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The Trump–Stalin Showdown

Only one of them can come out alive!

At least half the nation has the heebie-jeebies over what took place in that Manhattan courtroom last week. Truth be told, if the polls and donations to Trump are correct – it's more than half the nation.

At the moment, America looks like the country that defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War, only to begin to morph into the former communist-atheist state. Right now – large parts of the government look exactly like what the Founding Fathers feared.

Stalin's longest-serving secret police chief once boasted during the infamous show trials of the 1930s (public spectacles targeting Stalin's political opposition), "Show me the man and I'll show you the crime." This was in reference to the way that his secret police didn't need to wait for a crime to be committed to punish enemies of the state. All they needed was a target. Any evidence needed to drag that individual through their kangaroo courts toward a predetermined guilty verdict could be found along the way.

When a judge tells the jurors they don't have to reach a consensus on what crimes were committed, only that some crime, any crime was committed, we get a glimpse of the show trials of Stalin's Soviet Union.

Nowhere is this modern reenactment of Stalinism so perfectly summed up than by anti-Trump Lincoln Project founding member, George Conway (former husband of Kellyanne Conway, the Senior Counselor to the President, under the Trump Administration) when he said on PBS's Firing Line, "Whatever they can get him for is fine by me."

If this was one isolated incident, it might be perceived as legitimate, albeit highly unprecedented. But this is not an isolated incident. In fact, one must be willfully ignorant or disingenuous to believe so, as the past eight years of unprecedented attacks against this particular president demonstrate.

No president, either sitting or former, has ever been charged with a crime in the history of the United States (though there have been some close calls.)

Presidents have also been granted immunity from prosecution for actions taken while in office, as was confirmed in the Supreme Court ruling on Nixon v. Fitzgerald (1982.) This could lead some to believe that perhaps this former president was such a bad man that he deserves unprecedented, unpresidential treatment. The narrative weavers for the Democrat party certainly work hard to ensure their voters believe this.

During his campaign leading up to the 2016 election, intelligence officials planted the seeds of the Steel Dossier. I remember because I was asked to write on it by my editors at a different publication (the particular editor's connections to a corporation in the Military Industrial Complex, I'm sure, were purely coincidental.) Those seeds, connecting "Never Trump" Republicans with the Clinton Democrats and their friends in foreign intelligence, would later blossom into the years of anti-Trump narratives with which you, the reader, are likely so familiar. The roots of the narratives run deep and cross party lines.

Michael Henry, at the Oxford Eagle, wrote in 2018 how the Muller appointment and investigation of "Russian collusion" was perfectly in line with Soviet-style prosecution. "To call it a witch-hunt," Henry wrote, "is an insult to witches." In addition, he outlines how "deep-state" actors worked in tandem with media and political operatives to frame the president. From underhanded stories published by the media, fed to them by state officials – such as the request by James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton) to FBI Chief James Comey, that he should mention the made-up Steele Dossier with President Trump so that CNN could have reason to publish all the details – to withholding critical information from congress – to no-knock raids on the homes of political opponents, the actions taken against Trump and those supporting him could hardly be distinguished from those of the Soviet establishment or the average third world dictator aside from outright firing squads.

What is so fascinating about the Steele Dossier, in particular, is how perfectly it juxtaposes the treatment of Trump with that of establishment insiders.

The charges against Trump in the New York case were two-fold: that he "falsified business records" (a misdemeanor under New York law) for "the purpose of unlawfully influencing" the 2016 election and violating campaign finance law (changing the misdemeanor to a felony under the "intent" clause in New York law). In 2022, Hillary Clinton's campaign was quietly fined $113,000 for "violating campaign finance laws" in the State of New York "by misreporting spending" on what would eventually become the Steele Dossier. Hillary Clinton's organization quite literally "falsified business records," violating campaign finance laws, "for the purpose of unlawfully influencing" the outcome of the 2016 election. This, of course, is just one example of many.

Another example of how long-running this attempt to prosecute is:

In addition to this obvious political favoritism, the keen observer may have noted that the Nixon v. Fitzgerald case, mentioned earlier, ruled that presidents are granted immunity from actions taken while in office. While I am no legal scholar, and I am sure there are caveats and arguments to be made on what this truly covers, the charges against Donald Trump cover actions he allegedly committed on February of 2017, as written in the official indictment, which, if I'm not mistaken, comes after the January 17-21, 2017 Inauguration date.

Regardless of our opinions, however, the jury (drawn from deep blue boroughs in a deep blue city in a deep blue state) concluded that Donald Trump is guilty of all 34 counts. We will see what the sentence will be and what the Trump team will do to appeal the decision.

However, one positive we can draw from this nearly decade-long assault on the president, his voters, and the institutions of the nation lies in our response to attempts at demoralization. Because that is the point of all of this. Yes, there is the hope by those prosecuting Trump that it will keep him from becoming the Republican candidate, but that is unlikely, considering his growing support, particularly from numerous non-traditionally Republican sectors.

As is often the case, the real purpose of these attacks is to discourage anyone who might consider challenging the established authority in the future, particularly those with the means to do so. The message sent here is "Challenge us, and we will destroy you, no matter how long it takes, by any and all means."

Our response should be that of any free people, but also that of any wise strategist. We need to both stand together as free people, yet also diversify.

We should build such a robust and antifragile network among our communities, in politics (local, state and federal), in business, and every critical sector (healthcare, banking, education, etc.), that an attack on one or even several "leaders" becomes pointless.

We are already seeing the beginnings of this phenomenon as attempts by cancel culture often end up strengthening the target of cancellation. We saw this after the verdict, as millions of donors showed their support of Trump. The goal now must be to find ways to do this in a broader sense. If we can develop such an interconnected web of support for each other that any shocks to the system only cause us to grow stronger, then we will have reached a point of antifragility.

To do this, we need to continue to find ways to support each other in any endeavors that will help to strengthen the spirit of liberty, the pursuit of national resurgence, and the preservation of our tremendous heritage and culture in both the United States and the broader Western world.

No matter what sentence is handed down in July, here's to an antifragile future.

Arthur is a former editor and consultant. Born in India to missionary parents, he spent his early career working in development for NGOs in Asia, Central America, and Africa.

Arthur has an educational background in history and psychology, with certifications from the University of Oxford and Leiden in the economics, politics, and ethics of mass migration and comparative theories in terrorism and counterterrorism. He is currently launching CivWest, a company focused on building capital to fund restorative projects and create resilient systems across the Western world.

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04 jun

The authors ‘antifragile’ concept reminds me of a very popular video out on twitter that is hilariously funny while showing the utmost motivation by an African American who states if nobody is going to get every race together, religion, etc. to fight against Biden that he was (!) and we were all going to love each other and party while doing it!

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Most illuminating; thank you for this info and perspective.

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