Opinion: We must not forget Trump’s conviction

The Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol was the worst day of my life. I was inside the besieged building, and there was no telling how it would end.

Jan. 6 was the best day of former President Donald Trump’s life.

The man enjoyed every moment of the storming violence done in his name. He incited the throng of 30,000, directing them to the Capitol while Congress was captive inside. They marauded and vandalized the precious temple of democracy for three hours.

None of that happened by chance. The first-ever assault on our peaceful transfer of power was carefully planned. Trump could not accept that he lost the 2020 election and tried to steal it with a raging, ragtag band from all corners of the country.

Now comes another momentous turning point in history. A Manhattan jury found it’s not the first time he tried to rob the people’s verdict on the presidency.

Trump was convicted of interfering with the 2016 election, too, cheating the American people with a sordid, secret payoff scheme. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and if not for Trump’s ploy, she might be president today.

That is tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

Trump refuses to show remorse as a convicted felon in a fair-and-square court of law.

Pushing 78, he’s gotten away with treating people poorly all his life, in politics, business and social transactions. Women are known to be victims of his violations. His “social media” descended to vulgar lows never voiced by a president.

Trump never thought his naked malice and avarice would catch up to him.

The jury verdict, with its knell of “guilty … guilty … guilty” of 34 felonies, landed like sweet spring anew on the sidewalks here. “A blessing,” said a passerby. “Glad we shared this auspicious moment,” a friend said in Dupont Circle.

What a vindication.

It’s up to us — the press and public — to keep “criminal felon” in front of us. Better yet, “convicted criminal.” Trump deserves nothing less. So far, the media fails to grasp the gravity of the verdict. Republicans in Congress circle wagons ’round his wrath.

Standing in his red, white and blue outfit after the verdict, Trump raved like a madman. He blurted out his best vocabulary words. Take away “witch hunt,” “rigged,” “unfair” and “disgrace,” and he has nothing left to say.

Ask Trump the first words of the Constitution. He has no idea they are “We the People.” He could not be more ignorant of the whole meaning of America, the world’s oldest democracy. Because of one individual, it is more fragile than ever in living memory — where have you gone, Ike?

Our town squares, including the internet, are full of public “discoarse.”

Trump’s true gift is bringing out the worst in others. Have you noted a decline in our public manners since he came to power? He started offending heads of state on his very first day in office. Morals and manners are for suckers and losers, in his book. Not that he reads books.

Acting angry, bigoted and lawless, Trump gives mass permission to his base to run wild with base instincts in human nature.

President Joe Biden should seize the day and go on offense against a convicted felon who threatens more blood and revenge.

American presidents often show optimism and cheer in their campaigns. Exuberant Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican, Democrat Jack Kennedy a bright visionary. Trump breaks that rule. His rules are, there are no rules.

His tearing rants and relentless self-pity are actually un-American. There is only one other president who won with mean-spirited attacks and nefarious plots, and that is Richard M. Nixon. He had a long enemies list, but in resigning, he told us hating others ends in destroying yourself.

A word about the Supreme Court: One member flies MAGA battle flags on his houses. Very nice.

New York state Judge Juan Merchan put the high court to shame by presiding over an orderly, prompt and fair trial.

The Supreme Court should have ruled on the Jan. 6 subverting-democracy case long ere now. The fateful Bush v. Gore decision was handed down in a night. Months of silence is justice delayed and denied — for all of us.

— Jamie Stiehm is a syndicated columnist with Creators.


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