Donald Trump as “The Don” (caricature by Donkey-Hotey [CC-BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr)

Donald Trump as Uber Immortal

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The 2006 movie, 300, is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans defend a narrow mountain pass against the Persian “God-King” Xerxes and his 300,000 soldiers. The Spartans withstand the initial attack. Xerxes offers Leonidas wealth and power in exchange for his submission. Leonidas declines and makes fun of Xerxes’ warriors. Enraged, Xerxes orders his elite guard, the Immortals, to attack. The Spartans defeat them handily.

A monstrous warrior, an Uber Immortal, is led onto the battlefield in a collar and chains by his Persian handlers. He is huge, ferocious, and seemingly invincible. His body is scarred in numerous places, suggesting he can’t be killed. His mere presence on the battlefield is meant to terrorize and demoralize the Spartans.

Donald Trump reminds me of the Uber Immortal.

Wikipedia reports: “In June 2016, USA Today published an analysis of litigation involving Donald Trump, which found that over the previous three decades Trump and his businesses have been involved in 3,500 legal cases in U.S. federal and state courts. ... The topics of the legal cases include contract disputes, defamation claims, and allegations of sexual harassment. Trump’s companies have been involved in more than 100 tax disputes, and on ‘at least three dozen’ occasions the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has obtained tax liens against Trump properties for nonpayment of taxes. ...

“Although Trump has said that he ‘never’ settles legal claims, Trump and his businesses have settled with plaintiffs in at least 100 cases ... with settlements ranging ... as high as tens of millions of dollars.

“Among the most well-known Trump legal cases was the Trump University litigation. Three legal actions were brought alleging fraud, one by the New York State attorney general and the others by class action plaintiffs. In November 2016, Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle the litigation.”

Did any of those lawsuits hurt Donald Trump? According to Trump and his faithful minions, they did not. And those 3,500 lawsuits occurred before Donald Trump became president. Before special counsel Robert Mueller’s team indicted or obtained guilty pleas from 34 people, including six former Trump advisers, five of whom pleaded guilty. Before Trump was impeached twice. Before Trump allegedly incited an insurrection.

Trump is currently the defendant in dozens of civil suits, and he is the focus of two major criminal investigations.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the Trump Organization for possibly illegal manipulation of the reported valuations of numerous real estate assets. In Fulton County, Georgia, a special grand jury is investigating Trump’s potentially criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 elections.

Trump also faces possible federal prosecution for attempting to overturn the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. According to NBC News: “A federal judge said in a ruling in a civil case in March that Trump ‘more likely than not’ committed federal crimes in seeking to obstruct the congressional count of the Electoral College ballots on Jan. 6, 2021, citing two statutes: obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

Trump also faces possible federal charges for unauthorized possession of national defense information and/or concealing or destroying official U.S. documents after the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents from his Mar-a-Lago home on August 8.

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From 1984 until 2002, Jefferson County had a Vehicle Emissions Testing (VET) program. A friend of mine was arrested and jailed because his car failed the VET, and he didn’t get it fixed and retested in time. Yes, he was arrested and jailed.

Most of us are at the mercy of the criminal justice system – but not Donald Trump. He is the epitome – an overgrown poster child – of wealthy white male privilege. At age 76, he has never been arrested or formally charged with a crime.

According to Wikipedia: “Donald Trump ... has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least 25 women since the 1970s. The accusations have resulted in three instances of litigation: his then-wife Ivana made a rape claim during their 1989 divorce litigation but later recanted that claim; businesswoman Jill Harth sued Trump in 1997 alleging breach of contract while also suing for sexual harassment but agreed to forfeit her sexual harassment claim as part of a settlement she received relating to the former suit; and, in 2017, former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit after Trump accused her of lying about her sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Trump’s army of lawyers and fabulous family fortune have protected him from prosecution, and this seeming invincibility is a big part of his appeal and his power. From common everyday scofflaws to US Congressmen, people admire and envy Trump’s apparent ability to get away with virtually anything and everything – with little or no consequences for his words and actions. Who wouldn’t want that, really?

Just before the primary in May, I was driving in Leitchfield, listening to the car radio. “This just in!” an urgent voice announced. “President Donald Trump has endorsed Brett Guthrie for Congress!”

Trump also endorsed Kentucky’s four other Republican incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives: Reps. Andy Barr, James Comer, Thomas Massie, and Hal Rogers, granting them his “Complete and Total Endorsement!”

In light of his many scandals and transgressions, including his involvement in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, why would anyone welcome, much less herald, an endorsement by Donald Trump? Brett Guthrie, for one, certainly did not need it. He won his primary with 78.1% of the votes. He would’ve won easily without the Trump endorsement.

Indeed, virtually all of the candidates endorsed by Trump were strong favorites to win – with or without Trump’s blessing. By endorsing them beforehand, Trump created the illusion that he is responsible for their wins. And the GOP hides behind and within this illusion – that the Republican Party remains unified and strong behind their populist leader, Donald Trump. But that unity and strength are exactly that – illusions.

The GOP hides behind and within the illusion that the Republican Party remains unified and strong behind their populist leader, Donald Trump. But that unity and strength are exactly that – illusions.

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After the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Rep. (R-Cal) Kevin McCarthy told fellow Republicans: “What the president did was atrocious and totally wrong.”

Senator (R-Ky) Mitch McConnell said of the attack: “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it.

“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”

I wish no physical harm upon the former president, but I am mindful of the fate of the Persians’ mighty Uber Immortal: King Leonidas stabs him in the eye and then beheads him, and his terrible rampage is ended.

No man is invincible, and no man is above the law.

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Written by Mark Heinz, who lives at Nolin Lake. Visit his website on Amazon.

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