In Spectator World, Ben Domenech warns that America has “crossed the threshold into new territory for the targeting of elected officials by prosecutors restrained only by what their ambitions will allow.” He writes:
It was a bright blue-skied July day in 1861, so the Washington elite decided to have a picnic and take in a battle. They brought sandwiches and opera glasses to admire the scene of Union recruits, who had signed up for ninety-day enlistments, march by in their unblemished uniforms to put the rebels down. But the Confederates at Bull Run had other ideas. They brought reinforcements — and by the afternoon, a rout was on. Union soldiers threw down their weapons and fled, as picnicking senators tried ineffectively to block the road and threatened to shoot deserters. They came out expecting a lark, and instead saw the nation torn asunder. This would be no ninety-day war, after all.
Media networks played up yesterday’s indictment of Donald Trump as a circus. There were the protesters on either side, separated by metal barriers, yelling insults at each other and waving signs and Trump flags. There was the man himself, stone-faced and grim, glaring at Alvin Bragg in the courtroom. A masked and gloved black female cop became an item of joy for the left. Business Insider notes the drama, if you can call it that, of no one holding the door open for the former president. Commentators compared the coverage to O.J. Simpson’s Bronco chase. The legal analysts, frustratingly for many anti-Trump viewers, called the indictment unimpressive, but never mind: the whole thing was played up as tabloid spectacle — and what a spectacle it was.
What should worry us is what lies beneath that spectacle. The indictment of a former commander-in-chief on the flimsiest of charges, incentivized entirely by the partisan makeup of an overwhelmingly blue city in a blue state, we have crossed the threshold into new territory for the targeting of elected officials by prosecutors restrained only by what their ambitions will allow. Any semblance of bipartisanship, comity or neighborhood with our ideological adversaries is now viewed as weakness. The question in the ears of law enforcement officials across the country will now be: why aren’t you fighting back? Why aren’t you finding a way to charge this or that politician? They should be in jail, don’t you think? Find a way to make it a reality.
This is not a sustainable approach within a republic. We promise our citizens a government of laws, not men — but not only is that now not what we are delivering; we aren’t even pretending to deliver it. Nancy Pelosi’s off-putting remark about trials existing to prove you’re innocent isn’t just a slip of the tongue; it’s a reordering of the relationship between the government and the citizen. The law is just a game, a pathway of rules to be twisted and ignored, and the only thing that matters is getting what you want out of it at the end.
Read more here.
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for my free weekly email.