NewsPub Notes

I Feel Trump’s Pain: Sharing Experiences With the Former President

Credit: Gage Skidmore

Editors’ Note: Everybody knows Pete McCommons was arrested during a sit-in at the UGA president’s office back in the last century, and he just can’t let it go. Sure, we told him to write about Trump, but this is not what we meant. This is not on us.

Dear Mr. (Former President) Trump,

You have so thoroughly dominated the media at all levels that my editors tell me, even though I have absolutely nothing to add to the constant flow of speculation about you, I must come up with an angle that will work in our local hometown newspaper. (I certainly wish I knew something about your musical tastes, because we do a lot of that sort of thing.) My editors said, as usual, “Write about what you know.” So here goes, Mr. (FP) Trump. You probably won’t see this unless one of our ardent local MAGA Republican legislators tears it out and mails it to you, but that’s OK, because I know it wouldn’t fit into your reading schedule, anyway.

So here’s the thing: I was arrested like you, so I can relate to what you’ve been going through. Mine was political persecution, too, and I, too, faced a biased judge who only wanted to do the bidding of the president who had me arrested. And it was all about some student rights long since made routine. Unlike you, I was arrested on the spot, frisked—my office keys were confiscated as dangerous weapons; never did get them back—and I was immediately thrown into jail with my co-conspirators. We were quickly bailed out, but let me tell you, it’s different on the other side of the bars.

I assure you, Mr. (FP) Trump, there is no way I would be dredging up this ancient history except that I learned through it to do what my boss tells me, and this is what my bosses want. Also, all I did was what was called “criminal trespass” in the UGA president’s office, while you paid off a porn star. Sounds like you had a lot more fun, but then I only had to pay $500, so I guess everything is relative.

Am I getting too personal here? This is embarrassing, but let me tell you this much, which might be of some help when you go to trial. You paid off a porn star, and then did all that stuff to cover it up. I participated in a sit-in for student rights when I wasn’t even a student, and when the students were arrested, so was I. And I was soon gone from the university as sure as those Black Tennessee Democrats are gone from their legislature.

But here’s the point: Once you go to trial by a jury of your peers (as if), the prosecutor is going to say all manner of outlandish stuff about you. I know you know that, but I’m just saying.

Let me give you an example. I know you can relate. Our lawyer thought it would be a good idea for us co-defendants each to get on the stand and tell the jury our idealistic reasons for sitting in at the president’s office. At this point, we had shaved our beards, cut our hair and borrowed some suits. We looked almost All-American. I’m like you. I took this as an opportunity to extol the virtues of my fellow defendants and to present my own high-flown rationale for attempting to catch the conscience of a president—truly righteous, if I say so.

Well, then the prosecutor launched into his closing statement, and with my own widowed mother sitting in the courtroom, he uttered these indelible words: “Mr. McCommons is no doubt sincere.” I thought that was generous of him. But then he added, “Mr. McCommons is no doubt sincere, but so was Adolph Hitler.”

See what I mean? They will twist your words. You tell people it’s going to be wild, and they turn it into insurrection. You say find me 11,780 votes, and they call that election tampering. Your team arranges for false voter slates and pressures the vice president to annul the election, and they accuse you of trying to destroy our democracy. You take home some souvenirs, and they accuse you of stealing state secrets. You pay off a porn star, and they go all Christian on you. See what I mean?

Oh, well. All that was a long time ago, like your affair with Stormy Daniels, right? As it turns out, just when it looks darkest, things may be working out. If all that stuff hadn’t happened all those years ago, I wouldn’t be a minor pundit writing about you now. Once you get through with your own trials, who knows what the future holds for you?