OPINION: Celebrating Felonies Pt. 2

This article was released earlier this week in Unmuted Echoes, a cultural newsletter by Alex Haynes. Get early access to articles by subscribing. This is uncharted territory. Uncharted, new, abnormal. But a pretty big deal for a country that started out as a project. At 246 years old, for the first time, a former president has been [...]

OPINION: Celebrating Felonies Pt. 2

This article was released earlier this week in Unmuted Echoes, a cultural newsletter by Alex Haynes. Get early access to articles by subscribing.

This is uncharted territory.

Uncharted, new, abnormal. But a pretty big deal for a country that started out as a project. At 246 years old, for the first time, a former president has been convicted of a felony, unequivocally, 34 times, by an impartial jury of his peers. For the majority of us raised in this country, we have a solid understanding of what that means. We understand that for every action, there is a reaction. For every choice, there is a consequence or, in better cases, a reward. For many of us in our community, equality is something we’ve literally bled and fought for. The equality we dream of treats, views, and disciplines us equally. We learn early that there is no one person greater than the law. Even the president.

Then there’s Donald Trump.

MAGA is not only celebrating his felony conviction but intent on delegitimizing the American legal process while doing so.

In the wake of Trump’s felony conviction, we’re now witnessing a political shake-up that’s reverberating through early polling data. According to NBC News, these polls suggest that Trump’s legal woes may be impacting his chances for a 2024 comeback. Although he still holds significant support within the GOP (which is hardly the majority of Americans), the broader electorate appears more divided. This development hints at a potential shift in voter sentiment as the legal and political ramifications of Trump’s actions continue to unfold.

Unexpectedly, but surely notable, a former Trump lawyer has dismissed claims that President Joe Biden had any involvement in the hush money case, and honestly, you don’t often see this type of dismissal from these people. In an NBC interview, the lawyer called the allegations “ridiculous,” emphasizing that there’s no evidence linking Biden to the scandal. This clear rebuttal aims to quash conspiracy theories and refocus the narrative on Trump’s accountability. A dash to first base.

Over the weekend, former ESPN host Colin Cowherd tore into Trump, highlighting the absurdity of his attempts to sell an idyllic version of America that simply doesn’t exist. Cowherd emphasized, “He’s trying to sell me an America that doesn’t exist.” He further criticized Trump supporters by pointing out, “All these people that love Trump, they’re the first to say, ‘I don’t want to be a victim,’ and they’ve become professional victims.” Cowherd’s impassioned rant underscores the growing frustration with Trump’s persistent misinformation and the divisive impact it has on the nation.

The Colin Cowherd Podcast

I loved this. See the full clip here. Spun often as a conservative, Cowherd simply led into the basic truths we’re taught as children. You are the company you keep. He’s convinced that felon Trump and his circle of enablers are simply a ‘cabal of criminals.’

But, did you find a lie? Do you finally see the alleged ‘witchhunt’?

Trump, his campaign chairman, his deputy campaign manager, his personal lawyer, his chief strategist, his national security adviser, his trade adviser, his foreign policy adviser, his campaign fixer, and his company’s CFO… all felons. Felons. It’s clear that the eyes of average Americans are beginning to open, so why are things still so loud?

I’m glad you asked. I’m also glad you still care.

The answer lies in the coordinated efforts of Trump’s allies who are rallying to push the next 50-year Republican agenda, known as Project 2025. Over the next few months, we will delve deeper into this plan, which is designed to fundamentally transform America in ways that many find deeply troubling. Felon Trump is interesting, but this is what we should be paying attention to.

Project 2025 aims to implement sweeping changes that align with a far-right vision of governance. We’ll start with a brief overview of this ambitious, degrading, and controversial agenda, noting its focus on dismantling regulatory frameworks, reshaping the judiciary, and rolling back civil rights protections. The official Project 2025 plan, available at project2025.org, outlines these goals in detail, but for now, let’s highlight some of the most concerning points.

Key talking points of Project 2025 include:

  • Judicial Overhaul: Aiming to fill courts with judges who will support conservative rulings for decades.
  • Regulatory Rollbacks: Plans to significantly reduce federal regulations, particularly those related to environmental protection and labor rights.
  • Civil Rights Revisions: Proposals to limit protections for marginalized communities under the guise of “religious freedom” and “states’ rights.”
  • Educational Reforms: Pushing for a curriculum that aligns with conservative values, potentially undermining public education and promoting private schooling alternatives.

To the naked eye, this reads like the same old GOP. Obstruction, control, and a cloak of faux humility. But underneath, these are the radical pipe dreams of right-wing Americans that don’t typically have seats at the rainmaker table. 2025 seeks to degrade, dismantle, or privatize institutions that literally keep us safe. From NOAA, the agency that tracks hurricanes, to the FDA, the agency that regulates the foods that we eat and the medicines we take. You don’t have to ‘adult’ in the United States for any length of time to know the results of privatizing necessary government functions. Of course, under the guise of capitalism, commerce, and small businesses, this is an easy vocal sell to average Americans who are waiting for their piece of the dream. Unfortunately, history shows us that the follow-through, specifically from these people, would be nothing of the sort. Trickle-down economics, often a bold talking point, resulted in the 1% garnering more wealth, the wealthiest individuals and corporations paying no taxes, and unfathomable tax hikes and code changes for the middle class. 1% of our population literally controls approximately 30% of the nation’s total wealth (which hit $44.6 trillion in March). Billionaires have seen extraordinary increases in their wealth during the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis. $26 trillion (63%) of all wealth accumulated was captured by the 1% while $16 trillion (37%) went to the rest of the world. And some of us got excited about purported “Trump” checks. Stimulus payments that were essentially owed to you by the government you pay taxes to. Of course, if you’re not following the latest news, you’d have no idea that felon Trump didn’t just think of you and drop a check in the mail. You’d have no idea that he actually thought it was a pretty bad idea but finally came around when he slowed them so he could stamp his name on them. The sw in swindler. All of these things matter, but they aren’t our focal points. They aren’t the focus of local news or cable news, the blogs or the rags. But they should be.

As we move further into the summer, I’ll deep dive into Project 2025. Bleached blonde Madge is not the only lunatic in DC. The loudness and fervor of Trump’s supporters make more sense when viewed through the lens of this long-term strategy. They are not just rallying behind a convicted felon; they are lining up to advance an agenda that could redefine the nation for generations to come.

As I said yesterday, it’s crucial for us to remain informed and vigilant, ensuring that our voices are heard in the ongoing battle for America’s future. We owe ourselves that much.

Have a great week.