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A failure to protect the people

Melvin B. Miller

It was always hard to see how working-class Americans could be fond of Donald Trump. He certainly had TV appeal, but his proposals provided few benefits for those with limited resources. His secondary supporters were easier to understand because they simply bonded with a substantial voting bloc. But it has been hard to see how they were not concerned when they learned that Trump had run off with a number of documents that would be of considerable value to America’s enemies.

According to reports, Trump was holding at Mar-a-Lago a trove of 67 confidential documents, 92 marked secret and 25 top secret. The information contained in some of the documents was to be viewed only by those with special clearance. Yet Trump stored some of these records in an insecure room that was accessible to unauthorized persons.

If information in those documents could endanger Americans if it got into the wrong hands, then why shouldn’t documents that have been stolen be recovered immediately by U.S. government authorities and held in secure places while courts dispute who owns what? The process pursued indicates a major deficiency in the nation’s security measures.

Other countries demonstrate a more dynamic process to cope with rebellion. When Jair Bolsonaro lost the presidential election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) in October, his party was fined for proposing a “fraudulent narrative” of faulty voting machines.

When Pedro Castillo, president of Peru, decided to dissolve the congress and rule as a leftist dictator, he was immediately taken to jail. In Germany, Heinrich XIII, Prince Reuss of Greiz, was summarily arrested when he plotted to overturn the German government.

The citizens of Brazil, Peru and Germany were protected from tyrants, but Americans were exposed to Trump’s fantasies.