again but not drawn by factions instead of borders. This is a particularly prickly time to live in America. What if Trump wins? Does he make good on his threats to exact retribution? We know Trump is not entirely mentally well and he could seek to carry out his threats and he has a galvanized army of supporters ready to interpret his words literally: They’re ready to carry out his wishes to a ‘T.’

For the first time I can see the difficulty that the Biden Administration faces domestically and how they must proceed very carefully with every move calculated like a chess match. I am not fan of Biden by any means but I feel for him being in this situation because it is virtually untenable. There’s no good move other than to focus on November 5th and not play up the conviction. Playing up the conviction risks further galvanization of Trump supporters, the White Christian Nationalists, and other MAGA types.

Should Trump win another term as presidents, could he really carry out his threats? He is certainly unwell and self-consumed enough to try and we would only have to hope that there is still enough of the remaining rule of law to stop him cold in his tracks. I do think it is within the realm of possibility for him to attempt authoritarian acts via presidential order. The big question is would his more moderate followers go along with it or would they choose the constitution. These are the big questions.

Either way the time for jubilation and celebration is over. Reality has sunk in for America and we must be prepared to deal with the potential for unrest and authoritarianism. Never in the history of this country has the threat of fascism become more real. We could be heading for times that make the McCarthy era look like showmanship. The people that are non-authoritarian and are not White Christian Nationalists must take this threat seriously. The answer to the problems of democracy are not a strong-man dictatorship.

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