Let’s talk about numbers: 3, 4, 18, 91, 2020, and 2024

by Elpidio Estioko

Former President Donald Trump was indicted for the fourth time recently by a grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia, on charges he and his supporters attempted to interfere with the state’s 2020 presidential election.

He was charged, with 18 others including four prominent people such as Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Jeffrey Clark, and Sidney Powell.

The fourth came just a few weeks after he was indicted for the third time in Washington relating to the January 6 incident discrediting the result of the election claiming President Joe Biden won illegally.

So, Mr. Trump is now facing four criminal cases with a total of 91 charges.

First, the federal case was brought in Washington this week by the special counsel, Jack Smith. Second, a separate federal case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith in Florida accused Trump of mishandling national security secrets. Third, a case in New York State Court accusing him of falsifying election documents. And the fourth, reelection fraud in Georgia.

Responding to the third indictment, Trump said the indictment was a means to persecute him: “This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.”

As to the fourth, two senators released their joint statement. “No one is above the law — including Donald Trump,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote.

“This indictment must now play out through the legal process, without any outside political or ideological interference. We encourage Mr. Trump’s supporters and critics alike to let this case proceed peacefully in court.”The Georgia election official who refused to help Trump said in response to the former president’s indictment that the rule of law is the most basic principle of democracy.

“The most basic principles of a strong democracy are accountability and respect for the Constitution and rule of law. You either have it, or you don’t,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement.

Trump pressured Raffensperger in a January 2020 phone call to “find” him enough votes to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during the now-infamous call.

Raffensperger, a Republican, resisted Trump’s pressure and stood by his November certification of Biden’s victory. “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger said.

With all these multiple comments, Trump claims he is innocent and has the right to freedom of speech under the US Constitution. He might be right, but the freedom of speech is not absolute.

It was never meant to be by the framers of the Constitution otherwise there would be chaos and no order. In fact, nobody is above the law. The law must prevail, that’s why all rights and freedoms under the Bill of Rights are not absolute, although anyone has the right to free expression.

What’s surprising is that a far larger 71% of Republicans say the former president has not committed serious crimes, the same percentage who say Republicans need to stand behind Trump through his legal trials.

Another disturbing development is that Trump’s fundraising surged after each of his first two indictments. Trump’s legal challenges have proven to be lucrative fundraising opportunities and he is capitalizing on this to bolster his chances of reelection.

His first two indictments and court appearances have been followed by steep increases in online donations to his committees. Fundraising totals include money raised for Donald J. Trump for President 2024 and Trump Save America J.F.C. via WinRed.

A quarter of Trump’s online fund-raising this year occurred in the weeks around his first indictment. Contributions around the second indictment were not nearly as substantial, and it remains to be seen whether donors stick with Mr. Trump as his legal troubles have multiplied.

Others say his third and fourth indictments will even bolster more funds pouring into Trump’s political war chest, although we found out that not all the money coming in for his political campaign is being spent for the campaign, but is largely being used for his personal gain, especially his legal battles.

Despite multiple criminal indictments, however, former President Trump is still the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Yes, he is so far leading Florida Gov. Ron De Santis coming in far second among 30 GOP candidates.

Others say this is Trumpism but I would say this is political cultism. The cult mentality prevails in Trump’s allies because, despite all these allegations and indictments, they are still standing beside him, supporting him to the hilt, sacrificing their philosophy and the party’s philosophy.At the time of this writing, Trump has spent years focusing his cult of personality on promoting what has become known as the Big Lie — his claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him despite conclusive evidence to the contrary.

Unlike a normal political issue that springs from authentic mass opinions (abortion rights, gun control, economic policy, etc.), the Big Lie exists because of the personality quirks of a man in charge of a political cult.

It survives because, instead of being discredited by Trump’s years-long history of refusing to accept election results unless he wins and the fact that Trump’s arguments have been debunked, Trump supporters are trained to disregard any voice that dissents from their leader’s word.

“People who believe in the Big Lie have been indoctrinated for the most part into believing only this and into disbelieving any media that is critical of it,” explained Dr. Steven Hassan, one of the world’s foremost experts on mind control and cults, a former senior member of the Unification Church, founder/director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center Inc. and author of the bestselling books “Freedom of Mind,” “Combating Cult Mind Control” and “The Cult of Trump.”

Okay, so with the cult mentality ingrained in politics nowadays centering on Trump, most likely Trump will be the standard bearer of the GOP come 2024. But will it carry its weight nationwide? Will the American voters propel him to the White House again, for the second time around?

Fellow Americans, the decision is yours!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKOwas a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. He just published his book Unlocking the Chain of Poverty: In Pursuit of the American Dream which is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris Publishing. For feedbacks, comments… please email author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).

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