When former President Richard Nixon died in 1994, my Nixon-loving parents called me to talk about it. They were genuinely saddened at his passing. It was obvious during the call that I didn’t share their bereavement. My mother asked “Aren’t you even a little sad that he died?” I responded, “I’m sad that he didn’t die in prison.”
It was true. Nixon died just a few months short of the 20th anniversary of his resignation from office. If his successor Gerald Ford hadn’t issued a blanket pardon upon taking office, there’s a good chance that Nixon would have faced prosecution and imprisonment. That he didn’t face prosecution, that he continued to lead a privileged life for nearly two decades, has always irritated me no end.
And the same is true, in spades, for Donald Trump. In Trump’s situation, state prosecutors are assembling cases against him right now and no presidential pardon can get him out from under non-federal prosecutions. In the long history of corrupt American presidents, none is more deserving of jail time than Donald Trump. (George W. Bush comes very, very close.)
This country could really benefit from seeing some rich and powerful people go to jail for abusing the power they have amassed under our system. Trump was rightfully impeached for abuse of power, but, of course, we know how that turned out, thanks to the criminally complicit Senate Republicans.
So I’ll gladly wish the Orange Autocrat a full and complete recovery. I will not wish him the traditional wish of a “speedy” recovery; his karmic comeuppance is too delicious not to appreciate it for a while. But I do hope he makes it through his ordeal, so that he can, first, be around to experience humiliating defeat on November 3, and then face justice and jail time in the new year.
Get better, Donnie. I’m pulling for you.
And since you, dear reader, have come this far, here’s John Lennon performing “Instant Karma”.