Commentary: On Thursday, March 30, four words echoed across the country, from sea to shining sea: “It’s about damn time.” It wasn’t a mass sing-along to a Lizzo song, but was the moment we learned that maybe we really are a nation of laws. We, as a democracy, had begun to wonder if rules and laws do not apply to the wealthy and well connected.
Former President Donald Trump, a man considered the most racist and anti-LGBTQ+ president in recent history, was indicted on criminal charges by a New York Grand Jury. Seeing him booked, fingerprinted, and getting his mug shot taken is more satisfying than hearing new music from Cher.
Specific charges, as many as thirty of them, were not announced but they are all stemming from his illegal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels in the final days before the 2016 election. This is the first time in history a former president has been indicted and a critical step to preserving American democracy.
The words said by Theodore Roosevelt, “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it,” are ringing a little more truthful today. The twice impeached, disgraced, indicted, former president has a decades-long history of criminality and corruption, and many believed he would never be held to account for anything.
If Trump is to be held responsible for all his crimes, what happened on March 30 must only be the beginning. While these are the first charges to be announced against Trump since he left office, they are not likely to be the last. Trump and his team are also likely to face indictments in Georgia for their attempts to change the results in the state’s 2020 election results, and Trump is also under investigation by the Department of Justice for his role in inciting the deadly January 6 insurrection, as well as for covering up his possession of highly classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago beach house.
The formal accusation against the self-confessed pussy grabber turned evangelical and right-wing attention from attacks on drag shows and trans people to defending an adulterer who paid hush money to a porn star to cover up his affair. It’s hard for the rest of us to fathom the grip Trump, the human face of evil, has on a large segment of the American populace. Maybe a few more indictments and convictions for his other crimes will open their eyes, and they will join us in saying, “It’s about damn time!”