Predicting the future is a risky business, especially when it comes to politics.
Many have tried and failed miserably.
Not too long ago, I predicted – fortunately only to family and friends — that Trump would spectacularly lose the 2016 election. Well, you know the reality.
Some have “lucked out” as in “16 Of the Most Impressive [Non-political] Predictions of All Time.”
Tony Schwartz (CEO and founder of The Energy Project, journalist and book author), missed the mark — perhaps only in chronological terms — when he tweeted in October 2017:
I still believe (and pray) Trump will resign by year end to avoid worse humiliation – e.g. indictment by Mueller, or 25th amendment removal.
There are numerous interesting quotes about such predictive skills.
I like this one by Niels Bohr, Danish physicist and Nobel Laureate, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”
I also like these very wise words from a very long time ago by the 6th century Chinese poet Lao Tzu, “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.
But, while we may not be able to predict the future, one can always dream.
And in the present climate of “let Trump be Trump,” in the era of a “newly emboldened Trump” – emboldened by the lack of principle and spine exhibited by his party – perhaps that is all most Americans can do at this time.
That could be what Nick Akerman and Jonathan Alter are doing in their “Quid pro Quo — The Opening Argument in the Trial of Donald J. Trump” recently published in The Daily Beast.
Akerman and Alter
dream suggest that “the contours of the [Mueller] criminal conspiracy case against President Trump are coming into view” and outline what they believe “[t]he public might hear…at an impeachment trial in the Senate next year (if the House goes Democratic) or in a jury trial (if the Supreme Court, which has never ruled on the constitutionality of criminally prosecuting a president, allows it).”
They present “a reasonable approximation of the story the prosecutor would tell the court and the American people in his opening argument.”
May it please the court. Ladies and gentlemen: This is a simple case about a plot hatched during the 2016 presidential election. The story begins with close business contacts between the Defendant, Donald John Trump, and Russian oligarchs, including some who obtained and distributed illegally hacked emails belonging to the Democratic Party in order to help Trump win. It continues with Trump and his associates—after receiving stolen goods—promising a major favor to the Russians in return for their criminal activity. And it ends with the Defendant Trump trying to cover up his crimes. Actually, the true end of the story is in your hands—when justice and accountability are restored.
After explaining the meaning of “quid pro quo,” (“It literally means, in English, ‘something for something.’ An exchange of favors. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”), the prosecutor places the Trump quid pro quos – the criminal conspiracy — “at the heart of this case”:
…in return for the Russians stealing and releasing emails, the Defendant Trump and members of his staff promised—publicly and privately—that after being sworn in, the new president would drop U.S. government sanctions against the Russian government and Russian oligarchs who are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The stolen emails and a variety of other illegal Russian efforts to hurt the Clinton campaign were the currency the Russians used to barter for sanctions relief.
The prosecution concludes:
Finally, I want to speak to you as Americans. The fact that Defendant Trump is president of the United States should not deter you from seeking justice in this case. No person—no matter what his position—is above the law. All we ask is that you consider the totality of the evidence without fear, favor or prejudice. When you have gone through the process of reviewing all of the evidence, we are confident that you will find Donald John Trump guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Thank you.
Please read the lengthy but fascinating and convincing opening argument in its entirety here. It will convince any reasonable member of any reasonable jury.
Hopefully, this will turn out to be a valid prediction and not just another dream.
Lead image credit:Flickr.com: www.allenandallen.com
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.