Neil Fitzgerald | Is This What We Want Our Elections to Be?

Neil Fitzgerald

When I first started writing these articles, I said that America needed a new Ronald Regan. I had hoped one would be found during the primary process and would become the Republican nominee. Rightly or wrongly, the Republican voters in the primaries support President Donald Trump and he is the Republican nominee. 

Irrespective of where you are politically, I think most people can accept that President Trump dominates the political agenda and the media. He stirs great passions whether you love him or hate him. There are few Americans without a strong opinion on him. 

I happen to be one of the very few. I can see plus points because of his handling of the economy, and he made America safer, we avoided the foreign policy fiascos we have seen. The disaster in Afghanistan would never have happened under him. The world was safer. 

I also accept that President Trump has just been convicted in a New York court. I also accept that his use of language sometimes has caused great upset. No one can say he speaks and acts like a regular politician. 

Now for independent voters, and Republicans like me who have never been full Make America Great Again converts, we are going to have to face a harsh reality that we either support President Trump or President Joe Biden. There is no other choice available. 

This is why I have deep concerns about the New York legal case and President Trump being found guilty. We have never seen a former president of the United States, and a current leading contender for the presidency, be convicted of over 30 felonies. 

We have to ask ourselves whether the crimes he was found guilty for warrant the court case. These were internal corporate bookkeeping miscategorizations committed nine years ago.  Falsifying records is a misdemeanor. And let us be real, these happened from a romantic encounter — I am being polite, this is a family newspaper — that President Trump had with a lady of ill repute, which he tried to cover up via a non-disclosure agreement, and the lady was paid six figures to agree to the deal.  

This money was then given to the lady by President Trump’s personal lawyer. A man who we do not need to go into too much detail over his track record and behaviors. 

The whole incident is of course sordid and unseemly. It is hardly presidential. However, I question the criminality. Those reimbursement payments were categorized as legal fees, as selected from a pre-populated drop-down menu embedded in the company’s software. They were not listed as “hush money payments to a pxxx star.”   

The previous Manhattan district attorney chose not to pursue a case, so did the Departure of Justice. The Federal Elections Commission looked at the possibility that these actions represented a campaign finance violation and chose not to pursue even a civil case or a fine.  

Readers can judge whether this was all politically motivated and whether this is what we want to see. 

The reason I am uneasy was last week, President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was also in court for his many alleged offenses. 

Do we really want presidents and their families constantly in court? Do we want to see President Trump get elected and then try and seek revenge on President Biden? 

Do four years from now, when neither are standing again, we have new candidates threatening to sue each other and prosecute them as this is what we are facing if we allow the legal system to be politicized to the extent it is now becoming?

To make this court case viable, the district attorney upgraded the issue to be felonies from misdemeanors. The DA invented what even the New York Times acknowledged as a never-before-attempted legal theory under which the bookkeeping miscategorizations were part of a conspiracy that involved another crime. 

The judge in the case donated to President Biden. The judge did not allow the jury to be fully educated on the options available to them. One of the prosecutors joined the DA legal team from the Justic Department. This man was paid by the Democrats for political consultancy. Before President Trump’s conviction, the Biden campaign held an event at the courthouse. 

My concern is that this trial was designed to try to get President Trump in handcuffs or a jumpsuit and then the Democrats could run TV and social media adverts to help distract from President Biden’s appalling record and make the election a referendum on President Trump. 

And I ask everyone now: Is this what we want every election campaign to look like? Is this what we want the losing side to do post-November? Do we want politicians seeking revenge? If we are not careful the people’s voice at the ballot box is going to play second fiddle to court cases. (Remember, the Democrats had a fit over Florida in 2000).  

Let the people decide who gets to be president — not hyperpartisan judges and district attorneys. 

Neil Fitzgerald is an international nonprofit leader having served in the U.S., U.K. and globally for various nonprofit and charity boards. He served as a conservative council member in the U.K. and as a campaign manager. “Right Here, Right Now” regularly appears on Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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