Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Simply a Felon

Commenting on a survey conducted by Ipsos on its behalf, Politico on Monday noted

Among the most notable findings in our poll: 21 percent of independents said the conviction made them less likely to support Trump and that it would be an important factor in their vote. In a close election, small shifts among independent and swing voters could determine the outcome.

And yet there is also good reason to believe that Trump and his allies’ efforts to discredit the prosecution and conviction have cast doubt on the validity of the verdict among many people and limited the potential fallout for the former president-turned-felon.

That is why former Representative Kinzinger is mostly right:


As Kinzinger understands, it's necessary to characterize Trump as a "felon." However, "convicted felon" is not as useful. The point is not that the ex-President was convicted; the vast majority of voters always have believed either that he is guilty of crimes or innocent of them.  The case arguably should not have been brought as an indictment or perhaps should have been charged by the federal government rather than by the District Attorney in a jurisdiction almost uniquely anti-Trump. He is a criminal, whether twelve individuals thought so or not.

Labeling Trump a "convicted felon" suggests that he was guilty of a crime at one moment of time. Rather, it should be emphasized that he is a felon, a characteristic that is almost his natural state. In so being, chaos follows him. Not coincidentally,

Campaigning in her home state of South Carolina on November 27, 2023, Nikki Haley said of Trump "I agree with a lot of his policies but the truth is, rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him. We have too much division in this country and too many threats around the world to be sitting in chaos again." 

After Haley dropped out and eventually endorsed Trump , CNN recalled that she had "complained at almost every event" that "Rightly or wrongly, chaos follows (Trump). We have too much division in this country and too many threats around the world to be sitting in chaos once again." (Repetition works bug sometimes insufficiently so.)

Calling the 44th President a "felon" or a "convicted felon" will not be sufficient to deny Donald Trump a second term, yet would be helpful. Moreover, not doing so would reinforce the common image of Democrats as, well, weenies.


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