A bad day for Trump is a great one for America’s frail democracy


Perhaps, after all, there is a just and benevolent God. Perhaps.

This fine moment. This stunning moment. This historic moment has been a long and aching time coming.

A New York grand jury made up of ordinary, wise Americans has taken the extraordinary step of voting to indict a thug president who has earned the shame and indignity that will forever shadow him.

Finally, a former United States president has been indicted. It’s the trifecta of ignominy: impeached, indicted and maybe incarcerated.

Like millions of enlightened Americans, I had oscillated from hope to despair that this day would ever arrive. It has. It has. So, it is time to rejoice and let out a loud, hearty and oh-so-satisfying cheer.

I do not care how Donald Trump or his maniacal supporters respond to the glorious news of the grand jury’s indictment.

I do not care if dead-end cultists take up their leader’s predictable and demented call to “take to the streets” – with or without tiki torches or flag-draped monster trucks. If they do what they have been primed to do by a preening fascist, the MAGA stooges will be dealt with. They will be dealt with, just as the thousands of rampaging insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, intent on overturning a presidential election, have faced the consequences of their pernicious actions.

I do not care how Trump will leverage the indictment for his sick, political advantage today or tomorrow.

I do not care whether Trump’s support among swing, “independent” voters ticks up or not in light of the indictment.

I do not care how Trump’s blind, obnoxious sycophants in Congress will try to smear and discredit Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and dismiss the indictment as a politically motivated “witch hunt”.

I do not care about the fretting naysayers who worry that the still mysterious charges may be difficult to prove or that Trump will emerge as a martyr – strengthened and an even more formidable political force.

I do not care.

Nor will I watch a moment of the wailing and hand-wringing that the familiar gallery of US cable news personalities and their stable of political and legal “insiders” will, no doubt, wallow in for hour after hour after hour. Instead, I am celebrating that this conniving, future felon will belatedly face the legal comeuppance he has, until now, been able to avoid.

I am celebrating the fact that Trump will be arrested, fingerprinted, hopefully handcuffed, and forced to face a judge and answer to the more than 30 charges that are said to have been laid.

I am celebrating the possibility that Trump will have to stand in front of a camera with his mouth shut for a “mug shot” that will, I’m sure, be leaked for a healthy sum to the celebrity gossip site, TMZ, and then fixed in American history.

I am celebrating that enlightened New Yorkers and other relieved Americans will be able to gather outside the courthouse where Trump will be arraigned – reportedly next Tuesday – and chant in righteous unison: Lock him up!

I am celebrating that Trump and his grovelling gang of enablers appear to have been caught unaware that the grand jury was at work and fulfilled its constitutional duty without fear or favour.

I am celebrating that the so-called “master manipulator” was apparently convinced that his preemptive strike announcing his imminent arrest had caused prosecutors to drop their criminal probe into a hush money payment scheme designed to bury his tryst with a porn star.

I am celebrating that the woman at the centre of the indictment, Stormy Daniels, has stood her ground with grace and humour in the face of a stream of ugly attacks on her character and appearance by a crass, philandering ex-president. I am celebrating that Trump’s faithful consigliere turned cooperating witness, Michael Cohen, has exacted his revenge on “Don” Trump and can enjoy the sweet fruits of his truth telling.

I am celebrating that a district attorney, who once seemed prepared to allow Trump to slip through his grip, has decided to follow the brave lead of former prosecutors in his office who were convinced that Trump should have been charged years ago.

I am celebrating that a grand jury made up of ordinary, wise Americans has done what the Department of Justice and a special counsel have, to date, failed to do – hold a thug president to some measure of account.

I am celebrating that this indictment will be a harbinger and a warning to future presidents that no one is indeed above the law and that the once unbreachable Rubicon has, after more than two centuries in the life of America’s tumultuous republic, been crossed.

This is a good day for America’s frail and fraying democracy and the rule of law. This is a good day for America.

Hallelujah, I say. Hallelujah.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

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