The first of the Bill of Rights amendments to the Constitution was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791. It was written to assure equality and freedom for all. Sadly, we all know that true equality doesn’t exist and that some of our laws are applied in restrictive ways. Some folks are “more equal” and privileged than others. If Mr. Average Joe Blow faced indictments for multiple crimes as is the circumstance faced by ex-president Trump, Joe would either be jailed prior to trial; pay a hefty bail fee; or be excluded from the privileges now allowed Trump.
As I readied for bed the other night, I watched the late evening news. There was Trump spewing nonsense about his legal rights and decrying that he’s being unfairly targeted. I was disgusted to hear him say how he would run the country once (not if) he were re-elected President.
This was not exactly a lullaby relaxing me before sleep. It was more like a nightmare which continues to haunt me. As I drifted into a dream world, I saw a movie set of a prison yard with a huge search light encircling the jail. Then I heard someone blasting out of a loudspeaker a hearty congratulations to inmate #528641, Donald J. Trump. One of Trump’s personal security agents took my hand and led me into the prison building. We walked past locked cells filled with men shouting at us.
In the distance, I could hear music, laughter, animated voices, and the clinking of glasses. Suddenly we were in a large, elegant reception area converted from prison cells with partitions removed. Huge crystal chandeliers lit up the room. There were crowds of reporters, cameramen, and some folks dressed in formal wear dancing to the music. Champagne flowed.
It was then I spotted Trump at the back of the room, his gold monogramed golf putter in hand, playing on a miniature grass-like carpet. I tried to ask questions of the guard leading me, but he did not answer. Trump signaled to a prison guard who quickly brought him a jewel-bedecked king-like satin robe. Trump then snapped his fingers at another guard, signaling he wanted dinner served.
I was a confused bystander to this extravagant celebration, so I again asked the security guard my question: Why was this luxurious party taking place? After all, Trump had been convicted and sentenced to prison.
The guard responded, “Haven’t you heard? It’s a celebration honoring our new President, Donald J. Trump, who was just re-elected. He is going to pardon himself and be released tomorrow.”
Stunned by the news I barely noticed the guards walking by me carrying silver platter after silver platter of food. When they passed by the cell blocks, I could hear the inmates banging on cell bars, demanding some of the delectable treats. As I stood there, still reeling from the news of Trump’s re-election, the pounding got louder. With a jolt, I awakened and suddenly realized that the pounding I had heard was my dog’s tail thumping against the side of my bed. I was relieved to realize this was a bad dream, but then quickly I was filled with terror at the very real prospect that Trump could be president again. Haunted by what would indeed be a true nightmare, my activism has been re-invigorated.
Trump has his sights set on further destroying our Democracy and making himself “president”, or more aptly stated “dictator-in-chief!” We must actively work against this demonic plan. We can do this with our votes and doing all we can to secure the vote for others in free and fair elections. Only in a thriving Democracy are equality and freedom, those tenants of the amendment to the Bill of Rights, possible.