Alan Zendell, December 2, 2020
Imagine that you’re an intelligent, well-educated Martian who has been receiving radio and TV signals from the next planet inward toward the sun. Like those Vulcans on Star Trek, you interpret everything you see logically. When you strip away emotion, bias, untruth, and hyperbole, what’s left?
After decades of observing us, you’ve mastered English better than we have. You’ve seen so many references to our Constitution that you had to study it in detail, and you found that it’s really a pretty straightforward document, not difficult for your logical mind to process. One of the easiest sections to interpret is the discussion of elections. The founding document that took such great care to avoid the possibility of our republic turning into a monarchy again granted total authority to manage elections to the individual states. The federal government is involved only if criminal charges of voter suppression, discrimination or fraud reach federal courts.
What to make, then, of the antics of Trump and his sycophants’ (you especially like that word) actions post-election? Like any good Martian, you’ve done your research. You examined decades of media and court records, and constructed a detailed profile of this Trump person. You concluded that throughout his life he has displayed a disdain for rules and laws, and cared more about getting what he wanted than dealing in facts and truth. He has always trod the fine line between legality and criminal acts, not always on the right side of it. You particularly note that almost everyone who has worked for or with him described him as a con man and a liar who is not to be trusted.
You’ve seen his lawyers file dozens of suits in state and federal courts challenging the validity of the election. You have also seen every judge at both the state and federal levels dismiss every substantive claim of fraud and vote tampering, often with prejudice, mocking the attorneys who filed them. Why, you ask, would high-priced lawyers with national reputations allow themselves to become the objects of such derision?
You conclude it is not possible that this group of talented people could be so consistently wrong. There must be another explanation for their behavior, or more accurately, for the actions Trump directed them to take. You model all this against what you’ve learned about Trump, and when you consider the massive fund-raising they have done in support of legal actions that were completely without substance, all is suddenly clear. The entire month of agony that this person who is sworn to defend the Constitution put the country through since November 3rd was a fraud.
When you study the fine print in in the funding requests put out by Trump’s PACs, you find that the hundreds of millions of dollars collected to support these actions can be diverted to any purpose Trump chooses. He’s done it again, this time conning his loyal supporters into creating a huge slush fund that he can use to pay off his massive debts, buy favors, and support whatever he chooses to do after he leaves office. There never was any real attempt to change the results of the election. His lawyers all knew that from the start. It was a huge con to enrich Trump and his family, and it worked. Not only did it work, but the entire effort was apparently legal, if morally bankrupt. You wonder how people who contributed to the false front operation will react when they realize they’ve been scammed.
Your logical mind finds closure as all the pieces fit nicely together. You observe, further, that as the reality of this latest con became clear, Trump’s supporters began to abandon ship, most notably his lap dog Attorney General, Bill Barr, who yesterday threw the whole fake scheme under the bus. Barr also revealed that four months ago, a federal grand jury issued a sealed indictment concerning a bribery scheme in which a number of unnamed individuals allegedly attempted to purchase presidential pardons.
And now it is revealed that Trump is considering pre-emptive pardons for himself and all of his family members. Your commitment to logic makes you conclude that Trump must believe they are all in jeopardy of federal criminal prosecution. It’s all quite remarkable, but everything fits an established pattern of behavior.
You can now conclude that Trump has been the most corrupt, immoral president in his nation’s history. Your research has led to grave concern for the future of the 330 million people who live there. But in his defeat, you find hope. Their new leader, this Biden fellow, seems determined to get the nation back on the track it was meant to be on.