The Emperor Has No Clothes  | JIM FURLONG

I watched with great interest, and some glee, when former U.S. President Donald Trump was charged with a serious crime in court. For the first time I got the feeling that the game was finally over for the disgraced and horrible Trump. Despite the bombast and buffoonery, I came to understand that a deeply disturbing chapter of the American story was finally having a curtain drawn across it.

I had whistled past the graveyard when he beat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. I had even written a piece about how wise voters were and they would never let Trump be president. Clinton turned out to be a terrible candidate and Trump’s sails filled with the wind of a world turning sharply right on the political spectrum. We had Trump as president and, despite my silly hopes, he didn’t grow into the position.

Well, that was then and this is now. The seriously underestimated and likable Joe Biden beat Trump like a rented mule in the last election. Trump railed and roared that the election was fixed and stolen from him. A pack of lies he made up was to no avail. His supporters showed up in Washington and rioted on the day the electors of the nation certified the vote that made Joe Biden President. That protest, aided and abetted by Trump, turned ugly and violent. People died, many were injured and lots of Trump supporters went to jail. Trump didn’t. 

He did find himself grabbing documents from his time in the White House and they were sensitive documents he refused to return. He was charged with a series of offenses and was arraigned in court. As many as 50,000 of his supporters had been expected to show up at the courthouse in a show of support but it didn’t happen. Trump went to court, was charged and released on bail. He is free awaiting trial. The case against the former President, without going into details, appears to be incredibly strong. His support in the Republican party, or at least a part of it, remains but it is not what it used to be. It is slipping and the political sun is setting on Donald Trump. Not a minute too soon. He is not going to jail, if you ask me, but I think in his heart of hearts he knows he will never be president again. A very decent person like Joe Biden has his number.

One commentator said last week that Trump wasn’t running to win the presidency. He was running for a pardon. There is something to be said for that. While I might want to see him in the orange jump suit of a prisoner it is not in the interests of the U.S. to jail a former president. Trump can escape with a plea bargain or a possible  pardon. That’s why I sleep better these days. Trump, at one time the clownish threat to the great American democracy, is done like dinner. That nightmare is over.