PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — A Tale Of Two Convictions

I was reflecting on the convictions of Donald Trump and Hunter Biden.

A lot could be said about the fact that false equivalencies being made between the felony conviction of a former president and the son of a president or the circumstances of the convictions. But what strikes me the most is not the convictions of two men found guilty by a jury of their peers but the responses to their conviction by them and those close to them.

Trump and his supporters have cried foul and called into question the rule of law. He has sought extraordinary ways to avoid judgment by defying his legal recourse and turning to the Speaker of the House to help overturn it or remand it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has threatened everyone associated with the prosecution. Even more disturbingly, the judge, witnesses, prosecutors and most sadly of all the jurors have all had their lives upended. They need protection to avoid violent retribution and are living in fear.

However, President Biden made it clear that he accepted the verdict and would not commute it or pardon his son, even as he grieved it deeply as a father. Anyone who knows the horrors of addiction can feel his pain, even as he accepts the consequences of the acts that resulted from that addiction.

More tellingly, some of the jurors were interviewed immediately after the conviction because they didn’t fear for their lives. Intimidation or fear didn’t surround the conviction. Instead,  it was pain and sadness.

One of my favorite sayings is you promote what you permit. My deepest conce of another term for Trump is driven by what his election would mean for the rule of law and democracy, where fear and favor would define justice.

If that happens, we would  truly become a lawless nation, where intimidation and retribution would define us instead of liberty and justice for all. And that is the end of democracy as we know it.

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