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A Public Service
Translating the President's many crimes for the Fox News watchers, to help them understand why they are so shocking and dangerous.
Hey everyone. This will be a short public service announcement for consumers of right wing media, who I think we should call “patriots” in deference to their own narratives about themselves.
If you aren’t one of these, please feel free to use it yourself when explaining recent news to the patriots in your life.
As you’re probably aware, the former white christian president and aspiring fascist dictator Donny D-town Trump got hit with a fourth set of indictments this week, which means that his next one is free and will include a complimentary muffin.
The charges against the white supremacist demagogue are many, and damning in both their scope and their severity, and also by the fact that we actually watched him do many of them right on television, or heard tape of him talking about doing them over the phone some weeks after he did them, and in some cases also heard him brag about doing them while denying he did them, and so forth.
In a court of law, he’s innocent until proven guilty. In a court of our own eyes and ears, however, he is—to quote young 60s college radio personality “Marvelous” Mark Slackmeyer—“Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” And as somebody who still hopes—after watching one institution after another crumble in the face of horrible people who are simply shameless enough to ignore rules that were apparently built not on a system of checks and balances but on tissue paper and a wan handshake—that some center might hold, I have to say that it is heartening to see that a lifetime of open crime eventually can lead, after decades of self-enrichment and untold damage done, to some criminal charges, if not actual convictions.
But not everybody feels this way! A lot of people strongly believe that their man guy D-Trubble is being railroaded! Unfairly! By prosecutors who are politicizing the criminal justice system, a system which has never before been politicized to target specific people or groups! I’ve been listening to this point of view, and it turns out that normally the criminal justice system, when it suspects somebody of a crime, allows them to run for public office and if they win then they didn’t do it, and that is what we call “due process,” unless the person is poor or Black or both, in which case the police simply execute them and then the media figures out afterward what their crime was. But these heavily biased prosecutors and investigators are—and this is the most shocking thing many patriots have ever seen—investigating and prosecuting, two absolutely unprecedented acts that blatantly ignore the mountains of evidence that the former white president might be wealthy or at least rich.
And of course, those who feel that way have an ecosystem of publication and broadcast, featuring sources that call themselves “news,” which diligently report from an alternate reality where all the things that white nationalists and other authoritarians wish were true are actually true, and white nationalists and authoritarians find it very comforting to watch news exclusively from this alternate reality, so it can be difficult for many tens of millions of U.S. citizens to actually understand what it is about the charges that the rest of us find so troubling, and what relief we take from these indictments.
Luckily I have a bit of time this morning, so I’m going to try to run it down for all the patriotic consumers of mainstream right wing nonsense generators like Fox News, OAN, Newsmax, Stormfront, News Eagle Dot Truth Patriot, and Facebook, so they can understand the severity of these charges.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
In no particular order …
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First Indictment: This involves the January 6 insurrection. The official charges here are one (1) felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one (1) felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. For those of us living in this reality, this was an attempted coup of the U.S. government and an attempted assassination of the Democrats in Congress and probably some of the less fascist Republicans, as well as an attempted lynching of the white christian president’s pale Vice President, Michael “Mommy” Pence.
It was an attempt to overthrow the government and install a dictatorship.
That is, to use a technical term, bad.
Translation for Patriots: OK, hmm. So this is a bit difficult to translate into patriot-ese, because it involves the overthrow of democracy, and I know that democracy hasn’t been super popular in the alternate reality of white christian patriots, given that it gives a voice in our shared society to people who patriots believe ought to shut up—“tyranny,” I suppose I should call it since I am translating into MAGA American Vernacular English.
Think of it this way. Imagine that Target had democracy for sale on its shelves. What the christian president did was instigate an angry mob to riot and loot democracy off of Target’s shelves! These were people who had so little self-respect or regard for their own country that they demolished as much of it as they could, and the white president was the inciting leader of his bespoke mob. And ever since, all over the country, people aligned with him have been shoplifting as much democracy as they can, everywhere they can. That democracy didn’t belong to them, but in a total disregard for property they are just going in and looting it like a bunch of thugs.
So that’s the first charge. It’s a shoplifting epidemic, which as we all know is one of the most dangerous things a society can endure. Hopefully now you see the severity we are dealing with.
Second Indictment. This is the Georgia election interference case. It’s of a piece with the first indictment, in that it involved a direct and almost successful attempt by Trump to enact a coup against the U.S. government and install himself as tyrant. This would by the way overthrow the constitution, another thing that white authoritarians constantly talk about protecting but which as a practical matter they oppose every chance they get.
This indictment involves the mostly hidden part of the conspiracy rather than the overt one. It was still an attempt to end democracy in the United States, which puts our dictator-in-waiting up for another 13 state felony charges, including racketeering under the RICO act, which is rather unprecedented because its most famous use in popular media is for taking down Italian-American organized crime.
Translation for Patriots: Think of the American Constitution as a police officer, and Donald Trump as an unarmed Black teenager who scared that police officer. If that doesn’t do it for you, I want you to remember that this teenager might once have been photographed smoking a joint and not smiling, and I think you can see why Trump is lucky to only be facing life in prison.
OK, I see you frowning. Let’s try this. Trump illegally crossed the border between what is legal and what is not legal. Instead of being an almost comically corrupt billionaire, think of him as a desperate 3-year old migrant child, and instead of being in desperate need of votes that weren’t placed for him, he is in desperate need of basic human empathy.
What’s that? Now you don’t even want him to face trial before being detained forever or drowned in a river? Yikes, that went too far! Oh well, can’t win them all, I guess.
Third Indictment. This one deals with Trump’s illegal possession and mishandling of highly classified documents, and his willful and persistent refusal to release them to authorities. These documents included war plans, and so forth, so it’s a very big breach and endangers the U.S. military, and the security of the United States, both of which are made of human beings, so even those of us who are opposed to the American war machine find this rather disturbing, and are pleased to see Trump hit with 40 felony counts. But I do need a translation, since the last 20 years have showed us that breaching national security, or betraying the members of the U.S. military by lying them into opportunistic wars of choice, or abandoning them afterward to homelessness and poverty, is not something that actually moves the needle with patriots one bit.
Don’t worry. I can take a different approach.
Translation For Patriots: OK, so this one is easy. Just imagine that the president was a woman. Holy shit, right? I dare imagine you are now gearing up to spend the next several years chanting ‘lock her up.’
Hahaha I’m only kidding. The president isn’t a woman, he’s all man, by which I mean he does a lot of talking but doesn’t seem to do any listening, even though he does seem to lean forward a lot when he stands.
Let me put this in more understandable terms. The U.S. military annual budget is $877 billion, so the white christian president risked that much in annual value. I’m not reaching you yet, but let me convert that to something truly shocking: free school lunches for hungry children.
Now, a free school lunch is estimated to cost about $1.77, which as we know is a level of expense that constitutes a severe moral hazard.
So what the president did through his self-aggrandizing and careless actions was put at risk the equivalent of feeding four hundred ninety-five billion, four hundred eighty thousand hungry kids, who otherwise would have stayed hungry, as White Jesus, the good lord of personal accountability, intended. Each year!
Hopefully now you are as ready as the rest of us to see him inside a prison cell.
Fourth Indictment. Hush money time! This is the sexy one. Extremely Man and All President Donald “Thrust” Trump had sex with an adult film star and then he used campaign funds to pay her money to stay quiet about it, which is a breach of campaign finance law and adds 34 counts to the roster of criminal charges.
Now, speaking personally, I find this the least of his crimes, insofar as it represents the consensual end of the pool when it comes to his sexual relationships with women, and to say the least that doesn’t seem to be his favorite place to swim, and given the things that the patriots who support him cheer and laugh about, it’s not their favorite end of the pool for him to swim, either. However, it is one among many many many many many self-dealing breaches of law commonly known as “crimes” that we saw him engage in before, during, and after his campaign, and as such most of us wokescolds who believe that power should answer to the people rather than vice versa are well pleased to see him facing consequences for these.
Translation For Patriots: I dunno, guys. Imagine that the president has a son who might have once owned a laptop. That seems to really set you off.
And there we go. It’s the best I can do, and I hope it helps you.
If it doesn’t help you, try not to make a federal case over it.
A.R. Moxon is the author of The Revisionaries, which is available in most of the usual places, and some of the unusual places, and is co-writer of Sugar Maple, a musical fiction podcast from Osiris Media which goes in your ears. He needs to shout, there’s no time to lose.