Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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Opinion

Where Trump is concerned, liberals ignore due process

Tuesday

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Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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On May 30, 2024, a New York jury unanimously found former President Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Many liberals expressed relief at the verdict, which they view as a long overdue form of legal accountability, while Trump himself plans to challenge the ruling.

Watch the video above as Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette questions the consistency of liberal ideals like due process, which he says seem to shift depending on who is on trial.


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The following is an excerpt from the above video:

It’s no wonder that the political parties and their lame and lackluster 2024 presidential nominees are doing such a great job at the moment of driving voters, especially Latinos, African Americans and young people toward third-party candidates. And that’s assuming those voters show up to vote at all. If they don’t, who can blame them?

What lousy choices we have this year. And what a sad state of affairs when people in both parties can’t remember what they claimed to have stood for just a week earlier. I’ve wondered for a while whatever happened to conservatives, where did they go?

When I started voting in the 1980s, you could count on Republicans to oppose tariffs, support police, facilitate immigration, be tough on crime and oppose a Russian invasion. Now, all bets are off.

Then, during the Trump trial in Manhattan, and as the conversation turned to all the other Trump legal dramas yet to come, including two federal trials, and one more state trial, suddenly it was liberals who seemed to turn themselves inside out in their eagerness to get convictions across the board. Suddenly, liberals were sounding a lot less liberal. Overnight, the party of Clarence Darrow turned into the party of Dirty Harry.

See this right here. This is why people hate politics, not blue politics or red politics. But politics of any color, shape or size. For the political parties a different week means it’s time to adopt a different set of principles, different values, different analysis and different rhetoric. One week, when Donald Trump was on trial, Republicans were suddenly civil libertarians, who stressed the need for due process and a presumption of innocence. While Democrats were hard nosed Law and Order hawks, who said no one was above the law and wanted to drop the hammer. The next week, when Hunter Biden was on trial, Democrats were suddenly the civil libertarians, who stressed the need for due process and the presumption of innocence. While Republicans were hard nosed Law and Order hawks, who said no one was above the law and wanted to drop the hammer, the inconsistency, the hypocrisy, the squishy moral core, the situational ethics, the ease with which the partisans move from having one position on Monday and the opposite position on Friday. It’s no wonder that the political parties and their lame and lackluster 2024 presidential nominees are doing such a great job at the moment of driving voters, especially Latinos, African Americans and young people toward third party candidates. And that’s assuming those voters show up to vote at all, if they don’t, who can blame them? What lousy choices we have this year. And what a sad state of affairs when people in both parties can’t remember what they claimed to have stood for just a week earlier. I’ve wondered for a while whatever happened to conservatives, where did they go? When I started voting in the 1980s, you could count on Republicans to oppose tariffs, support police, facilitate immigration, be tough on crime and oppose a Russian invasion. Now, all bets are off. Then during the Trump trial in Manhattan, and as the conversation turned to all the other Trump legal dramas yet to come, including two federal trials, and one more state trial, suddenly it was liberals who seemed to turn themselves inside out in their eagerness to get convictions across the board. Suddenly, liberals were sounding a lot less liberal. Overnight, the party of Clarence Darrow turned into the party of Dirty Harry. Maybe I’m just a little harder on the left, because I expect more from them. The reason we have things like the right to counsel, the Miranda warning, Legal Aid, the American Civil Liberties Union, and death penalty, moratoriums is because the left fought for those legal and constitutional reforms. Liberals are supposed to have woven into their DNA, a healthy distrust of government. They’re concerned for the little guy sitting at the defense table, because they know that the big guy at the prosecution table can take care of himself.

But what if the so called Little guy has a big mouth, a giant ego and our propensity to get into hot water, legal and otherwise? Well, that shouldn’t change anything right? Yet for many on the left, it changes everything. It’s somehow rewires a liberals brain on matters of right and wrong when the accused is named Donald J. Trump. When that happens, suddenly due process is not nearly as important as getting justice and holding the defendant to account.

That’s not right. One legal observer after another took a look at the New York indictment and found it to be a confusing and convoluted piece of legal business. It was a Chinese puzzle, there’s very little chance that a jury of 12 ordinary New Yorkers followed every nuance, gave the entire case careful consideration, weighed the facts, evidence and the law. And then After careful deliberation over a day and a half, came back with a guilty verdict on 34 counts. Come on, as they say in Texas. I may have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night. Once the prosecutors had their man once they had the right defendant, getting the conviction Well, that was the easy part. Call that what you want. Just don’t call it justice. But hey, you liberals knew that already.

 

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