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There Is No Silver Lining To Being A Convicted Felon

Hearing about the conviction of Donald Trump on 34 felony counts is one of those moments where you remember where you were and how you got the news. I was wrapping up my evening commute, just about to walk out of the subway, when one of social media apps sent my heart racing with a notification that had “GUILTY” in all caps. Up the stairs, on the phone with my MSNBC mom (IYKYK), and I was floating on a cloud of emotions: surprise; elation; wonder; shock; joyful disbelief. But among all of the feelings I had about the news, not one of them was anxiety over how this would be good for Donald Trump.

Because it is, in fact, bad for him.

Most of us had barely had time to celebrate before some obnoxious commentary attempted to frame the unanimous guilty verdict on all 34 charges as something that would make Trump stronger or more competitive. There are people out there who want us to believe that this will entrench him further with his voters, that he will emerge phoenix-like from the flames of this verdict, that we are all going to be sorry for holding Trump accountable when a sudden surge of votes or violence comes through on his behalf. As I have already said: This is nonsense. There is no cavalry coming to save Donald Trump, convicted felon, from the consequences of his actions.

While he might not go to jail (though I plead with Judge Marchan to do so), Donald Trump is still convicted of multiple felonies and will live with the repercussions of that. He will have a probation officer, be required to ask permission to travel out of state, and maintain contact with authorities who can demand his imprisonment if he steps out of line. Even in the best case scenario, his ass is owned by the State of New York. This on top of the near half-billion dollar judgment that he still owes New York for his fraud case, and the millions more he owes to E. Jean Carroll for defaming her after she accurately accused him of being a rapist. For all the attention brought to Trump’s record fundraising haul, most of that money has already been eaten up by lawyers’ fees.

But let’s say he somehow is able to rally his cultists, avoid the broad unpopularity of being a convicted felon, and keep himself out of prison. He still has to contend with outstanding charges at the state and federal levels, and prosecutors in Michigan and Arizona might consider adding him to the indictments for election interference now that they know a jury can weigh the evidence and render a just verdict. Even without putting him behind bars, the conviction has shredded the veil of invincibility that shielded Trump for years. Now that we all know he can be held accountable, there’s every reason for prosecutors, politicians, and voters to try.

So as conservative critics try to seed fear in liberal celebrations over this verdict, as they threaten to hurt the people who helped justice be done, as they tell the rest of us that we will regret this…tune them out. They couldn’t stop Donald Trump from going to trial. They couldn’t stop the jury from finding him guilty. They can’t stop the consequences of conviction. And they can’t stop us from having fun. Donald Trump is a felon, and the rest of us are free.

Kaitlin Byrd
Kaitlin Byrd
Knows too much, thinks even more. Has infinite space in her heart for tea and breakfast for dinner. Really from New York, so always ready to cut a bitch.