Investigators are searching for incontrovertible proof that our nation’s current president has conspired (or is conspiring) with an enemy nation to undermine the United States of America.
So far, there’s no public evidence that 45 is knowingly employed as a Russian saboteur, nor that he knowingly engaged the aid of other Russian agents to win the presidential election. His intentions are occluded from us.
But his actions are plain to see. 45 has obstructed investigations into the connections between his administration and the Russian government. The dictator of Russia wanted for him to be elected, and devoted significant resources toward either bolstering his chances or directly manipulating the vote. Numerous whimsical actions taken by 45 have caused strife among nations that were formerly allied in their opposition to Russia. As with his personal businesses, 45 is using kickbacks to bankrupt the United States – we won’t have the financial resources to fix future calamities.
This list of offenses could be extended – indeed, other writers have enumerated many more.
But, absent proof of his intent, 45 cannot be punished for acting as though he was a Russian agent.
And the punishment he’s being protected from? He’d lose his job. The Senate would step in to say “You’re fired.”
When the threatened punishment is 20 years in prison, however – somewhere between 25% and 40% of a poor person’s total lifespan – we don’t require proof. In those cases, if something looks like a rat, we call it a rat. Honestly, things don’t have to look all that rat-like – four legs, a tail, a too-pointy nose? We call it a rat.
We’ve passed laws outlawing various molecules in this country – it’s illegal to sell them, it’s illegal to possess them, it’s illegal to have them floating through your bloodstream. But we don’t stop there – it’s also illegal to possess objects that might be used to ingest those molecules.
Usually, hypodermic needles are legal. As are glass pipes. And soda straws.
But we’ve decided that it’s illegal for certain people to have soda straws. If a person looks suspicious, he can’t drink through a straw. If a suspicious-looking person foolishly does receive a straw along with his soda, he can be sent to Rikers, where he might receive permanent brain damage when actual criminals wail on him.
45 sowing discord among America’s allies isn’t enough – we need proof that he’s acting at Russia’s behest to undermine our position in the world. But possession of a soda straw? That’s sufficient evidence for us to ruin somebody’s life. Not even his accompanying soda could absolve the man of presumed guilt.
The punishment for possession of methamphetamine is far less severe than the punishment for possession with intent to sell. Again, we don’t require proof that somebody’s selling drugs. If you buy in bulk, you must be selling. Never mind how many people love shopping at Cosco (or my own propensity to purchase restaurant-sized jars of pickles because each would be a wee bit cheaper per).
Our criminal justice system routinely divines intent from a person’s actions. When people’s lives are on the line, our suspicions are enough to convict. Yet now, as our country plunges toward disaster (climate change, nuclear war, or economic collapse could do us in), we need proof.