Will Smith has demonstrated what Trump meant when he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose supporters

The slap seen at the Oscars is the left’s version of Donald Trump’s entitlement to do whatever one wants without fearing any legal ramifications. Perhaps it’s become an American thing now and it is something we should be really worried about. The longer such entitlement is appeased, the worst the carrier of it becomes. Remember, Trump uttered that line during the 2016 campaign and six years later he’s still involved in criminal behavior that is an existential threat to American democracy. What will happen to us as a collective society if Smith gets away with assault broadcast around the world?

I am glad to see there was some push back which kinda echoes my own feelings about this. Kareem AbdulJabbar made some nuanced, quality points about Smith’s behavior, although I disagree with what he thinks should happen. In one sentence he encapsulated decades worth of arguments surrounding black masculinity and how it’s seen by others

When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community

Am I the only one who sees the parallels between Smith and supporters of Trump and the GOP both of whom have embraced violence for the smallest of insults if those insults ever existed. Smith slapped one man before a television audience, while Republicans engaged in violence against symbols of American institutions for what they thought was an injustice against them. In the case of the GOP that’s been proven time and again NOT to be the case.

Unlike Republicans Smith comes from an African-American background that stresses in order to succeed black people have to be twice as good as their white counterparts. He does not come from the same space as Republicans who believe in natural entitlement, a birth right which only they have claim for. His being only the 5th black male actor to receive the award he got is proof that patience, endurance and craftmanship at the highest level are necessary to get the best male actor Oscar. How could he quickly forget all that and assault his fellow actor/comedian? (Smith was once a comedian, too)

It’s said he was protecting, defending the honor of his wife but what was he protecting her from? As Kareem points out in his piece, Jada Smith is equally talented, eloquent and capable as her husband and perhaps more prolific. She has her own broadcast medium where she discusses a wide variety of topics including alopecia everyone says was at the butt of Rock’s joke. Her Red Table Talk is the bully pulpit Smith, either of them, could have used to fire back at Rock if words were the weapon they used to do so. I would’ve preferred however, for Smith to fire back during his acceptance speech to talk about the importance his wife has meant to the success of his career and because of her strong character and how much she means to him she will forever be beautiful regardless of her appearance. He could only say that if it was heartfelt or he was thinking clearly. Regrettably neither of them thought words would work against Rock’s words. They chose option #1, the easier option, violence.

By resorting to aggressive, profane out of control violence, Smith solidified for a lot of Americans their belief that black men are fearful and violence is an appropriate response to control them and protect the rest of us from them. It was right there in front of everyone’s eyes. It is the image people will use to justify violence against men who use words, as Smith did and it will be the image people use to say they had to stop the kinda of violence they EXPECT all Will Smiths of America WILL use. I have heard a very catchy phrase emerge from this tragic episode in Americana, an expression that black people cannot condemn violence against themselves if they condone violence they perpetuate against themselves. I’m all in on that.

For those of you wanting the US govt to prosecute Donald Trump let me remind you

SCOTUS ruled in January, 2021 in an Emoluments Clause against Donald Trump that

wipes away two lower court rulings, but also orders dismissal of the entire dispute — leaving for some other time resolution of the many questions Trump’s conduct raised about the Emoluments Clause

Remember all the fuss about Trump violating the Emoluments clause? The Clause which

prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives.

and is a provision of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8). SCOTUS decided there was no judicial relief from Trump’s violation that allowed him to profit while serving as POTUS. Since assuming office in 2016, petitions were filed against Trump because he failed to put his businesses in a blind trust that would keep him from selling the influence of the office and knowingly profit. It seems for now another door is closed for prosecuting Trump.

Donald Trump has a detailed history of lies, deception and fraud. Today’s claims made by him are simply a rehashing of what has gone on before

It is because of this history Trump has that makes this article all the more incredulous. Despite the claims in it that

The office had always been thinly staffed and cramped, overseen by an election board comprising citizens who’d answered a county ad for volunteers, filled out a form and might have been assigned to parks but got elections instead. The operation was known for being slow on election nights and at times disorganized, problems that had been a matter of eye-rolling until 2020, when Trump began predicting a rigged election and his followers began seeing every mishap as suspicious.

All of the above has nothing to do with Trump’s claim of voter fraud. He probably has never heard of that office and is probably not aware of the issues mentioned in the Post’s article. My point is this claim of voter fraud is something Trump has made since the very beginning of his involvement in politics and is a thread embedded in Republican politics.

Trump is a narcissist who believes anything he involves himself in equates to immediate success for him or the endeavor with which he is involved. Anything other than success means the results are flawed and invalid. During the 2016 general campaign he questioned

the legitimacy of the election process claiming “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!

and in the waning days of the 2016 campaign held the nation in “suspense” about whether he would recognize the results from an election he claimed would be “rigged” or even “stolen upsetting many in his Party. Obviously he won but he continued to advance the claims of voter fraud even going so far as to establish a commission led by Kris Kobach to investigate something they said they found no evidence existed. One of the members of that Commission went on to say

“It’s calling into the darkness, looking for voter fraud. There’s no real evidence of it anywhere.”

We would naturally expect, given this history, that Trump would revisit his claims of voter fraud in the last election in which he took part. True to form it too was baseless and full of lies which begs the question, why does Trump take us and the Country thru such baseless nonsense? It all goes back to the nature of Donald Trump and the party he represents. Trump believes superlatives apply only to himself. He heaps them on himself like two bit fascist autocrats he admires and aspires to be . If he can’t have 90-100% approval for anything then the results are flawed, no good, tainted, spoiled and should not be seen as legitimate.

As the original article above claims, the outcomes for the GOP in making this voter fraud argument are

state’s GOP legislators have introduced 14 bills reorganizing county election boards that oversee election offices. So far, eight bills have been signed into law, resulting in a purge of longtime election board members, an exodus of election staffers and the installation of Republicans who have proposed measures to reduce poll locations and cancel Sunday voting.

The Republican party wants a piece of the voter fraud argument in order to reduce the number of people on voting rolls and to be able to control the outcome of elections in their favor through control of county and state election boards. The more people who vote, the less likely it is they are going to vote for a Republican. The two, Trump and the GOP, go hand and hand. They will forever be a stain on the history of America.

One cannot talk about the Russian invasion of Ukraine without talking about the damage Donald Trump did to American alliances.

Everyone knows about his attempted extortion of the Ukrainian president hoping to get Zelensky to announce, proclaim a lie so that Trump could use it for his political advantage.  Remember, he only wanted the Ukrainians to say they were opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his family’s relation with the eastern European country and Trump and his minions would take it from there.  The Ukrainians would then secure the weapons they were supposed to receive without any strings attached but quid pro quo is how the Trump administration did business so nothing is given in Trump world without extracting concessions, lies.

Everyone and especially Russia are aware of Trump’s disdain for NATO.  He came into office speaking disparagingly of the organization, was openly scornful of the organization and his body language towards NATO member states’ leaders was one of open contempt. His actions alone were meant to send all the right signals to Russia that America was at best ambiguous about NATO and even desirous of neutering the alliance’s potency.  One former Trump aide said he had to talk Trump out of leaving NATO in 2018 and that same aide has even gone on to suggest had Trump been reelected he would have withdrawn from the group altogether. Thinking about Trump having another four years as President alone is scary but if you are a citizen of Ukraine, it’s now become a matter of life and death.

America suffered through a Trump incited insurrection, a failed coup attempt and emerged on the other side to learn that Trump stole, illegally obtained, as he has done his entire life, top secret and classified documents and took them to his residence in Florida.  There were eventually 15 boxes of documents of a national security origin Trump unlawfully removed from the White House and the nature and substance of those documents is unknown to most of us.  But it is not unreasonable to think that some of them dealt with Russia, and specifically Putin, the NATO alliance and all things Russia.  It’s how he began his administration and was swept into power and one of the reasons he was infamously removed from office.  Knowing all we’ve come to know about Trump and his regards for Putin and Russia it’s not unreasonable to think he would compromise American national security, especially if it doesn’t fit his own world view, with whatever information he has at his disposal.

The war in Ukraine has blossomed into another European descent into genocide that has reached across the Atlantic Ocean and called America for help.  We cannot talk about what this war means to the country without acknowledging the last six years of neglect and abuse an American administration showed European allies and the absolute obsequiousness it showed the Russian protagonist and aggressor.

Why Is Merrick Garland missing

He’s missing because he is an institutionalist who serves a president Joe Biden steeped in the politics of the 20th century who believes in bipartisanship and consensus with the goal being what’s best for the country.  Garland is cut from that same cloth. Very traditional and intensely aware of the value of America’s institutions and the need to preserve them at all costs.  Why hasn’t Garland gone after such a criminally visible President as Trump?  No American president has been indicted for crimes they committed while in office even after they left office.  The case for doing so with Trump is he could not run for reelection, something he’s said he wants to do.  The Mueller Report left open the possibility Trump could be indicted for obstruction of justice but some would argue the precedent for doing that in the case of Trump who certainly deserves it risk criminalizing politics and entanglements that could weaken the legal fabric of the country.   

The mere act of impeaching Trump for widely demonstrated abuses has brought calls for Biden’s impeachment by Republicans if they take control of Congress while Biden is in office for no other reason than they can and they want to make him look as bad as Trump. Institutionalists would likely argue this kind of tit for tat partisanship would destroy the fabric of the country. An alternative to prosecuting a corrupt President would be to go after the circle of advisors caught in presidential scandal and there’s plenty of fodder for Garland to do that.  The January 6 insurrection has offered up a whole host of criminals the DOJ is pursuing but even that seems to be a halfhearted effort but one the Department can point to as doing its job. However, most likely DOJ also sees as part of its job avoiding the criminal prosecution of Trump as its best course of action in these volatile political times. As for the possibility a criminal such as Trump could run for office again, institutionalists would say if his crimes were widely known by the electorate Trump would be rejected as unfit for office.  However, after four years of widely known abuses of power, Trump got more votes in the 2020 election than he did in 2016 so there doesn’t seem to be much wisdom floating around in the public about Trump’s criminality.

Garland is a member of the Federalist Society and a Republicans who probably believes in the legal philosophies of restraint and adherence to precedent. Since there is no precedent for indicting a criminal former President, Garland seems reluctant to do so and especially a President from his own Party with a considerable national following. However, not prosecuting Trump runs the real risk he could return to office; state legislatures controlled by Republicans have been busy solidifying voter suppression and their hold on elections commissions. In so doing they can affect the outcome of elections and possibly oversee the return of Trump to office.  It is not wise to trust the American electorate during these times of Qanon and a rampantly running alternative facts-based media ecosystem but institutionalists like Garland see that as a more viable alternative than their insertion in the process which would lead to Trump not being able to run for office again.  This is the sad reality America faces at the moment; there is a legal system that has all the tools it needs to keep in check a criminal, potential President but an Attorney General who isn’t inclined to do what’s necessary to keep that candidate out of office despite overwhelming evidence he should be kept out of office.