Why Accountability Matters for Trump
The prosecutions of Trump will reshape the culture of the Republican Party and the future of American democracy. To understand why, we need to take a closer look at coups and parking tickets.
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Donald Trump’s disciples—yes, they are more disciples than supporters—have repeatedly argued that prosecuting Trump will severely damage American democracy.
In the short-term, they may be right in one respect: the extremists in his base, overdosing on Fox News propaganda, will be furious. Some are likely to turn to violence. If Trump is convicted and sentenced to serious prison time, particularly during the 2024 election cycle, I would be shocked if political violence didn’t soon follow.
This is, however, a terrible argument against prosecuting Trump for two reasons.
First, there’s the more banal reason: rule of law must be unswayed by threats of violence. If violent extremists can intimidate the criminal justice system into playing nice with political criminals, then our democracy is toast.
But the second reason is much more important.
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