Dispatches From Vero Beach: Trump Goes Loose and The Nation Faces The Noose

Day Two By The Ocean’s Edge…The Revolution: Coming To A Two-Lane One-Light Town Near You…Things Long Gone and Things Still To Come

Donald Trump poses for the camera during booking on charges of fraud.

(Jacob Winter) by DALLE-2

Donald Trump poses for the camera during booking on charges of fraud.

“Oh, how long Me seems it, ere the promis’d help arrive!”

Virgil, The Divine Comedy

“I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the sacrifice of the generation of ’76 to acquire self government and happiness to their country is be thrown away…and that my only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it.”

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Holmes

VERO BEACH, FLORIDA—Daybreak on Vero Beach. At 7 o’clock, a brilliant sun is already beating down on an otherwise calm day. The waves are lapping languidly against the shoreline and the dunegrass sways gently in the wind, while suburban couples on vacation and old women with books tucked under their arms stroll by on the wet sand. 

Last night, under a clouded moon, news began to drift onto the drunken patio of a chic Italian joint just down the street from my hotel of a rumbling upcountry. As of 6PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023, ex-President Donald John Trump is officially facing an indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney on numerous counts of business fraud related to the hush money he paid to his former left-hand-woman Stormy Daniels. For the first time in American history, the criminal justice system has reached the top, and we can only hope that the floodgates will open now. 

Every year the FBI churns out exhaustive statistics about the most degenerate and dangerous cities in this country, but they always omit the singular place with the highest crime rate from here to Caracas, hovering somewhere near one hundred percent—the Oval Office. 

For all the ordered hits on popular dissidents and entire populations, for all the street-corner shakedowns, remote regime changes, and illegal spying operations, for all the blood on the door knobs, the Presidency was finally brought down, not by any of this, but on suspicion of falsified corporate records in Downstate New York. It’s a true Al Capone ending to the untouchable Office, and it serves as a dim light of hope that maybe, just maybe, the most powerful man in the world will no longer be allowed to act with impunity. 

But that, of course, was once the hope with Watergate, and yet all we managed to condemn Nixon to was a pleasant retirement. Now, after we made the terrible mistake of electing the closest thing to Nixon four years ago, we are condemned to reap what we’ve sowed. The ramifications of Trump’s legal proceedings will almost certainly defy the conventional wisdom that says a President convicted of a felony offense is unelectable. As the Constitution bears out, he is certainly not ineligible, and that alone is enough to seal our fate (see Part 1: Dispatches From Vero Beach of the 2024 Election). 

Those hounds must be knocking on the gates of Mar-a-Lago by now, and though he’ll surely scream and writhe, Trump will go willingly, knowing full well what good it will do him in the long run. When it’s all said and done, the poking, prodding, and fondling that Trump is set to suffer at the hands of the deep state’s hired muscle will be merely a temporary embarrassment, outweighed by the prospect of permanent enshrinement as God-King of the Heartland, not to mention the only President since Grover Cleveland to serve nonconsecutive terms, a pointless fact Trump will no doubt find the time to point out. 

Still, though, for Trumplicans far and wide, this is the single darkest day in American history. It overshadows such sinister events as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was simply the victim of a lone gunman, or even 9/11. Donald Trump, on the other hand, finds himself powerless in the clutches of an anti-American conspiracy that exists for the sole purpose of destroying an honest man’s reputation. Filled with seething rage, patriots across the country assemble in ramshackle bars to draw up battle plans and take inventory of munitions. In small-town ranchers, old TVs on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen broadcast 24/7 Newsmax coverage hailing Trump as the greatest martyr for the American way of life since John Birch. Good Jesus. How bad will this get?

The warmth of the sun has me in a trance now, frantically scrawling these odious images on hotel stationary as they come to mind. And they are coming quite readily to mind, because they are out there, perhaps right around the corner, existing with all the other elements of this country in an increasingly fragile and combustible peace. 

At this point in the struggle, it becomes a matter of who strikes first. It’s true that Trump will go willingly, but he won’t go silently either, and the DA will tire easily of any ducking and weaving. As such, it’s entirely reasonable to imagine they turn to the Democratic establishment, who will have no trouble throwing diplomacy to the dogs in favor of launching a full-scale invasion of Florida to ‘go get their guy,’ the details of which will be outlined to the American people by Joe Biden in a not-too-distant Address to the Nation. On the flip-side, once Trump is in custody, Republicans may get antsy themselves and decide to throw caution to the wind in favor of another ill-conceived attack on an American institution, this time the justice system, with battalions of Facebook groups descending on Manhattan to ‘free their man.’ 

Looking further down the road, I feel convicted in saying that it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility to imagine that tensions begin to boil over as both sides dig in for a protracted legal battle and the election looms larger. If this thing does come to blows in the next several years, it will be a ugly scene. In the culture war, conservatives often boast that liberals wouldn’t stand a chance if real conflict broke out—they wouldn’t even know how to hold a gun because they’d have taken them all by then! These sentiments are largely contained to the depraved backcorners of the internet, but they’ve reared their ugly head before and with increasing frequency (Charlottseville, etc). With neighborhood militias becoming an ever more popular pastime for disaffected Republicans, the violence could very conceivably spill out into the public sphere when the training exercises become monotonous. And what a blood-bath that would be. As far as the hardline conservatives are concerned, the protest-happy left can keep the street corner—rooftops make much better firing positions.

It’s too much to bear out all at once for one tired soul. But the situation on the ground is deteriorating all right, I’d bet the farm on it. Dreadful, dreadful… 

Our story is beginning to read like that of a banana republic’s, mired in intractable political controversy and punctuated by sporadic bursts of dirty violence. It’s a well deserved fate for a country with such bad karma, a country that has inflicted the pain it’s now doomed to as a matter of policy for years. As America has come of age, it’s become increasingly clear that the grand experiment our forebears brought forth on this continent was all for nought. Nothing can change the fact we are an unruly lot of rabble who never wanted to establish a body of men, or laws, or anything else to secure our rights in the first place. We’re Irish bootleggers, English convicts, French debtors, and Italian beggars who all happened to find themselves on the same piece of land, and who were never too content to share it in the first place. 

This is the American the world sees, and the reason no one will visit us on our deathbed, yet every bullied Nation will stand in line for a chance to dig our grave. It’s the reason why, when the funeral doves have flown south for the winter, history won’t remember to put flowers on our headstone. While some pray toward Mar-a-Lago for a savior who’ll never come, the rest of us cling on to the idea of an America we never had and shudder at the thought that we’ll live to weep over its final demise. 

UPDATE: 5:59AM on the morning of Tuesday, April 4th. As I write this, Trump is probably stirring from his slumber and preparing for the next phase of his campaign to retake the White House, which begins today. Last night, he made the wise decision to surrender, and is now in the process of leveraging the whole scene to his greatest advantage, as predicted. Between airports on his way to Manhattan, he was met by swarms of cheering supporters who trampled each other for a chance to meet his gaze. Surely as he looked down from out the window at 10,000 feet his stomach fluttered at the thought of recreating the same route months in the future on a slickly-advertised “Justice Tour,” during which he’d tout his great legal victory and presage an election landslide to come.

This is an ongoing story. The BHS Gazette strives to provide accurate coverage and will share the latest information as it becomes available.

*Disclaimer that the publication does not endorse the viewpoints of the author.