Nina B. Mogilnik

Perp Walk and Parade Both Begin with ‘P’

My autistic son LOVES Sesame Street, so it was impossible to resist pulling something from one of their wonderful story skits for the title of this piece.  And perfectly fitting it is, I think.  Sad, tragic, but still perfectly fitting.

While roughly half of America thinks a perp walk for a federally indicted ex-President was long overdue, another half or so thinks it was an excuse for showing up to cheer on their guy, with signs, cardboard cutouts, and even costume homages.

No mystery which America I live in,  But it doesn’t really matter.  I can’t wall myself off from folks who think lying, stealing, and cheating are one man’s birthright, and that a guy who has done all of those things his entire life (modeled after his dear old dad), deserves not just another turn as Commander-in-Chief, but the chance to burn to the ground the institutions and norms he only managed to badly scorch during four years of late night cheeseburgers, endless rounds of golf, and breathless grifting.  Always, always grifting.

I’m amused by those who scratch their heads wondering about his motives.  “Why would he take and refuse to return classified government documents?”  If you’re dumb enough to ask that question, you haven’t paid attention to the entire sordid episode that is Donald Trump’s life.  Tax evasion. Philandering. Race-baiting. Draft dodging. Loan fraud.  What about his prior history didn’t clue you in to who he was, is, and always will be.  There is no redemption narrative.  There’s just a jackhole born on third base who thinks he hit a triple.

There’s no intellect, no soul, no higher purpose.  There’s just an endless will to monetize everything.  And I do mean EVERYTHING.  Along with a toddler’s insistence that “It wasn’t me!  It wasn’t me!  It was Freddy.  Or Don Jr.  Or that idiot Eric.  Or one of my slutty ex or current wives.  It wasn’t me!!!”  And he has the lifelong receipts to show that monetizing everything and deflecting blame works.  In school, in business, in every facet of life.  And especially tragically for our nation and world, as President of the United States.

But his real “genius” was to understand how craven many people are.  Politicians above all.  Unprincipled, cheaply bought and sold creatures who will, as a former grad school professor of my husband’s once opined, “follow a trail of excrement to any anus.”  But outside the political class, if  you scratch the surface, up pop aggrieved masses who cannot believe–Just. Cannot. Believe.–that America handed the keys to the country to that poser from Africa.  And they’ll be damned if they won’t claw them back.  No matter the cost.  Even to themselves.  That’s a very, very ugly truth that too many in America want to turn aside from.  And there is a special brand of something I’m not sure I even know how to name among those who treat as the Messiah a man who violates everything these same folks claim in Jesus’s name.  Amen.

This is not a polite analysis, because manners are beside the point.  Remember, he didn’t hint.  He TOLD us.  He could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.  And get away with it.  He thought the same about raping a woman in a department store dressing room.  He thought the same about verbally defecating on the graves of fallen soldiers, and on the service of those still living.  There is no bottom for him.  There never will be.

Only this flaccid pile of heinousness could turn accusations of mishandling national secrets into (yet another) fundraising opportunity, and have the universe must hate decent Americans good fortune to land the supine judge who quite recently abused in his favor her judicial power, to preside over this case.  I believe she will bend at every opportunity in his favor. She will stall.  She will disallow government evidence and witnesses.  She will intervene to be sure that theft/lying/traitor-friendly citizens are seated as jurists.  She will do anything and everything to tilt the scales of justice so far in his favor that the scales will collapse under the weight of her malign intervention.  And I fear that in the face of all this, the Special Counsel will move too slowly to challenge her shenanigans.  Failing that, I fear that a Republican will take the White House in 2024 and either self-pardon (an outrage even as a concept), or pardon his predecessor, securing favor with those who truly hate America.  At least the version that doesn’t look, pray, and rage against the dying of the “American” light the way they do.

About the Author
Nina has a long history of working in the non-profit, philanthropic, and government sectors. She has also been an opinion writer for The Jewish Week, and a contributor to The Forward, and to The New Normal, a disabilities-focused blog. However, Nina is most proud of her role as a parent to three unique young adults, and two rescue dogs, whom she co-parents with her wiser, better half. She blogs about that experience now and again at
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