Donald Trump gets long-overdue comeuppance as jury finds him liable in sexual abuse and defamation lawsuit | Private Eye | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Donald Trump gets long-overdue comeuppance as jury finds him liable in sexual abuse and defamation lawsuit

Private Eye



As I write this column, former President Donald J. Trump has just been found liable for sexual abuse and defamation by the New York City jury that has been hearing the case brought against him by E. Jean Carroll.

Carroll is expected to collect $5 million in damages per this verdict. That's a lot of money for just about anyone, but especially for the people living in rural Arkansas who love the guy.

Even a scoundrel who daily milks his base of supporters for donations—what billionaire doesn't do that?—will now have to re-think how he handles himself in the company of women. For Carroll and the potentially dozens of others who assert Trump sexually assaulted them at some point in the past, the solace of being validated is likely more worthwhile than the money.

Some people keep score with money. Others keep score by other metrics: the number of Christmas cards received, how many likes one gets on a social media post, how many hugs they get in a day, by winning awards or gaining recognition from peers.

Trump is a money scorekeeper. Throughout his entire life, he's used the cachet of a $100 bill to silence his critics or to open doors where others had to earn their way in. None of that really matters now, because among all things Trump, he's for decades proven he can move on from such an adversity as if nothing happened—which was his defense in the first place.

He's not going to change. He will not become more stately or presidential. He's not going to be contrite or apologetic. He's going to pay the settlement at some point, likely after exhausting every court channel and delay tactic possible. He will simply be angry.

He'll shrug off the settlement and ask his supporters for more money. He's an earworm in that regard, just playing the same song over and over and over. I guess some people don't mind getting their music on defective music devices.

You all know what will come next: attacks on the accuser; attacks on the system; attacks on the judge, the jury and the rule of law. That's all part of the Trump earworm, too. If he's been anything in his life, it's that he's been predictable in how he conducts himself. The surprising thing is that people still buy it.

A comeuppance for the man was long overdue. The biggest mystery to me—who first became aware of Trump in the late 1970s—has always been how such a pompous jackass could rise to become an American president. Mike Lee's earworm is that our Constitution and democracy are on shaky ground. Mine is that when the best person for the job is a serial liar, when a person convicted of sexual assault could even sniff the White House, we are lost.

When people who are supposedly good people—even creepy Mike Lee—close their eyes to all that they know is evil and wrong, while supporting outcomes that are not good and correct, then what comes next?

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called for a civil war. That will be interesting. Does she mean red states like Texas, Florida and Utah somehow team up to fight blue states like California, Illinois and New Mexico? I'm not sure that will work logistically.

Maybe she means a civil war of ideas? Then that might boil down to blue cities doing battle with rural communities all over the map. But this will be hard since there are blues among the reds and vice versa.

I love the people of rural Utah. I have no beef with them—they just vote wrong. I don't want their guns, I don't want to close their churches. I just hope the power granted to them in the form of gerrymandered districts would cause them to take political rule seriously.

I can't believe for a moment they have a plug nickel in common with Donald Trump. He will use and has used them. The lesson is not lost on lower-level politicians who have embraced the Trump method of keeping people scared, enabling divisive politics, mocking anyone who opposes them and flat-out lying through their teeth.

Trump's most ardent supporters include not just Lee and Greene, but Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay "shame on me" Graham and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Each—and many other politicians—have spent the past weeks setting the stage for this day, claiming it's all just been a political witch hunt.

The next phase—more diversion—is already happening on social media, where Boebert and Greene wasted no time after the verdict to rave about the border crisis. Again. The wagons of Trump protection are circling.

But poor Ted Cruz—his face and fate born to be aggrieved—is not only harping on the southern border, but also on not drinking Bud Light because of a commercial that was kind to the transgender community. It would appear that there are as many women who have made accusations against Donald Trump as there are transgender persons in all of Texas.

Not now, not ever, will I boycott Bud Light—my favored morning elixir when camping the North Fork of the Duchesne River. I mix it with Spicy Hot V8. It's a better wake-me-up than coffee. If you doubt that, anyone of any stripe, gender, ethnicity or religion is welcome to join me. Just bring some bait and a guitar.

This would be a good time for Cruz, Lee and the rest of the sideline abusers and enablers in the halls of Congress to rethink where they have taken us. For if the U.S. Constitution doesn't account for a woman to have a fair and honest trial, then what good is it?

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