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Opinion: Let’s work on fixing democracy

In the last episode of the first season of “Daredevil,” there’s this great montage of arrests as the Kingpin’s empire falls. The FBI swoops down, and you see all the crooked cops, corrupt politicians and henchmen belonging to the New York City crime lord collected like garbage. It is, in the context of that Netflix superhero drama, a very satisfying moment.

In the context of real life, it would be even more so. That’s what accounts for the glee with which the likes of Keith Olbermann and Ava DuVernay began retweeting over the weekend a clip first posted to YouTube in August. In it, a talented someone calling themselves 1oneclone repurposes the “Daredevil” montage to devastating effect.

In the new clip, it’s Michael Flynn, not some mobster, hauling you-know-what with an army of FBI men in hot pursuit. Steve Bannon is led out with his hands cuffed behind him as James Comey gazes on in quiet satisfaction. Kellyanne Conway is still chattering as she is arrested. And there goes the big man himself, jaw jutting pugnaciously, as he is hauled away.

The clip is — no pun intended — a marvel. And it neatly captured the mood on much of social media as people awaited Monday, when, according to CNN, the first fruits of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump administration would be unsealed. Folks dubbed it a spontaneous holiday: Indictment Day.

Well, Indictment Day did not disappoint, bringing a 12-count bill of charges against former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Rick Gates, albeit for money laundering and other alleged crimes with no known connection to the failed president. More ominous for Trump, though, was news that an obscure adviser, George Papadopoulos, had earlier secretly pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts and was cooperating with the investigation.

So Indictment Day may soon come around again.

Not to kill the joy of that possibility, but a reminder seems prudent here. Even if Indictment Day comes a dozen times more, even if the man himself is felled, none of it changes what needs changing.

In March of 2016, I wrote about what America should do “after Trump.” Got much of it wrong, including downplaying the possibility of his election. But one thing said then holds up: Trump is a product of fear, intolerance, incoherence and ignorance. And those things would survive him.

After all, they grew strong and bold in recent years as some of us made expedient decisions to which morality was a stranger. Exhibit A: the Republican Party’s choice to embrace an ethos of chaos — think tea party mobs and birth certificate lies — because it was politically useful. And to ignore the damage this wrought.

Now we’re paying the price for that short-sightedness. And after Trump, assuming America isn’t a nuclear wasteland or two countries by then — possibilities that seem less remote than they once did — confronting the forces that brought us here must be Job One for faith leaders, news media, activists and educators. Indeed, all people of conscience will have a simple mission: Drive fear, intolerance, incoherence and ignorance off the main stage of American politics.

It is, yes, gratifying to see a video where all this president’s men and women are carted away by the feds. It is even more gratifying to see them face the music in real life.

What ails us, though, will be fixed not by indictments, but by engagement and education. It will take time. And truth is, “after Trump” is too long to wait.

So, I hope you enjoyed Indictment Day. Now, let’s get back to work.

— Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald.

Comments

Gary Stussie

OMG! ... Talk about "fearful, intolerant, incoherent and ignorant". I am saving this divisive piece of crap column. Going to send it back to Pitts when the Clinton empire comes crashing down with a picture of Hillary peaking through the bars asking "What Happened?".

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Brandon Devlin

Since when did we live in a Democracy? The Founding Fathers specifically didn't want a pure democracy. . .that's why we settled on a Constitutional Republic.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

This is the most tired point that gets thrown around by people trying to appear smart.

A republic IS a democracy.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Brandon Devlin

Oooh. . .I'm trying to appear smart. You've got me there.

The difference between a pure Democracy and a Republic, smart guy, is that majority rule in a democracy decides what happens, sometimes to the detriment of the minority. That's why we have a Constitution; to place limits on what Government and the majority "mob rule" can do.

It is exactly why Thomas Jefferson and John Adams argued against a pure democracy.

Was the Roman Republic a democracy? There are subtle differences. Try looking them up.

History is awesome!

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

I don't understand people who are not upset by these men's crimes? Is it because they are rich? Making money anyway you can get it, even it means hurting your country is okay? And they guy who lied. Why did he lie? Anything to protect one man over his country? I wouldn't be surprised if several people on this forum and many Trump supporters will donate money to these guys defense funds, so they don't have to get into their off shore accounts or Swiss bank accounts. Poor guys.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Gary Stussie

While most of the MSM is not covering it, CNN and FOX reports that former Democratic National Committee interim chair Donna Brazile, in newly released excerpts of her forthcoming book, alleges that an unethical agreement was signed between Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC to keep the party financially afloat.

Brazile's primary argument is that the Clinton campaign, through its joint fundraising agreement with the DNC, gave Clinton control of the "party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised."

Brazile writes the DNC was rigged in Clinton's favor (at Bernie's expense) because her campaign was largely financing the party early on in the presidential election.

Recall Brazile resigned from her role as a CNN contributor in October 2016 after WikiLeaks released an email in which she says she got advance questions before a town hall event. She then sent questions to Clinton's campaign in advance of a CNN debate and a town hall.

The depths of fraud, dishonesty and deception of the Clintons, and the unethical lengths to which the Democratic Party will go to obtain/retain power, is just starting to be exposed.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Brock Masters

She also blames Obama for bankrupting the DNC.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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