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The Beginning of the End
. . . but don't get comfortable
At long last, the moment has arrived: Trump has been indicted for January 6th and his attempts to overthrow the 2020 election.
I predicted last week that we would see an indictment by Wednesday of this week, and here we are.
The indictment is incredibly detailed. The judge assigned to the case has given out stricter sentences historically to other January 6th defendants than what was requested by prosecutors. She is an Obama appointee, and very well respected; she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 95-0.
And while six co-conspirators are mentioned in the indictment, Special Counsel Jack Smith has opted to prosecute only Donald Trump at this time, presumably because it will ensure a speedy trial.
So what does it mean? It means that barring intervening events, Donald Trump will be tried for his involvement in the events of January 6th sometime in 2024. He could in fact be in prison by the time of the next presidential election.
But if I’ve learned anything over the last seven years or so, it’s that fascism in America is a hydra— when one leader falls, another one rises to take his place. So don’t get comfortable yet.
As of this hour, there is already noise about Republicans potentially backing DeSantis on the promise of a Trump pardon. A few lone commentators are speculating that other events could prevent a speedy trial here; I disagree with them, but as is always the case in litigation, one never knows what might happen as we get toward trial, or for that matter, in it.
What I am certain of, however, is that fascism in America is far from done, and whomever the GOP ends up nominating in 2024, it will be someone aligned with white nationalism, and likely more controllable, and therefore more dangerous, than Trump– that is, if they are not foolish enough to nominate him despite his potential imprisonment.
What that means for the rest of us is that our work is far from over. Even if Trump goes to prison, Biden is soundly re-elected, and democracy is saved for a few more years, we can count on the far right to continue their efforts at mobilization and indoctrination of new generations of young white men.
We also know, as well, that the conditions that brought Trump to power in America have not been rectified, and that the battle against fascism lives right now in state legislatures and governor’s mansions, where daily new bills threatening trans lives, abortion rights, and the truth of American history become law.
Today may be a day of celebration, but it is not the end of our story. Yes, it may very well prove to be the beginning of the end of Trumpism.
But fascism in America? That still marches on.
And we have miles to go before we sleep.