We all (I hope) understand the concept of crimes against humanity, which are generally despicable things that evil people do to other people.
Donald Trump is an evil man who does despicable things to people in whom he sees no value. That’s a fact, Jack.
There is however, a kind of capital in things he does called political capital. It’s a class of asset that one can use to buy support for an agenda. You can think of it as a way to buy friends.
When you’re out of political capital, you’re out of friends.
Another common usage of the word capital refers to crime. A capital crime is one that can be punishable by death.
If we put it all together, we have a guy racking up political capital by committing crimes against humanity that my be punishable by death.
The Brits like to say, “Capital idea, old boy,” which is their way of saying “good idea.”
In The American President (1995), speech writer and presidential adviser Lewis Rothchild (Michael J. Fox) tells President Andrew Shepard (Michael Douglas) to use his high approval rating for gun legislation.
Rothchild says, “Let’s take this 63 percent out for a spin and see what it can do.” In other words, let’s use our high approval rating to push Congress to vote our way.
Donald Trump doesn’t have a 63 percent approval rating and he never will. He’s on the downside of his highest rating and that trend should continue well into the coming year.
What Trump has is a rabid base whose allegiance to the President is unshakable. Some would compare that allegiance to religious fanaticism.
In any case, that blind loyalty to Trump is what comprises the Republican gerrymandered congressional districts. Anyone going against the President knows that they will face the wrath of his mob, riled up by his tweets.
That is political capital of the most valuable kind. It’s like Trump holding Congress’s children hostage.
Prosecution of crimes against humanity gained international notoriety in the wake of World War II, when Nazis were tried as war criminals.
Both Serbs and Muslims were prosecuted for war crimes following the Serbian Bosnian war of the 1990s.
Trump said that he will send up to 15,000 soldiers to guard our southern border against an onslaught of unarmed men, women and children escaping violence in Central America.
Those soldiers will be instructed to open fire on anyone throwing rocks.
Besides the fact that those people are 900 miles and a month or more away, soldiers will have to ask themselves if an order to shoot into a crowd of unarmed civilians is a legal order.
“Just following orders” has proven to be an ineffective defense.
The larger question will be whether or not shooting unarmed civilians constitutes a crime against humanity. If it is, then the guy who issued the order should be held responsible.
Do you think Trump ever heard of the My Lai Massacre?
Global warming is an existential problem and, as the name implies one that affects the entire planet. The case could be made that the leader of the free world turning his back on the problem is a crime against all of us. Against humanity.
Supporting leaders who suppress human rights, imprison, torture and kill their own citizens is a crime against those citizens. The list goes on.
What confrontations unfold at our southern border remains to be seen, but the sheer volume and persistence of the Trump crime spree, going back to the 1960’s qualify it as a crime against humanity.
Some may find his crimes rise to the level of capital crimes. I would say, “Capital idea, old boy.”
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