America’s Irreversible Shift: The Fallout of Trump’s Conviction


In the 1940 novel You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe portrays the impossibility of recapturing past experiences or moments due to the inevitable changes in people and places over time.

America finds itself in a similar position today following a New York jury’s conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, marking the first time an ex-American president has been convicted of felony crimes.

Regardless of whether Trump faces prison time, probation, or wins on appeal, this unprecedented moment has permanently altered the course of American history.

We can’t go home again.

However, this might not be entirely negative. Accepting the truth can be freeing. Recognizing reality allows the right to finally move forward and begin to resist effectively.

“Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime,” boasted Lavrentiy Beria, Joseph Stalin’s most ruthless and longest-serving secret police chief.

In a comparable, Soviet-like manner, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg manipulated the law to secure his target.

Trump’s conviction follows years of unending protests (starting on Trump’s inauguration day in 2016), the Mueller investigation and Russia-collusion hoax, George Floyd riots, two impeachments, a dubious “insurrection,” an administrative deep state obstructing Trump’s agenda, and the “election fortification” of 2020 — leftist political maneuvers have reached their peak.

No Longer a Constitutional Republic

One reality the right must acknowledge is that it’s no longer fighting to preserve the 1789 “constitutional republic.”

The United States has undergone fundamental transformations multiple times in its history, long before Barack Obama declared in Columbia, Missouri, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Insightful political thinkers such as Curtis Yarvin, Auron MacIntyre, and Wade Stotts have explained that America is not a single, continuous political entity since its founding in 1776 but has experienced significant reconfigurations throughout its nearly 250-year history.

While we can and should honor and learn from our past, the truth is that the American republic has been over for quite some time. Despite Benjamin Franklin’s warning, we failed to preserve it.

Rome’s Example

It’s crucial to understand that it was not the sacred parchment that failed to preserve the American republic but the people. Looking back to Ancient Rome, which despite its vast achievements, had no written constitution, we can find parallels.

The cohesive force that united Romans and led to the Roman Republic’s success lay in the unspoken norms of social and political behavior. Romans relied on unwritten rules, traditions, and mutual expectations, collectively known as “Mos Maiorum,” or “the way of the elders.”

However, as the republic declined, it was not Roman law that weakened but the erosion of respect for these mutually accepted norms. Once these societal bonds disintegrate, as is the case with contemporary America, no amount of political poetry written on parchment can resurrect them.

Wielding Power

Contrary to “three-legged stool” conservatism, obtaining and wielding power to pursue political interests now takes precedence. Frankly, it always has. Thinking otherwise has pushed conservatism to the brink of annihilation and brought our country to the edge of destruction.

A recent example of this self-defeating mindset comes from Jonah Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Dispatch. In response to a post on X advocating for conservatives to discard arguments that the GOP “shouldn’t do something because it might set a bad precedent,” Goldberg replied, “Weird version of ‘conservatism’ that is wholly, completely, and preemptively, dismissive of the dangers of bad precedents.”

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden unashamedly posted that “no one is above the law” (referencing Trump’s conviction) after openly boasting about ignoring the Supreme Court to relieve student debt for over 5 million Americans.

“Imagine if the roles were reversed?!” cries the “principled” conservative upon learning that the FBI was prepared to use deadly force during an armed raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. “It’s important not to set a bad precedent!” proclaim the gatekeepers within Conservative Inc., even as Biden’s main political opponent faces imprisonment after a Soviet-style show trial.

The naivete from this cohort of conservatives is astonishing. This is a losing mindset, which is why the right continues to lose.

Thankfully, conservatives like Sens. J.D. Vance and Mike Lee are presenting a way forward, signaling they are ready to go on the offensive. Before Trump’s conviction, Vance urged the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into presiding Judge Juan Merchan for allegedly depriving Trump of his First Amendment rights. After Trump’s guilty verdict, Lee issued a statement signed by seven other Republicans:

Strongly worded statements are not enough. Those who turned our judicial system into a political cudgel must be held accountable. We are no longer cooperating with any Democrat legislative priorities or nominations, and we invite all concerned Senators to join our stand.

As John Daniel Davidson, a senior editor at Truth Voices, aptly remarked about today’s GOP, “Either you’re willing to jail Democrats on the same terms they’re using to jail Trump, or you’re merely controlled opposition.”

Democrats play to win, while far too many Republicans aren’t even playing the game.

While we can’t return to the past, the right still has time to move forward assertively in shaping America’s future.

Adam Johnston
Adam Johnston
Digital Reporter.

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