He Evaded Responsibility Far Longer Than Anybody Thought Possible

Thom plus logo For justice to prevail, even a "chosen one" who encouraged attacks on America must be held to account

He lied to his followers for years.

He told them he was chosen by God to lead them, and that they were the only "true" believers; everybody else was okay with abortion, homosexuality, and was weak-kneed about the Bible's call for a vengeance that mandates the death penalty. He reveled, in fact, in his ability to use the death penalty.

The rightwing preachers loved him, and he showered them with attention, bending government to shower them with wealth and power. They, in turn, told their congregants that, despite his personal failings, he was The One, the reincarnation or at least the modern version of an ancient king who scripture said would come to lead their people into the Last Days when the Messiah would return.

He used race and religion as weapons, promoting scorn and hate against those unlike him and his followers. Intolerance and bigotry bound his acolytes to him.

He told his followers that all the politicians were corrupt except those who had pledged loyalty to him, and encourage them to follow a bizarre cult belief that those political leaders regularly engaged in vile acts of Satan-worshiping and perverted sexual practices.

He whipped them up into a frenzy. He used everything from sophisticated online propaganda techniques to old fashion rallies to build their loyalty to him, their willingness to fight for him, even, for some, their willingness to die for him.

He was a tall, vain man who obsessed on his own appearance, demanded absolute loyalty from his third wife, who stood by him as his evil act unfolded, and his children from her and the other wives.

He burned through much of his inherited real estate construction fortune building a small empire devoted to his cult of hero worship of himself, becoming a minor media star and an outspoken advocate for cracking down on crime and criminals.

He reveled in being their leader, their chosen one, the unique person who they believed could save their nation, their religion, and their way of life.

He never specifically told anybody to attack US landmarks in a way that was explicitly illegal; instead, he told them they had to fight, they had to be strong, and that they were the "last chance" to save a threatened way of life that mostly flourished in rural areas.

But he left it to others to plan the actual attack.

Others who lived far away, who had spent years learning the techniques and technologies of the weapons they would use, others who actually planned the effort to decapitate the government and its institutions of power with a mighty blow that would shock the world.

He surrounded himself with corrupt cronies who drew their authority and power from their close association with him, and helped fill the ranks of the government he had seized, at almost every level across the country, with people who'd sworn fealty to him.

For his followers and true believers, it seemed he was the Blessed One, the Midas touch, the man who turned everything into gold. He loved and reached out to the "poorly educated," knowing they were the least likely to understand the historic blasphemy he was committing against both their religion and the pro-democracy movement that was sweeping the nation.

When his followers finally executed the plan they had organized in secret, with funding and a wink and a nod from him, whipped into a frenzy by his oratorical skills, he refused to acknowledge responsibility for their horrific act or the people who died as a result of it.

In his public statements he feigned ignorance of the details, although reports leaked out that, at the time of the attack, as people were fleeing in terror and dying, he was gleefully watching the entire thing on television from his place of safety.

At first, it seemed he would escape any sort of penalty or punishment.

Right after his followers pulled off the crime he'd encourage them to commit, elected Republicans expressed outrage and blamed him by name. Over time, however, their efforts to hold him accountable became more and more feeble, and they eventually changed their mind about prosecuting him altogether.

The Republican leader said, "I really just don't spend that much time on him, to be honest with you." It looked, just as with pretty much everything else in his life where he had been irresponsible and destructive, that he would get away with this one, too.

After all, he hadn't taken up arms against anybody, he hadn't beaten a policeman - or anybody else - to death, he didn't even participate in the planning of the attack.

Eventually, however, the task fell to a Democratic politician to bring him down.

Osama bin Laden was finally brought to justice by President Barack Obama on May 2, 2011.


Originally posted on thomhartmann.medium.com.


LisaLev's picture
LisaLev 3 years 19 weeks ago

Oooohhhh, that's good.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 19 weeks ago

A history lesson with a twist -- a remarkable tale and disturbing comparison.

Details are different -- characters, time period, culture, technology, methods -- but it's the same basic story of every "self-made" tyrant's rise to power: Vulnerable and gullible followers lacking critical thinking skills are, first, groomed to accept the absurd lies and delusional viewpoints of a lunatic, an egomaniacal, money-hungry, power-hungry "leader," and then, are easily manipulated and mobilized to form the power base of "the chosen one," now elevated to almost godlike status.

The story never ends well unless truth and justice prevail.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 3 years 18 weeks ago

Many Americans were wondering back then how people can fall for his bullshit. It was hard to believe people would feel called to do what they did.

So, now we get to wonder once more.

And on another note, we had to be patient and relentless to get the bastard. Don't plan on this being any different. Some how though, it seems unlikely citizen Trump will die of old age in his bed surrounded by his loving family. I hope that last bit made you laugh.

Legend 3 years 18 weeks ago

Those that watch Fox News only get a very different story about Trump. Fox does not report the lies. Newsmax and OANN are worse. They build his image up. If those are your only source of news you probably think that he is a good President and the election was rigged.

This trial in the Senate is being brought down to one sentence that Trump said in his speech. "You are going to have to fight like hell". Rand Paul is saying that is not enough to convict. It was not the one sentence. It was the thousands of lies that brought these people. Lies told over and over that it was a rigged election. Ignore the fact that when Ted Cruz won the first 2016 primary in Iowa, Trump claimed it was a rigged election. Ignore that Trump over and over called the 2016 election with Hillary a rigged election. She only won the popular vote because 2 million illegal aliens had voted. Ignore the fact that Rudy lied in 61 cases and lost all. Ignore that even Mitch McConnel had called it a fair election. If Trumps lies are repeated enough by Rudy, By the media, By the Pillow Guy, by Steve Bannon the weak minded follow. Why else would thousands of low lifers travel to a very expensive city in the winter from all over the country. Why would they risk arrest? Because they believed the lies.

For those that say that Trump cannot go through an impeachment trial in the Senate. Because he is no longer President. They never offer a remedy. Can he be arrested and put through regular courts for an offense in his last few days as President? Or is he free to do whatever he wants in his last few days as President?


cuz's picture
cuz 3 years 18 weeks ago

We won the house, senate, and White House yet we still complain each and every day.

Please, somebody, convince me that is not a sickness with no apparent cure.

President Biden said, "We are about to go into a dark winter". Those who choose that path continue to commit their own suicide and I lose all sympathy for them and their actions.

There are options people. Life is short, too short to live it wrapped in bitterness and hatred.

Legend 3 years 18 weeks ago

Too bad that you are stuck in your world.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 18 weeks ago

She's already convinced herself of her own out-of-context mischaracterizations and then projects the resulting darker feelings and false motives onto others, using highly negative, absolutist language.

(Italics and parentheses mine):

"We won [...] yet we still complain each and every day." (We? Agreed; you certainly do a lot of complaining around here.)

"Please, somebody, convince me that is not a sickness with no apparent cure." (A plea for help?)

"President Biden said, 'We are about to go into a dark winter'. Those who choose that path continue to commit their own suicide and I lose all sympathy for them and their actions." (Wait, don't pull that trigger!)

(Sobbing now behind an empty whiskey bottle...) "There are options people. Life is short, too short to live it wrapped in bitterness and hatred." (Put the gun down! Right now! Call the suicide hotline!)

cuz's picture
cuz 3 years 18 weeks ago

Thanks to the two Karen's chiming in, and editing of all things they curse. I do appreciate the frustration dripping from their keyboards. Bless their little hearts.

You see, some people don't want to hear your opinion, they only want to hear their opinion coming out of your mouth.

Lot's of that mentality coming out of the far left mindset.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 18 weeks ago

You sound frustrated. Try to be more positive. Watching the impeachment trial might cheer you up.

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