J’accuse

On January 13, 1898, French novelist Émile Zola published his famous letter entitled, “J’accuse” (I accuse), addressed to the President of the Republic, in which he denounced the government and its military command and their antisemitic leaders for prosecuting Alfred Dreyfus, a Captain of Jewish descent , on trumped up charges of treason. Dreyfus had been convicted in 1894.  Zola’s letter had a decisive impact on democracy and the rule of law in France.

See Douglas O. Linder, “J’accuse’ by Emile Zola (Texts in English and French),” Famous Trials.

In the United States, we now face a similar if not even graver moment in which the rule of law is at stake. It is a moment in which antisemitic and racist militants actively participate in a fascist conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution and the rule of law.

In these circumstances, the following letter is addressed to “Democrats” and political leaders in the United States, calling on them to act, vigorously and effectively, to defend American democracy.

J’accuse

J’accuse. I accuse Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, and the House Democrats of putting our democracy at risk by not prosecuting, or demanding prosecution of, Donald Trump and his co-conspirators in their plot to overthrow the Constitution of the United States.

J’accuse. I accuse Attorney General Merrrick Garland of putting our democracy at risk by not acting expeditiously on the House Criminal Referral of prosecution of Steve Bannon for defying a House subpoena to appear before the Special Committee investigating the Capitol Insurrection on January 6,, 2021.

J’accuse. I accuse Attorney General Merrick Garland of putting our democracy at risk by not prosecuting individuals making threats of violence against federal and state legislators and public officials who do not bow down before the will of Donald Trump and his Republican supporters.

J’accuse. I accuse President Joe Biden of putting our democracy at risk by ignoring the de-facto impunity granted to Trump and his allies for the crimes they have committed, often in full public view, both before and since the November 3, 2020 elections.

J’accuse. I accuse Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats of putting our democracy at risk by not pursuing a broad impeachment inquiry into the full range of Donald Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” committed while in office.

J’accuse. I accuse the Democrats in Congress of putting our democracy at risk by not acting effectively to safeguard voting rights and democratic procedures for counting and certifying votes in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law.

J’accuse. In sum, I accuse the Democrats and the current Democratic administration of President Joe Biden of putting our democracy at risk by failing to act vigorously and effectively to defend it.

J’accuse. I accuse the Democrats of putting our democracy at risk, and call upon them to act immediately, with all courage and determination, to defend American democracy against the fascist threat which it now faces.

The Trenchant Observer

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