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GRAHAM: Whether you are glad or mad, we should all be concerned by verdict
Patrick Graham 2023
Proprietor and Publisher, Patrick Graham.

With so many important local races to be decided in the party primaries, my sole focus of late has been on Walton County politics.  

The events transpiring in New York on Thursday, however, forced me to shift my attention back to national politics for a bit.

I don’t know about you, but I was alerted to the verdict in President Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial by the collective cheers of the left heard from sea to shining sea. My liberal-leaning friends, believe it or not I do have a few, were giddy as school girls thinking the soon-to-be official Republican nominee could possibly be in jail, no matter how unlikely, just days before the Republican National Convention in July.

“Lock. Him. Up.” one demanded in his social media feed.

“I love NY!” yet another joyfully proclaimed.

“GUILTY,” said another who felt the need for all caps yelling to make his point.

I could give you a dozen more of these posts if you’d like, but I think you get the picture.

Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business documents, and I think I’m getting this right but to be honest I never really got this connection from what was presented at trial, in an attempt to illegally influence the 2016 election.

The verdict makes Donald Trump the first former president to be convicted of a crime. This also gives President Biden and his campaign the ability to put “convicted felon” in front of Trump’s name every chance they get between now and November.

 Which, of course, was the whole point of this kangaroo court along with keeping Trump off the campaign trail. The conviction doesn’t stop him being the Republican nominee or from being elected president. Only the voters, at least in theory, can do that in November. 

Look, I’m not going to argue the merits of this case. No matter which side of the aisle you are on, I’m not going to change your opinion about the verdict one way or the other.

In terms of where I stand, all I can say is even the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC thought the prosecution’s star witness did so poorly that he had torpedoed their whole case, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with the CNN and MSNBC talking heads.

If you are on the left you are going to proclaim no one is above the law. If you are on the right you are going to call this a travesty of justice.

What we should all be concerned about, regardless of party preference, is the impact weaponization of the legal system has on our political process.

Using the courts to try and harm or eliminate your political opponent is a terrible look for our country. We’re supposed to have first-world problems not third-world problems.

The signal it sends domestically is awful (If this guy can’t get a fair trial who can? Why can’t we just have the election and see who wins like the good old days?), and the signal it sends internationally to other world powers like China and Russia is even worse (Hey, they’re just like us! They’ll do anything to get rid of their political opponents.)    

Actually, I’ve got bad news for my friends on the left. I think their plan might have backfired.

Trump’s website broke the internet Thursday with the number of people trying to donate to and volunteer for his campaign.  Every indictment has increased Trump’s support and popularity, and with the conviction he now has more support and is more popular than ever before.

Which is the best way to make sure this political ploy doesn’t happen again.

Make sure it doesn’t work.

Patrick Graham is the proprietor and publisher of The Covington News. His email address is