Sheriff Trump and Frontier Justice

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans   It is becoming increasingly clear that President Trump ran for the wrong office. He is failing as president, because it turns out that he didn’t really want to be president at all, not deep down anyway. Don’t get me wrong, he loves being president, but it’s hard work, lots of pressure, and not easily governed with all of those other elected officials, media hounds, policy pushers and the like who pester him continuously about how far he is out of his depth.

Turns out what he really wanted to be elected was national sheriff, but there’s no such office, thankfully. He was given a bum steer from what he tells the media now. He thought if he ran for the next best thing, which is president, that he would get to tell the FBI and the Justice Department what to do. Someone lied to him. Someone needs to be fired. According to press reports, Trump finds this “very frustrating.”

He wants to be able to tell them who to prosecute and indict. He has a long list. Never having been trained as a lawyer or bothering to either learn or abide by the law, he wants to send any and all of his enemies right to jail, wham-bam. He doesn’t want them to collect $200 or even their toothbrush, but go directly to their cells without any of these time wasting trials and persnickety judges getting in his way.

Of course part of this is personal. He still has a huge chip on his shoulder about his henchman, Attorney General and former Senator Jeff Sessions, having allowed Robert Mueller, former FBI boss, to become the Special Prosecutor looking into the 2016 elections and everything that touched them. Although Sessions couldn’t be more obsequious and fawning in dealing with Trump for his own purposes, he keeps outraging Trump because he still won’t jail Hillary Clinton, round up immigrants right and left as potential terrorists, and respond immediately to his beck and call. Asked recently about whether he would fire Sessions in order to put an even more pliant puppet in the chair, Trump simply answered, “I don’t know,” once again leaving him hanging.

And, Trump would love to be the hanging judge in fact. He’s outraged that a military judge didn’t give a soldier life, even though military prosecutors had not asked for it. He wants the terrorist who killed New York City bicyclers to be executed forthwith. Whoops, he got in trouble for both of those statements as a wannabe sheriff and judge. The military judge had to take into account his constant statements about the soldier on trial. Trump had to walk back his statements on the terrorist because it might prejudice the jury and let him off the hook.

It’s all just clearer and clearer. Trump’s personality is not just narcissistic, it’s flat out authoritarian. His compass doesn’t include justice. His mental map knows no boundaries. He wants one man, my way rule, but that isn’t a comfortable fit in the Untied States under law. He’s pushed his base into believing a Trump-time authoritarian regime might be OK for them for a while, but in the rest of America, in fact most of America, these damned institutions and traditions are the thin line holding back that dam.