Our Collective, Systemic Failure

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to supporters while campaigning for the GOP nomination at Erie Insurance Arena on July 29, 2023, in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

America blew it. 

I generally support special prosecutor Jack Smith’s indictments of Donald Trump. The classified documents case is open and shut as far as I can tell. As for the charges dealing with the former president’s attempt to steal the election, they are a heavier lift as a strictly legal matter. Some charges may not clear the evidentiary and legal hurdles in their path, but they are still worth bringing. 

Trump supporters disagree. Their arguments span from anti-American idiocy  (Trump is essentially America’s Alexei Nalvany) to good faith, nuanced, complaints about the insufficiency of the statutes Smith is relying upon.

But even if Smith has the law and evidence entirely on his side, the fact that we’ve arrived at the point of prosecuting a former president is proof of the breakdown of republicanism.

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