Two weeks before the election, a President accuses his sole adversary as running a “criminal enterprise”.
To play the Devil’s advocate, let’s assume that he is right. The challenger is a criminal, and his family are criminals, and they have engaged in racketeering — i.e. conspiracy.
Now we can’t trust the FBI nor law enforcement because they are part of the “deep state” and are tainted because they might be Democrats and not loyal card-carrying Republicans. So any evidence brought to them is suspect — must have corrupt provenance. So we must trust the provenance of the President’s personal lawyer as true.
Now it so happens that the Attorney General who was hand picked by the President is responsible for criminal prosecution.
And here comes the President and his lawyer with a criminal complaint with evidence that has their provenance.
So what do we do? Arrest the sole challenger? Two weeks before an election.
This stinks. You certainly can’t call this a democracy if challengers are accused and arrested because they dare to run against the President. You have to call it a dictatorship.
In fact, even if the challenger is guilty, accusing him of a crime at this point in the election undermines our entire Democracy.
What about the put the shoe on the other foot test? Is the President running a criminal enterprise with his family? Is making that accusation the same?
In fact it is not, because the accuser in this case is not holding the office, he is just a challenger. So the situation is not symmetric. The accuser is not in charge of Justice. So it can’t be considered the same. In a Democracy, the President has an obligation to play fair — even if his opponent does not.
Now we start to understand why there is so much distrust in the police and law enforcement. Because if you try to follow the logic, it leads to the President deciding which law enforcement is ok. You can’t just call the FBI — you have to call his FBI. You can’t call the cops, you have to call his cops.
Was it always this way? Or is this a recent phenom? The second amendment folks say that’s their only protection, but really trying to work a political disagreement out in the streets with violence seems to me to be particularly primitive and backward. Isn’t that why we have the institutions of Government in the first place? So that we can solve disagreements civilly.
One thing that is clear to me. The noise level is too high. The knob needs to be turned down. Making criminal accusations two weeks before an election undermines our Democracy.
And another thing… how can we expect the President to keep the pandemic out of our house, if he can’t keep it out of his house?