Thoughts on Day Two of the Trump Trial

Thoughts on Day Two of the Trump Trial April 24, 2024

a judge's gavel
image via Pixabay

 

 

I watched the first two days of this first Trump trial, numbly.

By “watched,” of course, I mean I refreshed the page on X/Twitter every so often as the Inner City Press quickly tweeted out a transcript of the trial. I consider myself a fast typist, but I could never type as that man types. He’s as good as having an audio recording of the proceedings. I kept scrolling down to read the latest, filling in the voices with my imagination.

The first witness for the prosecution was David Pecker, a louse.

The National Enquirer was one of those magazines I wasn’t supposed to look at in the checkout line when I went shopping with my mother as a small child. I could look at the cover of the National Geographic, which sometimes had lions or Egyptian pyramids on it, but not the Enquirer or any of the scandal rags around it either. Best of all if I kept my eyes on the gum and candy,  in fact, until we were out of the store, just in case. This was so that I wouldn’t see anything smutty. And I’ve decried my unbearably strict upbringing many times before, but I don’t think my mother was wrong in this case. Those magazines were foul. Gossip is a sin.

Now the publisher of all those scandal rags was testifying against his former friend. Pecker was explaining to the jury and the whole world the way he’d managed to swing the election for Donald Trump. In 2015 and 2016, the Enquirer would run stories smearing all of Trump’s opponents. At the same time, it would “catch and kill” stories about Trump’s misdeeds– buying the rights to this and that scandal story, and then refusing to publish it so nobody would find out. We’re going to hear from some of the women Trump had affairs with later.

I still wonder why he bothered. We already knew so much about what a swine he was. But in any case, that’s what Pecker explained to the jury before they broke early, for Passover.

And that’s what worked in the end. I don’t think it’s the only reason Trump won in 2016. But it’s one of the things that moved the needle. The rest is history.

For the thousandth time, I thought about what it was like to live through 2016.

The people who taught me that character matters, started ranting that we had no choice but to support a philandering cad with no conscience. Now we know that part of this was because the worst people imaginable manipulated the media a certain way.

The same crowd of people– not my mother, who I don’t think voted for Trump, but the same culture of people– who taught me not to look at the National Enquirer, fell for the propaganda scheme.

What can I say that I haven’t already said?

I sound like a broken record, but I don’t know what else to say. The Christian Right has no honor. They have no common sense. They don’t know when they’re being played. They’re lemmings.

Or, rather, their acolytes are lemmings. The people who flock to the polls do whatever the leaders tell them to do. The leaders are far more shrewd and calculating than that.

I don’t know whether the trial will end in a conviction, but in a way it already has.

I just hope this year is the end, and we can avoid another 2016.

That’s all I can think right now.

 

Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy.

 

"Oh me as well. I'm not uncrossing my toes until January."

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