The Trial

Author: Gary Hart

The forthcoming national election will be like no other in our history.  Those already focused on this, despite the pandemic and economic collapse, are coming to agreement on that.  In traditional terms, this would be a contest between the Republican Trump and the Democratic Biden.  But in the past four years, America has left tradition behind.

During the Trump years, he has stood by while a deadly virus has killed more than 175,000 Americans and destroyed or badly injured more than half the nation’s economic base.  He has converted an 80-year bipartisan foreign policy based on international democratic alliances to an isolationist-nationalist retreat.  He has replaced conservation minded national leaders with lobbyists for oil and gas, mining, and timber industries who are selling off, for pennies on the dollar, the national resources that represent our sacred heritage for future generations.  He has abandoned decades of arms control agreements that made the world safer and instead has ignited a dangerous nuclear arms race.

This is not an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  It is a choice between Donald Trump and America.  Joe Biden has the burden and the honor to represent the interests of America against a man whose only concern is for himself.

Donald Trump has systematically rejected the institutions, the history, the laws, and the Constitution of the United States.  He has but one principle.  And that principle is himself.  He cannot tell the truth, because he does not know the truth. He stands outside American history admiring himself in his own mirror.

Donald Trump cannot manage the national government, with all its concerns for the people and the nation’s well-being, because those who can manage are in one door and out another for refusing to worship him.

His term is characterized by massive fraud, chaos, and confusion.  He wants dictatorship, like those he has admired the most.  But the Constitution will not let him have it.  Instead, he surrounds himself with those who tell him the Constitution gives him the power to do whatever he wants.

Joe Biden now stands before the court of public opinion, the court of justice, and the Court of Democracy itself to defend the principles and the honor of the United States.  The court of history awaits.

We must hope he reads daily the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address, and Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.  He might also remember to remind all of us to “ask what you can do for you country.”

This will not be an ordinary election.  The soul of the nation is in the balances.  This is the United States of America vs. Donald J. Trump.

16 Responses to “The Trial”

  1. Stephen D. Pillow Says:

    Hopefully the populace and the politicians won’t rely upon the polls and will still work hard for a Biden Presidency. Register, Become informed, and Vote.

  2. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Funny, I heard last night from Melania that Donald Trump does nothing but work for the American people. He cares so much about the people that he works day and night, I think it was, for them.

    How do Biden and the Democrats fight back against such shamelessness?

    They had better figure it out, post haste!

  3. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Biden (and his supporters) will have to find a way to counter the narrative against his son and family because enough of the American people will just believe former AG Bondi if there isn’t a straight forward counternarrative that is repeated and often!

  4. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Senator Hart,

    >>>>>>>”This will not be an ordinary election. The soul of the nation is in the balances. This is the United States of America vs. Donald J. Trump.”

    Hopefully, Biden and the Democrats won’t run an ordinary campaign.

    The Dems need not only to put their vision forward but they must also obliterate the Trump record and lies – in every way, shape and form. They need to expose and repudiate, finally, the Republican cult of economic failure – which has been around for a lot longer than Trump, I hasten to add.

    They better be prepared for a no-holds-barred battle to the death of Trumpism or get ready for another four years …

  5. Bill Pruden Says:

    Senator Hart,
    As always you have offered an insightful and thoughtful analysis of the historic choice that faces us in the upcoming election.  I fully share your belief that this is an unprecedented election and that is about more than just a choice between two candidates.  Indeed, While there will be much debate in coming years about whether Donald Trump is the worse president the nation has ever had, it is hard to deny that he is the most norm defying one we have ever seen and in that way the greatest threat to the continued existence of our fundamental system of government.  Just this week we have seen it in the repeated violations of the Hatch Act, not to mention the trampling of sensible and time-honored norms-like keeping the State Department, not to mention the White House and the National park Service, out of electoral politics.  Indeed, the whole Convention has been rife with examples of behavior and attitudes that do nothing but show the contempt of this Administration for the basics of American civic life.  Not only is the election a case of the USA versus Donald Trump, in its own way it is a referendum on the American experiment.   We have all heard the famed story about how in the aftermath of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, as Ben Franklin exited the gathering, he was asked what kind of government had been created and he offered his famous reply “A Republic, if you can keep it.” That’s the question that this election poses.  Can we keep it?  More pointedly do we want to keep it.  Do the American people want to keep the republic that has for almost 250 years been a beacon to the world or do we want abandon it? It is not as obvious a question as it may appear for if we truly want to keep it we have to be willing to do the work that an educated and engaged citizen must do to make a Republic work. Are we willing to do that?  The system relies on educated, informed voters. Are we willing to be that? A successful republic is based in the people who support it and who, by engaging in it, make it “a government of the people, for the people, and by the people,” to quote the long-forgotten patriarch of the Republican Party. This election gives us a chance to reaffirm our commitment to that premise. It is a referendum on the question of whether we as a nation remain committed to those principles and to being the kind of citizens who will do what it takes to make it work.  That, in my view, is ultimately what we are being asked.  It is up to us as voters, as citizens, and as Americans, to answer in the affirmative and make a statement about who we are by replacing the incumbent with someone who believes in the principles upon which our Republic is based. 

  6. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    Let us set the record straight. Joe Biden has never ever been a radical in his entire life! What is radical about wanting everyone to be covered by health care insurance, receive family paid leave and sick leave, wanting everyone to be protected from the coronavirus, wanting those who desire to go to college to not have to go bankrupt for the effort! That is not radical that is humane.

    What is radical defending a cold blooded killer who shoots peaceful protesters by calling him a hero and praising him as a patriot! That is radical and that is Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter and anyone who agrees with them. That is a President who calls peaceful protesters terrorists! That is radical!

    The Republican Party has chosen to be the party of Trump and not Lincoln. Those who disagree are abandoning the not so Grand Old Party! It is a moment to morn for those Republicans who believed in reasoned debate and governance!

    We had an impeachment trial and now we will have a trial for the soul of this democracy! We are fortunate to have a skilled prosecutor on our side! The jury will be those who chose to vote!Even those who choose not to vote will have an impact on the outcome. We must vote like never before however we can! If there is a hung jury or mistrial thanks to the Constitution and the midterms in 2018 Nancy Pelosi will be our President!

    To those who say Donald Trump is our worst President in my book we have had NO PRESIDENT for the past three plus years. We have had a want-to-be dictator!

  7. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Sorry Bill, I need paragraphs …

  8. Stephen D. Pillow Says:


    Excellent commentary. No problems without paragraphs. I often write in a similiar manner.

  9. Michael Says:

    For now it’s an election between Donald Trump and America. But we must brace ourselves for the deeply disturbing but very real possibility that America is Trump.

  10. Elizabeth Miller Says:


    Based on Stephen’s review of your comment, I took the time to read it. But, man, was it sore on the … err, my poor eyes. 🙁

    I’m glad I read it – your analysis is one of the most insightful and brutally honest comments on the meaning of this election that I have ever read! You ask the right questions, especially about whether Trump is actually representative of America. Even if Trump is thrown out by the people, Biden is going to have a monumental job to begin to unite the country as much as it can be united. But, then again, Biden has cleaned up messes on the scale of the Augean Stables before, so … 🙂

    I will continue to have faith in the American people as a whole, in your Republic and in the promise of America, until I don’t.

  11. Bill Pruden Says:


    As I have over the ears, I continue to appreciate the feedback offered on my thoughts. All of the exchanges reflect, what at the risk of speaking for him, I believe Senator Hart has long sought to encourage–both as a Senator and through this forum–and that is the active engagement by citizens in the precious process of American democracy. But of course our engagment must extend well beyond this forum. Especialy in times like this, and that is something we must never forget.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth my eyes are not getting any younger either and so I will certainly try to break up my future entries into paragraphs.

  12. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Thanks, Bill! And, that was nice on the eyes. 🙂

  13. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    The old normal wasn’t so hot! Some old sins of the past on trial!


    The speedy advance of technological development and the globalization of economics had major negative impacts on working Americans, something that was forecasted back in the late 1960s. Responsible governmental and non-governmental officials who knew what was coming did next to nothing to prepare us. It was a gross neglect of effort.

    The primary wealth of the middle class in this country is heavily impacted by property taxes. Property is their major investment and affected by ever increasing property taxes! State and local services are fueled by the property tax in most states including funding for schools. The school districts with the more affluent tax base benefit while school districts with less affluent tax base lag behind in available resources. This causes a basic inequity in the availability of educational opportunity! Often crime and despair are the final result because people see no avenue to improve their situation. This is not a new revelation. Read the Kerner Report of 1968. Unfortunately, none of its recommendations were implemented! Instead we got Richard Nixon’s Law and Order spiel. Another President who had no credentials to talk about law and order.

    The wealthier among society benefit from a wide range of investments which generate taxes only when sold or traded if then. The increases in the cost of daily living and healthcare and the degeneration of buying power of middle class wages have vastly increase the gap in earning power between the middle class and the wealthy! Immigration and poverty have not robbed the middle class of their standard of living. Greed at the top has!

    Greed has caused the relative stagnation of wages, the weakening of unions to collectively bargain, and the loss of jobs to overseas markets! Greed has pushed the middle class to increase their debt forcing them to the use of high interest credit cards to buy daily household goods including groceries. Greed has purchased both houses of congress and the Presidency!

    Thus it can be unequivocally be said all boats don’t rise to the same level because some boats have holes in them be they financial or social!


    The idea for a baseline income is not a new concept. It was introduced by Louisiana Governor Huey Long in his “Share or Wealth” scheme promoting a $5000 a month base income. An increasing number of voters support increased taxation of the wealthy with a decrease in tax benefits, a higher minimum wage pegged to a defined standard living wage, universal healthcare, paid family and medical, annual increases in Social Security payments pegged to the Cost of Living Index, increased Medicaid support, increased aid for higher education opportunities to include technical education, and creation of a national increase in infrastructure development coupled with essential and effective job training.

    A majority of voters want less petty political dogma and ideological bickering and a significant increase in consensus building. They are tired of politicians who cater to lobbyists and wealthy contributors and pretend concern for the general populace. Voters want real access not empty platitudes. They want limits on campaign spending and many flat want terms limits.

    Most folks want something to be done about battling a very real Climate Change!


    Refusal of Bernie Sanders voters to vote for Clinton and either didn’t vote or voted for a third candidate.

    Voters who turned out in 2012 for Obama failed to turn out for Clinton in 2016 in the key states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Clinton campaign failed to campaign aggressively in these three swing states to get out the vote. The margin of Trump’s victory in those states was very narrow and could have easily been overcome.

    Failure of the American voter to learn the obvious facts about Trump’s business and social past. Hillary had the relevant plans and policies but lost in the ability to generate energy among the general electorate. Al Gore had the same problem as did John Kerry!

    Disproportionate attention was paid by the mass media to the Trump circus and to phony issues like Clinton’s server and not attention paid to Trump’s misadventure in business and unpreparedness for the job which were obvious.

    Certainly, Trump’s collusion with Russia and his obstruction of the subsequent investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election had an impact. I’m amazed people are shocked at Trump’s deference to Putin! He has a debt to pay!


    Slogans and labels are the bane of electoral politics in America! People are fearful of the word ‘Radicalism’ yet radical efforts gave us labor unions and laws that advanced worker concerns, Social Security, Medicare, Women’s rights, and the beginning for civil rights and LGBT rights!

    We have seen the term ‘Socialism’ applied to bailouts for corporations and industry as an acceptable practice with impunity for those who created the crisis requiring taxpayer bailouts.

    Socialism for the wealth became good as opposed to socialism for the working class or poor. And financial Socialist programs like Social Security and Medicare are constantly under attack by those who seek and get corporate welfare and tax breaks and financial incentives at tax payers expense.

    The current term progressive is frequently defined as socialist or liberal. In truth progressive simply means we can improve on the past. Progress is a continual action without any finality!

    Liberal simply means being liberated from the adverse negative impacts of the concentration of wealth!

    Conservative means to preserve our natural resources; the human values of all people; and the promises agreed to in our Constitution.

    Political slogans are an excuse for laziness in exploring the principles and positions on the issues of the day.

    A Biden Administration has a heavy load to correct sins of the past! If Trump wins I’m looking for avenues to sneak into Canada!

  14. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    I can help you with that last bit, Patrick! 🙂

    As for the rest of your comment – nailed it, pretty much!

    The Law and Order label that Trump has attached to himself is one that Biden should snatch away from him when he’s not looking. And, that includes being tough on looters, arsonists and other rioters, promising to prosecute them in a Biden administration.

    It is starting to irritate me when I hear Biden talking about the looters like they actually make up some segment of the protesters/demonstrators who come out to the streets to give voice against police brutality and racial injustice.

    Biden needs to start making these distinctions and call out the “woke” nonsense for what it is, speaking of stupid labels. He might also connect these legitimate protests in the streets to the transmission of the virus that continues to plague the nation in the absence of any national leadership. If you want to protest, then follow the rules that will reduce transmission. Period.

  15. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    Elizabeth – I’ll keep your offer of help in mind! Totally agree with your comments!


    And this , our dear host, is brilliance personified!

Leave a Reply

All comments are reviewed by a moderator prior to approval and are subject to the UCD blog use policy.