Alan Zendell, August 22, 2018

The revelations that the president’s former attorney and campaign manager were both guilty as charged were only news in that their federal court convictions confirmed what most of us already knew. They are both guilty of serious felonies, the sorts of crimes that would result in prison time for you and me if we were convicted of them, and for every single other American, except one.

Despite Michael Cohen’s admission that he was directed to commit those crimes by then candidate Donald Trump, and the fact that Trump hired Paul Manafort, a corrupt white collar criminal with well-known ties to Russia to be his campaign manager, Trump will never see the inside of a courtroom because of them. Even impeachment, while a possibility, is more fantasy than reality. No one should waste another minute thinking about either of those outcomes − at least until after the midterm elections.

If you voted for Trump because you hoped he might actually clean up the Washington swamp, or because you hated Hillary, or because you felt so desperate to change the direction of our dysfunctional government that you were willing to try anything new, you now know it was a mistake. If you didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton, or you voted for your dog because you thought it was a better choice than either of them, you might have thought you were abstaining, but you now realize that choosing neither of them was actually a vote for Trump.

You knew he was dishonest, profane, and totally lacking in compassion, and you knew he was morally unfit to lead this country. Maybe you got caught up in all the lies and misinformation spread by hackers working for people trying to disrupt our system. Maybe you were just sick of the obscene spectacle of the 2016 election campaign. It’s not that I don’t love dogs or that I think we might not be better off with a dog in the Oval Office, but face it, you made a mistake.

Now that we’re clear, get over it. You need forgiveness and redemption first? Okay, you’re forgiven, we all make mistakes. It’s time to make amends.

The first step in making amends is to accept reality. Trump married his current wife Melania in January of 2005. Fourteen months later, their son Barron was born, and during the next year-and-a-half, our president carried on extramarital affairs with a porn star (Stormy Daniels) and a Playboy model (Karen McDougal) who’d come in second in a reader poll for the sexiest Playmate of the 1990s.

During the 2016 election campaign, we saw and heard candidate Trump brag about groping women and getting away with it because of his money and celebrity. Following that, thirteen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct in separate incidents ranging from groping to forced kissing to harassing them for sex, and Trump said they were all liars. As the election neared, Ms. Daniels and Ms. McDougal threatened to make their stories public, and eleven days before the election, Michael Cohen made the hush money payments that resulted in his guilty plea.

Knowing Special Counsel Robert Mueller considered the payments illegal campaign contributions and deliberate attempts to influence the outcome of the election, which made his actions felonies, Cohen told federal investigators the payments had been made at the behest of Trump. Whether you believe him or not, you have to ask why Cohen would plead guilty to a jailable offense if Mueller’s team didn’t have corroborating evidence.

Today, after repeatedly denying he’d had sexual relationships with Daniels and McDougal, Trump defended himself by claiming that the hush money paid to the two women to prevent them from speaking out came directly from him and were not campaign finance violations, and therefore were not illegal. Huh? That’s like defending himself against a murder charge by saying he didn’t desecrate the body. Is he that clueless or does he have such a low opinion of his base that he thinks that will fly?

To summarize, a year into his third marriage with a newborn son at home, our president committed adultery with a porn star, a playboy model, and anyone else who could be seduced by his money and celebrity, and bought their silence with non-disclosure agreements to assure that the truth wouldn’t be known before the election. He spent $280,000 on cover-ups, about what the average Trump voter would earn during Trump’s entire four-year term.

Another reality is that the Republican majority in Congress has no intention of taking any action to censure Trump or restrain his attempts to undermine our Constitution. You can earn the absolution you seek by getting off your ass and voting in November.

I don’t care whether you vote for a Democrat, a Republican, a Socialist, or a Libertarian. Just make sure the person who gets your vote cares more about our country than politics, and has the courage and integrity to stand up to Trump. Then, perhaps you can forgive yourself.

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2 Responses to Forgiveness

  1. jlexpert says:

    This is an excellently written paper and although I do not agree with certain of the assumptions, I do not think that the focus of the paper was lost on many Trump or HRC supporters. Our election choices were a billionaire reality TV Star/Real Estate Mogul versus a former Secretary of State who seemingly did not understand the meaning of secrecy/security in the digital era.

    Just one additional point to think about, had the DNC not been under the influence of the HRC machine, Americans may have had a taste of Bernie Sanders as President. I wonder how that outcome would have influenced the path of the Executive Branch of Government?

  2. alanpzendell says:

    I wonder the same thing. I’d have preferred Sanders (Bernie, not Sarah).

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