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Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

Hi there! I'm Kimberly Yow, a passionate journalist with a deep love for alternative rock. Combining my two passions, I've found my dream job. Join me on this exciting journey as I explore the world of journalism and rock music.

The Moral Confusion Around Trump’s Felony Conviction

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Among the former president’s antagonists and admirers alike, there is a great deal of calling evil good and good evil.

The homepage of The New York Times announced the conviction of Donald Trump on 34 felony charges Thursday afternoon in the kind of large-scale, black letter headline we typically associate with yellowed century-old newspapers declaring war has come. “TRUMP GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS,” it blared above a photo of the former president looking weary in some crowded public space.

Scrolling down the page a little, you’d have found a link to one story noting the historicity of this moment and a link to another story detailing each of the 34 charges. Together on the homepage, the headline of the first paired with a bulleted summary of the second made for a strange juxtaposition: “Donald Trump has become America’s first felon president,” it said, and below that, a bulleted list: “11 counts related to invoices, 12 counts related to ledger entries, 11 counts related to checks.” Wait, invoices? This isn’t exactly the crime of the century.

And that highlights the core problem with the most common responses to this verdict in our political discourse: Among Trump’s antagonists and admirers alike, there is a great deal of calling evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20).

I doubt this is deliberate dissembling. The most animated reactions I’ve observed have not been calculated—quite the opposite, in fact. Outside the chattering class especially, those responses have looked like organic outbursts of elation and schadenfreude, or else indignation and resentment. On both sides, I believe that most people sincerely see their reactions as stands for justice. But even with innocent motivation, this is a kind of moral confusion.

Let’s start with Trump’s opponents, among whom there …

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