It’s easy to look at the seemingly never-ending list of Donald Trump’s alleged crimes both in and out of office and wonder: How on earth is this man not already in jail awaiting trial?
However, it could be difficult to determine what parts of Trump’s antisocial behavior are due to an intentional disregard for the rule of law and the well-being of others, or to being born without a conscience, or to being conditioned by his father to have no conscience—or at the very least to develop an incredibly warped sense of right and wrong.
If Trump knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses to break the law anyway, then he obviously belongs in prison. However, if his sense of right and wrong is a brain condition due to no fault of his own, then the American people still need to be protected from his actions nonetheless. In my opinion, given the remarkable scope of damage Trump has wrought in countless lives, he should be subject to a psychiatric evaluation to see if some kind of rehabilitation is possible. He must never again be allowed to hurt people with abandon as he has his entire adult life.
We knew before he was elected that Trump was, by many people’s standards of decency, not a good person. We knew he was an alleged sexual predator, that he was a bigot, a liar, and he sued people to get out of paying his bills, to name just a few of his irredeeming qualities. I believe those who voted for him were either ignorant (willfully or not) or possessed some kind of antisocial disorder themselves. The latter voted for Trump because they knew who he was and liked what they saw. (So one must wonder about the priorities and morality of those folks as well.)
Laws act as buffers that allow each of us as much freedom as possible while not doing harm to each other. And therein lies the rub. Too many of those with the most money believe they have a right to more freedom than others have a right not to be harmed. Money shouldn’t equal freedom; in particular freedom from accountability when knowingly harming others’ lives and livelihoods.
That’s the problem with Trump and others of his ilk. They believe that despite the so-called laws of the land, money is all that matters in their lust for power and uh, “personal freedom.”
But what about all of the many Trump enablers? Trump didn’t commit his alleged crimes against the United States in a vacuum. There were precious few around him who tried to keep him on the up and up. Many more aided and abetted him in his possibly criminal enterprises, not the least of which was a concerted effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Whether or not these enablers also may be afflicted with some kind of antisocial personality disorder is a tougher question. We don’t know as much about them as we do about Trump. What we do know is they have a twisted world view and love power and dominance to a degree that poses a very real threat to American democracy. Their allegedly criminal behavior must be held to account if the rule of law is ever to be restored.
The congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is getting a great deal of cooperation from many witnesses, and early indications are that the committee already has what one panel member called a “powerful and substantive narrative” possibly implicating not just Trump but also numerous other co-conspirators as well. The vexing question at this point is whether or not Attorney General Merrick Garland will rise to the occasion, as the American people so desperately need from him.
So put Trump in a psychiatric ward and put Steve Bannon, John Eastman, Peter Navarro, Jeffrey Clark and the other architects of the attempted coup on trial. We must send the clear message that no criminal behavior will go unpunished.
Jeff Taylor is a Street Sense Media vendor.