Discover more from Osborne Ink
Donald Trump Cannot Run For President
Not shouldn't, nor should be stopped from trying, but literally cannot
RICO, the shorthand reference for the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is well-established law. The United States Supreme Court has upheld the 1970 statute establishing RICO and expanded its powers to the states. Now that former President Donald Trump has been charged in Georgia with taking part in a conspiracy to commit election-tampering laws, the Fulton County prosecutor need only prove his involvement in that conspiracy for the jury to convict.
Proving that the conspiracy existed in 2020 will not be difficult at all. Trump’s people were caught red-handed on camera tampering with election equipment and copying ballots. These are no-nos, no matter who you are or what you represent. Put simply, Trump is doomed. His lawyers can stretch out the trial, verdict, sentence, and handcuffs in hopes of winning, so that Trump can issue himself a pardon on January 20, 2025, but this is not a viable election strategy.
Furthermore, Trump does not have a great track record of success with lawyers. Two of his lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, are now co-defendants. (“At last, the Kraken has landed,” John Schindler quips about Powell, “but not the way she promised or intended.” Broken attorney-client relationships litter Trump’s history, some due to unpaid bills and others on record as congressional testimony. A lawyer is not getting him out of this. Daniel Webster couldn’t get him out of this. His proverbial goose is cooked.
I know more about Trump’s victory now than I did in 2016. Put another way, there are things that I always understood about Trump voters, that I came to understand better with time, that do not fit the moldy analysis of punching Nazis and cannot be learned from a diner in Iowa.
Writing for BreitbartUnmasked during the primary season, I said that Trump was “the revenge of class” in America. A political discourse in which ‘class’ is unmentionable will produce reactive political results that defy that orthodoxy in ways that may be incoherent as class analysis.
To restate that political sciency-wiency bit there: when you make something unmentionable, people will act out in unexpected ways to communicate their discontent. (See also the word ‘woman.’)
Americans outside the acceptability of blue sub/urban elites (‘high class’) tended to be working class (less likely to have a college degree), hold religious beliefs, live far from a city, or be men. These ‘low class’ Americans resent their marginalization, which is not the kind that leftists yammering about ‘marginalization’ care to ameliorate.
An example of what I see now: the collective craziness known as ‘Gamergate’ was an early indicator of the 4chan effect, itself a mirror-antagonist of the Tumblr culture represented by the woman at the center of that firestorm, Anita Sarkeesian. It is worth noting that Sarkeesian recently announced she is shutting down her Feminist Frequency website. Glancing at her Youtube channel, I was struck by how little engagement her recent videos have. Of course, 4chan and Tumblr are no longer what they were, either. Nevertheless, Sarkeesian developed a ‘safe space’ that turned into an echo chamber.
Yet in November 2016, 4chan and Gamergate were swept into the new class of enemies of progress known as the ‘alt-right.’ Fused in the public mind with the events of Charlottesville in 2017, the narrative of misogynists and racists and neo-Nazis (they are all the same people anyway, right?) arm-saluting Trump became hegemonic in the discourse. It was always a superstition. America has real Nazis in it — what nation doesn’t, anymore? — but nowhere near enough to flip even one swing state.
Trump was a product of frustrations with things that cannot be said. Racist things are the least of these. Gamergate was not even really about Sarkeesian, or feminist video games, or truth in video game journalism. It was an expression of frustration with the consequences of feminism. The people most frustrated by it are young men. As seen in the new Barbie movie, liberal or ‘choice’ feminism conceives of male and female as free and independent actors in isolation, disconnected. This is not how boys are programmed to be. Little wonder that they turn to fatherly figures like Jordan Peterson, or that Peterson must then be monstered as a literal Nazi.
Oxycontin had burned through rural America in 2016. The makers lied about their product. They captured the medical and pharmacy industries. They addicted and ruined and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and nothing has happened to them. If a foreign country did this to us, we would bomb the shit out of it. We would invade and erase the regime that did it. Rather than empathy, any number of ‘woke’ commentaries sneered at the latecoming empathy of white Americans to victims of the War on Drugs. Resentment fed Trump’s performance in 2016 because the country was already in the early grip of woke fever.
All of which is to say that Trump supporters have my sympathy. Trump does not, but most of his voters do. They heard Hillary Clinton call them deplorable and went out of their way to respond through the sanctified secrecy of the ballot. Many of them probably agreed with 80-85 percent of her program, but they resented her. Democrats should maybe stop blaming society and face up to this problem, as they seem determined to repeat it at scale.
I can even sympathize with the desire to pardon everyone involved in the January 6 events on Capitol Hill. Heck, I can even understand the mind of a Trump voter who still believes the election was stolen and wants him to be vindicated. I don’t agree with them, but I understand them. It’s an understandable impulse. But there is no scenario now in which Trump escapes criminal jeopardy, certaintly before next November, possibly before the primary season is over. As much as their potential voters love Trump, the Republican Party will not want a nominee running from a jail in Georgia.
Trump now faces five different courtroom threats to his freedom. All of them will require his presence as a matter of course. He will have to juggle this courtroom schedule with rallies and campaigning. Let us be honest with ourselves: Trump will not succeed at running for president and defending himself at the same time.
Trump cannot do it. Note that I do not say that he shouldn’t do it, or that someone should stop him from trying to do it. I say that Trump cannot do something that is impossible to do. I have no idea how this will play out in the first GOP primary debate next week.
Ironically, the way that Trump supporters might get their revenge lies through a quick Trump exit. His replacement by another candidate — let’s call this entirely notional person ‘Nikavek De Sanscottence’ to eliminate bias — would leave that new nominee standing in sharp contrast to the emerging corruption scandal that is Joe Biden’s family business.
I have also come to understand Democrats better since 2020.
Ghosts of three past events haunt their prospects next year: Covid, Hunter’s laptop, and the woke turn of the ‘no malarky’ man.
All three are about Americans being gagged, silenced, denied a debate on things that were viscerally close to them.
Trump’s Twitter account is not what I mean. Masks and vaccines and Ivermectin were, and are, and will always remain, controversial because no debate was allowed and people with strong beliefs about these topics were silenced. Progress-flag waving, BLM-shirted Democrats made masks into political signalling and embarrassed themselves with shrieking hysteria. Some of them still cannot let go. In their own minds, it is safety. To the rest of America, it looks like elitist snobbery.
Covid censorship empowered the hall monitors of polite opinion to remove ‘gender critical’ voices from apps, too, and about half of American Democrats disagree with the tenets of gender ideology. This is one example of how the effects of the pandemic magnified negativity around other issues. China nearly came apart because the Chinese had enough of lockdowns; Americans are long past being very tired of Branch Covidians and they hate being reminded of the pandemic, and not just because of the virus. I know Trump voters, former Democrats, who lost family in the pandemic. They still want to vote for him. More than ever, they say.
Hunter’s laptop neatly combines the censorship and woke turn into one basic outrage. Censorship of the story extended to a storied newspaper. Newspaper censorship is un-American. Americans have learned that the laptop was indeed real. They do not enjoy being lied to. They dislike un-American press censorship. Many Trump supporters believe that the story would have swung the election without this censorship. I disagree. However, the cover-up is always the real crime, and so the truth of the laptop will shape the next election.
Democrats: Biden has a stink of corruption on him. No mask will block the stench. Without Trump on the ticket, he is no longer the less-corrupt choice. It will be much harder to terrify voters into voting against the orange menace if you are celebrating his incarceration. No Trump, no immunity from attention to the reality of Joe Biden’s obvious grift.
And the ‘lower classes’? They will not be happy about that.
Mind you, I had low expectations for Biden. He was not my first or second or third choice of Democrat. His ‘inevitability’ was always an elite-driven decision that Democratic voters agreed to support because they were terrified of Trump. I knew he had a whiff of corruption about him and he fits the recent mold of Democratic president.
The Clintons came to Washington as middle-class and they left D.C. as upper-class.
The Obamas arrived from Chicago as middle-class and left as upper-class.
Joe Biden has been the train-riding man of the people his whole career. He wanted to leave the White House as a member of the upper-class.
Arguably, all of these images were false to some degree. The point still stands: they all got richer. Americans ‘know’ that the system is corrupt, and when they see this confirmed, they choose the lesser of two corruption evils. It is only when they perceive one choice as uncorrupted that they express their hatred of corruption.
‘Blackpilling’ and conspiracy theories are disabling mechanisms: tell someone the system is rigged, and they are less likely to vote. When Americans have a choice between a candidate they perceive as independent of the corrupt system, and a candidate they perceive as an agent of that corrupt system, the least partisan voters are liable to break for the former every time. It happened in 2016. America’s elites were so spooked as a result that in 2020, they decided they had to destroy the Bill of Rights in order to save it. For America’s sake, they cannot succeed.
Osborne Ink is a reader-supported publication. Please like, share, subscribe, and consider a paid subscription to support my work