Win or lose I am among the many who expect Donald Trump to issue several pardons as early as the day after the 2020 election. The almost sure thing is a bunch of political pardons to his boys. What if he goes much further? It could happen if he loses, later in his term if he wins. Let’s explore.
On November 5th Republican Matt Bevin was defeated in an effort to be reelected as Kentucky’s Governor. Tuesday December 10th was his last day in office. In that short interim Bevin issued 428 pardons. It is neither unusual nor bad for a chief executive to issue pardons on their way out the door. The number is high but the concern is many of the recipients.
One was the rapist of a 15-year-old boy. That act is not a mistake and the victim is scarred for life.
Then there was the young woman who gave birth to her baby in a flea market outhouse only to deposit the newborn in the trash. There are a lot of issues there but a quickie pardon isn’t going to address any of them.
One of the forgiven is a man who while on probation drove under the influence, crashed into a car containing a pastor and his wife killing them both. He already was on probation; in other words he was already given a break by the legal system and proved he was incapable of handling it.
Then we have one that really brings Bevin’s character into question. He pardoned the brother of a man who was a fundraiser and donor. The freed brother was serving time for a home invasion turned robbery and homicide. That’s not like a kid smoking a joint at a party.
The statistics tell us that we have a mass incarceration problem in America. With about 5% of the world’s population we have approximately 25% of its prison inmates. Some people need to be removed from society but those numbers are way out of whack! I’m not opposed to pardons; I just want us to be careful about who gets them.
In 2002 a desperate Saddam Hussein, in a move that still baffles many, emptied his prisons. Many were political prisoners who posed a danger to Saddam not the population but there were some dangerous criminals among the pardoned. Although both have the blood of thousands on their hands (had in Saddam’s case) I am not saying Trump is as evil as Saddam was; as unintelligent – possibly; as vindictive – definitely if not more so.
If Trump loses what would stop him from pardoning a large number of dangerous criminals in federal prisons to make life more difficult for his successor and punish the American electorate? Least you think this is a reason to vote for Trump, I suggest that he is very capable of doing this at the end of a second term regardless of his successor. If you think he is loyal to the Republican Party you are mistaken. Regardless of successor he might do this simply to in his mind cement his legacy. If he wins a second term he will undoubtedly envision himself as the greatest president in American history.
Trump is like a cancer in the body of America. It may well take 60 million surgeons to remove him next November. Will you be one of them?
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