Charles M. Blow, op-ed writer for The New York Times, wrote an article published yesterday entitled, “Donald Trump Must Be Prosecuted.” Some Americans, especially many Republican voters, are questioning it.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump is under investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, in Manhattan, New York City, and twice by the Justice Department. All four of these investigations appear to be nearing completion now. When they do, the prosecution will decide whether to indict the former president If this happens, these investigations will go before grand juries unless a judge issues a summary judgment otherwise, which is very unlikely.
No ex-U.S. president has ever been indicted in the nearly 250-year history of the USA. It could have happened to former President Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace. But his non-elected successor Gerald Ford exonerated him. Ford argued that to have tried the former president would have hurt the country. Many Americans were upset with this decision. It resulted in questions being asked about whether or not the U.S. Constitution was followed and the former president was above the law.
If Trump gets indicted and is found guilty of a criminal felony, which requires prison time, a lot of Americans, mostly Republican voters, will argue he should be pardoned since Nixon was pardoned. But if Trump is guilty of crimes committed in office, they surely will be much more severe in nature than those committed by Nixon. He mostly just lied to the American people about his involvement in covering up the Watergate break-in which stupid people of his Republican Party orchestrated without his behest.
Our nation was created in opposition to European states being ruled by kings or the like who were above the law, resulting in citizens not having fair parliamentarian representation. In other words, they did not have pure democracy. Our founding forefathers sought to correct this inequity by creating the USA with a Constitution that would prevent the president from being above the law.
Rather than Americans arguing about whether Trump should be held accountable to our legal system, I think we should consider going beyond that–requiring our political leaders to be held even MORE accountable before law than the rest of us citizens. If we did, bad people very likely would not seek political office. Then Americans would have much more trust in their politicians. Upon what basis do I base this argument?
Jesus of Nazareth. He once told a parable in which he concluded, “To whom much has been given, much will be required, and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded” (Luke 12.48 NRSV).
No one in this world is entrusted with more than the president of the United States of America. It is clearly the greatest nation on earth with its wealthy economy, witnessed by its huge gross national product, and the strength of its military, witnessed by the nation spending over $800 billion per year on defense. Both of these are way more than that of any other nation.
In the least, former President Donald Trump should be held accountable to the nation’s laws just as any other American would be. But there very likely never would have been an apparent lawbreaking president like Donald Trump if we had held our politicians to even higher legal standards than we do for the rest of us voters.