In 1931 Alphonse Gabriel Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison. Gang leader, murderer, bootlegger and more, Capone could only be safely convicted for tax evasion. At this point in time I wonder whether the American public of 1931 would have tolerated such a man as president. Given the fact that he was not a media personality and that Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected the year after Capone’s imprisonment, I suspect not.
Yet here we are in the waning days of 2020, and we have a man of Capone’s ilk as the sitting president–threatening marshal law, imprisonment for his enemies–oh, I meant political opponents–and more. And like Capone’s style of leadership Trump brooks no disagreement from his underlings. And what sort of people has Trump pardoned? Well, Roger Stone, who lied to Congress, Paul Manafort, fraudster, Charles Kushner, tax evader/blackmailer, the Blackwater murderers, Michael Flynn, Russian interference finagler who lied to the FBI and so many other sordid pardons. Meanwhile Trump is fast-tracking the execution of federal prisoners–his own version of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre? Who knows, had Capone been born in the 1940s, he might well have become president of the United States. God help the USA.