There’s no compelling reason to listen to anything Andrew Yang says, but his tweet Tuesday about Donald Trump’s FBI encounter was especially eye-rolling.
“Unfortunately,” Yang solemnly states, “I fear we will look back on this as a day that activated extremism and not the opposite.”
Yang is apparently concerned that the FBI executing a legal search of Donald Trump’s Florida residence will (further) radicalize the MAGA faithful. Trump is a private citizen, not a minor deity, but even if he was still president, he’s subject to our laws.
The FBI reportedly searched Trump’s private club for classified documents the twice-impeached thug removed (possibly illegally) when his odious presence finally exited the White House. This was a legitimate national security concern. Trump did not, as one goofy-ass Republican suggested, simply fail to return a library book. How many laws does Yang believe authorities should let Trump and his crime family break in the interest of national harmony?
During the Robert Mueller investigation, the National Archives coincidentally released a draft indictment of Richard Nixon. A grand jury was prepared to charge Nixon, a then sitting president, with bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and obstruction of a criminal investigation. Trump arguably committed similar crimes when he leaned on FBI Director James Comey and later fired him for insufficient “loyalty.” Trump later extorted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which led to his first annual impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, who’d actually resigned to avoid removal from office. Ford told Congress that he feared that “an indictment, a trial, a conviction” would’ve diverted the nation’s attention “from the problems that we have to solve.” It wouldn’t have have been great for Nixon, either. However, Ford wasn’t concerned that Nixon’s supporters and armed goon squad would’ve set Washington DC on fire. Nixon was an antisemitic crook but he wasn’t a common mob boss like Trump.
Trump has already resorted to stochastic terrorism to advance his aims. He willfully and knowingly spread lies about the 2020 election that resulted in election officials and workers receiving death threats. Donald Trump destroyed lives with all the concern you might give to swatting a fly.
It’s extremely likely that Trump will run again in 2024. It’s a classic bad news/worse news situation. If he legitimately wins, America is officially a failed state, but if he loses, we all know he won’t accept defeat. We can expect a reprise of January 6. More people might die, and this time his coup could succeed.
When a disgraced Nixon left office in 1974, he didn’t remain the leader of the Republican Party. He wasn’t planning his triumphant comeback while purging from office everyone who’d supported his removal. Trump remains an active threat. Much like climate change, ignoring him won’t end the crisis.
The United States enabled and coddled slavery for decades, maintaining a tenuous union for which generations of enslaved humans paid the price. Abraham Lincoln didn’t run for president on an aggressively anti-slavery platform. He didn’t proclaim that he’d end slavery by the end of his first term. In fact, he vowed not to restrict slavery where it already existed. His moderation didn’t appease Southerners, who claimed he’d mandate interracial marriage and that within “ten years or less our children will be the slaves of Negroes.” Every generation has its Tucker Carlson.
The Southern, enslaver states seceded before Lincoln even took office. They weren’t reacting to any actual policy or legislation. His very election was sufficient provocation. Yang should take this lesson from history. Americans can either stand up against Trump and his Civil War-craving mob now or later. The only question is how much of our democracy we’ll let them shred first out of fear.
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