Dan Erwin: Politics

Should Trump Go to Jail?

A few weeks ago, when my houseman was cleaning for me, we engaged in a conversation about whether Trump should go to jail. Now I should say that my guy has worked for me for years and I have a terrific amount of respect for his insights. He graduated from St John’s prep school, an institution for which I have a lot of respect. Which means he knows how to analyze and think.

He asked whether I thought Trump should go to jail. I was very thoughtful about my response, responding rather slowly—out of verbal character--and saying, “I don’t know. I’m not sure.” An obviously unexpected response, he jumped in and said that he thought Trump should be made accountable for his crimes. I responded, “I agree, but I’m not certain that he should go to jail.” He stopped vacuuming, raised his eyebrows, rather surprised, and asked, “why not.” My answer was again slow, but direct: “I don’t know what the consequences might be. I’m fearful of the consequences of jailing him.”

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It's always political
Given my background in history and political science, I’m well aware that political actions, like jailing an ex-president, always have multiple consequences. But lots of ordinary behaviors also have multiple consequences. And there will always be political considerations. Remember, whenever any decision will impact two or more people, then the decision is political. Even in your family. So, here’s a simple family narrative that, hopefully, explains unintended consequences and my concerns about political process..

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