Sunday, February 14, 2021

Wanted: jurors who aren't accomplices

            Someday, under an actual oath, before an actual jury, he'll face actual questions to explain what he actually did.

            One from me:

            Mr. Ex-President, when you told the mob, "I'll be right there with you," why weren't you?

            Forget your baseball bat? Body armor two sizes too small?

            Along with a vast swath of Americans, I look forward to the day when Donald Trump appears before a real, lawful, sworn-in tribunal, and not a jury of his accomplices.

            Considering the high bar to convict via impeachment, the fact that the man came 10 votes short of being rubbed out as a political figure is a stunning statement.

            Call it acquittal, sure, but as Mitch McConnell says, in this matter it doesn't really matter that Trump did it, which he did.

            Summoned mob. Assembled mob. Lit match.

            For Liz Cheney to be the one censured -- oh, Mama.

            The night of Day 1, I happened upon a documentary of this sort of justice, just not set in this century.

            On trial were the two men who killed 14-year-old Emmett Till, only to be acquitted by a jury of their Mississippi peers.

            In grainy black and white, with a stone-faced, all-white jury, impaneled before a bleached audience, no one could assume any other result.

            Observing this with today's events in mind, I could assign names to all: Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Mitch McConnell, Tommy Tuberville, Mike Lee, so on.

            In the 1955 footage from the sweltering courtroom you could make out the kind of crowd expecting the very result they got from a stacked deck. It made me think of some other players in our national drama.

            There in white shirt-sleeves – was that Kevin McCarthy? Why, yes. There, Louie Gohmert; John Carter; Paul Gosar; Mo Brooks -- all good ol' boys devoted to something other than justice.

            Emmett Till didn't have a chance when a towns-woman accused him of looking at her lustily.

            Her husband and another assailant took him in the night and battered him beyond recognition, shooting him for good measure.

            Indeed, when found in the Tallahatchie River, the boy's face was gone.

            Did I say Trump justice? Though evidence was as plentiful as motive, the Emmett Till jury relied on a technicality to get on down the road.

            The victim was so disfigured, ruled the jury, who could be sure it was him?

            And anyway, like the 43 Republican hold-outs in today's Senate, these jurors weren't interested in litigating the facts. They were interested in ruling for their kind.

            So here we are in 2021, and that imperative has prevailed on Trump's behalf, as with all that stirs today's GOP.

            The great poser for those who love their guns more than their country, for those who can recite Bible verses but lose their voices at the sight of rampant corruption, bloody insurrections and brown children ripped from their parents.

            He's the "pro-life" hero with barely a word to say about the deaths in a pandemic he pooh-poohed, much less those killed or maimed in his very own riot.

            What's the deal, Mr. Ex-President? Twitter got your tongue?

            It's going to be fascinating when he is ordered to swear on a Bible before an actual jury that wants the truth and nothing but.

            It's true that he did that once upon a time in another venue. Four years later a solid majority of voters deemed that among his many lies was his pledge to preserve, protect and defend the document that awarded him his post.

            If there was any doubt about this, for his final act, he incited a mob, snuck away to watch, did nothing to stop the mob, and refused to answer questions about it.

            He knew that he could trust his good ol' boys to go to bat for him.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:



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