Trump’s Guilty: So What?

As everyone and their brother knows by now, Trump was found guilty on all charges yesterday afternoon. And while I was floored by the verdict, now that I’ve had some time to think it through, I’m not sure what, exactly, it does to change things.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think it mattered, particularly from an aspect of what would have happened if he’d been found not guilty. That was the outcome I was expecting, and as soon as that verdict came, fodder for the “it’s all a witch hunt” argument would have abounded. Why did I think he’d be found not guilty? Because this is America, and people who can afford very expensive lawyers typically end up being found not guilty. Let’s just say they have a very higher probability of it. It seemed like the whole case rested on Cohen, and I assumed Trump’s lawyers would find some way to make it all go away.

The fact that it didn’t says something to me. He went to trial, he had a hand in jury selection, and that jury still found him guilty. Of course, it’s now going to be appealed six ways to Sunday, due to those same high-powered lawyers, and I don’t think we’ll get anywhere near him actually paying/serving a sentence before the election.

The thing is, I tend to think most people agree that Trump did the thing he just got found guilty of doing. He’s pretty much not argued that he didn’t. In the same vein as when he called Ukraine to twist arms to try and get them to do something mean to Biden, he’s very upfront with the things he does (once he’s caught). He just has the old tried and tested way of fixing them by saying, “Yeah, I did that. It was totally normal and there was nothing wrong with it.” Almost all of his supporters seem fully ready to believe him no matter what he says, so . . . how would this change anything?

I suppose/hope it might have a bit of an influence on independent voters who were still up in the air. Will they hesitate to vote for a convicted felon? Or will they agree the trial was rigged? When we’re approaching an election that could honestly come down to a few thousand votes here or there, those sort of things do matter. I just don’t know if they’ll matter enough.

I miss the days when the entire Republican party thought Trump was a laughingstock disgrace to their nomination process, and they all assumed he’d just get thrown out on his ear. Remember that? We’ve gone from there to here, which is where the Republican party all bought Trump t-shirts and MAGA hats, because apparently that’s the only way they have a chance of staying in power.

Bah. I’ve wasted too much time writing about this guy, with too little to actually show for it. The one bright spot I can see in all this guilty verdict is that it showed at least for a little that he’s not inevitable. Everything doesn’t always go his way, though this still might end up going his way once it’s appealed. But does it matter?

I tend to think it doesn’t. It doesn’t change the minds of any Democrats. It doesn’t change the mind of any Trump supporters. For the Republicans who are just going to vote for Trump despite the fact that they don’t like him, I believe they see this as a vote along ideological principles. A vote for the party, not the person. And if they were already going to vote for someone with the long, proven track record of allllll the things Trump has done (not just been accused of, but which he’s admitted and even at times bragged about), then I don’t see this being the thing that changes their mind.

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