You can hear it in coffee shop conversations. In bar talk. In grocery checkout lines. Most particularly, in the offices of government prosecutors and among many politicians over their bourbon-and-branch water.
The topic: Indict/try Donald Trump. Or not.
Spoiler alert: DO IT!
God knows, he’s going to be found guilty of something. Probably by that Georgia grand jury hearing evidence of his attempts to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in that state. That venue will likely be first - among many other such closed-door hearings - to hand prosecutors paperwork they need to file one or more charges.
But will they? Should they? And what will Trump’s reaction be?
My take is “Yes.” “Yes.” And “Who the hell cares” about his reaction if the evidence is found strong enough to put before a jury of his peers? Twelve Georgians.
There’s a sizable group of legal folks expressing great timidity - even fear - if Trump is indicted. Some scared politicians, too. They believe his followers will take to the streets - armed in the streets - in retaliation. Well, anyway, senatorial hand puppet Lindsay Graham is, warning we may see armed violence again if Trump is charged with one crime or another.
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirshner believes Trump won’t have to give a direct order to cause such a dangerous situation. He notes Trump doesn’t give such directions when he wants something done. Kirshner says it’s more like a mob henchman in conversation with a small business owner: “Nice grocery store you have here, Sir. Be a shame if it burned to the ground.”
But, just as you have some pros fearful of Trump acting like Don Corleone, there are also those who believe Trump is now “Citizen Trump,” without his former protections of the Office of President. As such, he’s just like the rest of us: just another American with no more - and no less - responsibilities and no more or less protections.
The issue is, plainly and simply put, if there’s enough evidence of wrongdoing in any of the current dozen or so probes, he should be charged and brought to justice.
Trump is dirty. No, he hasn’t been charged with anything. But, he is. The feds know it. The National Republican Party knows it. Several state prosecutors know it. Trump knows it. And, given the current probing of significant violations of several federal statutes in the handling of some of this country’s most highly classified documents, another set of federal lawyers knows it.
It’s pretty well accepted there could be violence. We’ve got many hundreds of folks playing “para-military” every weekend. Yes, they’re armed. Yes, many of them are dangerous. And, a good number of them would likely try to start a small civil war at Trump’s calling.
But, last month in Michigan, two “militia wannabe’s were tried and found guilty of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The proceedings were preceded by rumblings of expected violence. There was none.
That’s not to say there aren’t some Trumpers with AK-47's and 15's who might not take some sort of action. That’s why we have a police force. And, if necessary, the National Guard.
These folks have been around for decades. There may - or may not - be more of them around currently. They may be armed. They may be better trained in some cases. But, they’ve been there, just below the surface, spoiling to do something. They’ve been an open sore on the body politic for a long, long time.
If all it takes is for a disgraced former president - a millionaire tax cheat - an acknowledged serial adulterer - a guy who used to brag about his Mafia connections in the construction business - an idiot who would take and hide top secret federal documents and lie about it - if that’s the fuse to set some of these nutcases off, let’s get it on!
Let’s lance that “boil” on the body politic and have it out. We’ve had the threat(s) of those people hanging around for 50/60-years. We’ve seen them on videos. We’ve watched them skulking around in our forests. We watched some of their number January 6th. We watched the crowd mentality in action. We know they’re in nationwide conversation about all sorts of “military” things.
If Trump is their catalyst, let’s “shake the tree” and see who falls out. Let’s see if he can declare a call to action from inside a prison cell. Nothing like adding some federal charges of inciting to riot to whatever else he’s guilty of.
We’ve been living with a sort of militaristic blackmail for decades. If Trump releases the bad guys , he may do us a favor.
The time has come to “fish or cut bait.”