Why Trump must go to prison

We have Grover Cleveland to thank for the fact that Joe Biden will be the 45th man to occupy the office of the president of the United States and not the 46th. Cleveland was both the 22nd and the 24th president because he was elected to two non-consecutive terms. So while Biden will technically occupy the 46th presidential slot, as it were, he will only be the 45th individual to hold the august title of President.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Trump hopes to be doing a Grover Cleveland. He now has his sights on 2024. Trump’s limitless ego together with his desperate need to continue his Nuremberg-variety rallies make a second run for the presidency almost inevitable. This disastrous eventuality would mean a continuation of the status quo, with Trump touring the country and playing to his base with his message of hate and racist dog whistles and stochastic terrorism. Only this time, instead of as president, he will do so as Martyr-in-Chief, and the knuckle-dragging hominids who slouch to his rallies will cathartically indulge their own individual portions of impotent martyrdom with him.

So Trump will continue to golf, rage-tweet and give rallies, which is practically all he did anyway as president. It’s no small victory that he will no longer be able to occupy the sacred house of the president while he does so, nor will he be subsidized by the taxes of the American people, nor will he be able to shuttle to and fro between his hate rallies on Airforce One. But he can still do considerable violence to Joe Biden’s mission to unite the American people and deal with this deadly pandemic. For this reason, and in the interest of justice, Donald Trump must go to prison.

The world is watching us right now, and the world is wondering if we really mean it when we say that America is the true beacon of freedom and the implacable foe of tyranny. Is he who has ridden the back of the tiger for the last four years going to end up inside, or is that tiger made of paper after all?

When Donald Trump becomes a citizen again, it will be vital to see what, if anything, the various investigations into his shady financial dealings, emoluments violations and tax evasions will lead to. Besides which, as I write this, Trump has the blood of 241,126 Americans on his hands, most of whom died needlessly due to his criminal neglect of the coronavirus pandemic.

But I cannot state categorically that Trump will go to prison because I believe that’s a decision that needs to be made by American due process and the rule of law. But I can state categorically that it is my belief that Donald Trump ought to go to prison in the vital interest of justice. Even so, as a citizen Trump has rights. He has the right to counsel, the right to a trial by a jury and the right to the presumption of innocence. We either extend those rights to Trump or we extend them to no one. That, too, is what it means to be an American.

But the overriding reason why Trump needs to go to prison is to keep him from causing further harm to America. After all, some 75 million Americans voted for him this time around, and that is a considerable mandate for mischief. I sincerely hope that America does not have two scales for justice, that no American President is ever above the law. In the coming months we will find out for ourselves. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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