I’ve been having this long-running debate with various friends and family members. It’s my contention that Trump supporters are not stupid. Nor traitors, blind or dumb. As further evidence about corruption in and around Trump’s people surfaces and poll support doesn’t change, it takes a toll even on me. And then something remarkable happens, which is why I still have hope.
The Paul Manafort trial is only tangentially related to the Trump investigation. The specific charges are about fraud and tax evasion. But, it’s no secret to anyone that the investigation led by Robert Mueller would like nothing more than some leverage on Manafort.
So, it’s amazing and pleasing to read when one of the jurors, an avowed Trump supporter, votes to convict Manafort.
In her surprising public statements, she says she really wanted Manafort to be innocent. That’s incredible and possibly a dismissible bias. And that’s why I still have hope.
Because, she put aside her party, her candidate and her political wishes. She then did her duty to America: she looked at the evidence and made a decision based solely on facts.
Knowing full well that a guilty verdict could ultimately hurt Trump.
She, and the other jurors, determined that Manafort lied to and cheated America. He got money he shouldn’t to live a lifestyle he didn’t earn. And, at the same time, he refused to even pay his fair share of taxes that the rest of us struggle with. (We don’t know if Trump does this, since he’s never released his taxes).
The people are not judging the Mueller investigation. Those decisions are handled by our elected Congressional representatives.
That body is currently controlled by Republicans. Most of whom are supporters of Trump. Just like the juror.
Will Congress find the same courage as she did? So far, they are walking the cowardly line. But, one thing they fear more than Trump is losing their job.
They will see this Trump supporter’s conviction in the American system of justice. And they will hear that expectation of responsibility. It is loud enough to even remind them of their duty.
And that is why I still have hope.