News & Politics

On Trump, Progressives Chose 'Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards'

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For those who wiled away pleasant undergraduate hours debating whether Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World was the better predictor of our destiny, how remarkable to discover Lewis Carroll was the most prescient of them all.

As  progressives salivate in expectation of Robert Mueller’s findings, I see we have passed through the looking glass. Consider the following from Chapter 12 (entitled “Alice’s Evidence”) of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

“I won’t!” said Alice.

“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

“Who cares for you?” said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”

How long before we deplorables grow to our full size and follow Alice’s example by dismissing our own would-be monarchs, lords and ladies? The issue is not whether Mr. Mueller is an honest man, or whether the true muscle and sinew of the FBI — its rank-and-file members — have been tainted by the apparent corruption of their superiors. It’s whether those superiors have so compromised the process that, in this polarized nation, whatever Mueller finds will be rejected by a significant portion.

Like the Queen of Hearts, progressives long ago decided on the appropriate sentence for President Trump. In the words of Maxine Waters: “Impeach 45! Impeach 45!” She has been joined in this idiocy by virtually the entire membership of the Democrat Party congressional caucus, the cognoscenti of our press and media, and of course progressive talk-workers who snarl their way across most cable-television news.

So, having decided upon the “proper” outcome of Mr. Trump’s ordeal, the means by which it is confirmed are irrelevant. Who cares if secret courts were manipulated to bring about the desired result? Who cares how the truth must be contorted to justify our rulers’ preconceived conclusion as to what that truth must be? And what difference does it make if certain people’s lives are twisted and broken to serve progressivist ends? After all, they explain to one another, “we are a revolutionary movement and can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs and if a few people get hurt in the process, no matter, as long as we are securely in control of our ignorant inferiors.”

Make no mistake, progressives see themselves as the natural ruling class, stewards of the arc of history, superior in all ways to deplorables clinging to God and guns.

In discussing Downton Abbey with many of my Hollywood colleagues, I’ve come to realize the thing they most admire is the “correct order” of that fiction: the blessed and anointed are cosseted and cared for upstairs because they simply “know better than the ordinary folk” downstairs, to whom it is left to actually make things function and ensure the house runs on time. All the nasty chores dealt with quietly, out-of-genteel-sight.

Surely the point of America was that ordinary people had, like Alice, grown to their full size and would no longer be dismissed without a proper hearing wherein all people are equal before the law. But from the beginning of time, it is the mark of self-appointed, self-perpetuating ruling classes that they know what is best and should not be subjected to the process of investigation and trial. That’s for ordinary folk — or anyone who dares challenge them.

One of my favorite moments in Ike, Countdown to D-Day (please forgive the self-reference) is when Eisenhower confronts a two-star general who, after too much wine, blurts out secrets in the Savoy Grill a few days before D-Day. Eisenhower confirmed the facts before having him arrested immediately. When he visited the man in jail, instead of apologies, the officer insisted: “You can’t send me home, Ike! Not just before the big show! You and I were at West Point together. We’re the same group. Our sort must stick together.”

Eisenhower replied, “That’s the worst thing you could have said. What matters here are the men in the assault wave. You are not worthy of them.” Ike sent the man packing on the next plane, reduced to the rank of major.

If only we had leaders like him today. Find the facts and then determine the punishment — one that is the same for all ranks. How did we slip into a world, foreseen by Lewis Carroll, where the sentence precedes the trial?

It’s time we grew to our full size.