Being a traitor in any society carries severe civil and criminal penalties.
The events of the four years of the Trump administration, plus the culminating events from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot to storm the Capitol to reverse or impede the presidential certification procedure, ranks as the most severe coup attempt in U.S. history since the Civil War.
This analogy to the Civil War contains a great example of how the U.S. deals with traitors. In 1861, when Robert E Lee crossed the bridge from his estate into Virginia to assume command of the Confederate army, he effectively became a traitor to the U.S. government. Lee was the highest-ranking and most talented military general at the time. Lee was so respected for the military expertise that he was awarded the commanding generalships from Abraham Lincoln and the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.
After much soul searching, Lee decided his loyalties were to Virginia and the Confederacy. He then mounted his famous warhorse, Traveler, and made the historical ride in 1861 over the bridge into Virginia to assume command of the Confederate army.
At the time, according to the Smithsonian magazine, “Northern newspapers such as the New York Daily Tribune trained their big guns on him (Lee)—labeling him a traitor for resigning his colonel’s commission in the Union Army to go south ‘in the footsteps of Benedict Arnold!'”
On May 24, 1861, Union Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was on a tour of Lee’s estate in Virginia with President Abraham Lincoln. Looking at the vista and beautiful grounds, Stanton told Lincoln that Lee’s property would be a fitting cemetery for union soldiers.
Lincoln agreed, and on May 13, 1864, the first Union casualty was buried on Lee’s property. Today, this cemetery is known as Arlington National Cemetery.
As further punishment for those who took up arms against the Federal government, Congress passed a law in June 1862 that empowered commissioners to assess and collect taxes on real estate in “insurrectionary districts.”
Trump: The Traitor in 2021
Flash forward about 153 years, and the U.S. now has another traitor who caused the loss of about 461,000 lives due to his inability and unwillingness to elevate the COVID epidemic into a national public health priority. As numerous sources have noted, Trump delayed, downplayed, ignored, ridiculed, failed to enact a cohesive federal policy, and converted a natural epidemic into a political cause for a dubious and, as yet, unarticulated reason. His behavior has been called treasonous.
Trump’s intentional dereliction of his presidential duties resulted in many preventable deaths, hospitalizations, emotional, societal, political, and financial pain.
One study from the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health “determined that 40% of Covid-19-related deaths in the U.S. could have been prevented had the U.S. only had the same Covid-19 death rates as those of other Group of Seven (G7) nations, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.”
The Lancet Commission “condemned Trump’s response to Covid” and said that 461,000 fewer Americans would have died in 2018 if Trump had acted faster and with better coordination.
As a result, experts estimate that Trump’s delayed action dating from the start of the COVID pandemic caused many unnecessary deaths. During the remainder of Trump’s presidency, his incompetent response aggravated matters. His further attacks on mandatory vaccinations, degrading remarks made about public health officials, and their simple public health recommendations delayed the public health message that vaccinations and other sanitary precautions could have all retarded the spread of the COVID epidemic.
Time for Traitor Trump to be Held Accountable
Now, it’s time for Trump to face the penalty of causing the unnecessary deaths of over 400,000 Americans.
Like the events that converted General Lee’s Virginia estate into a national cemetery, converting the primary property of Trump into a national cemetery would serve a similar purpose. The victims of the COVID epidemic should have the option of being buried on the front lawn of Trump’s property in Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Trump businesses should assume the costs of these internments.
Becoming a traitor and causing the death of thousands demands the attention of every American. In the case of Arlington National Cemetery and a proposed cemetery at Mar-a-Lago, Americans would have a public gathering place to witness the impact of being a traitor to the U.S. government. This transition into a national cemetery would become a powerful reminder that becoming a traitor carries severe lifelong penalties.
Burying the victims who died of Covid due to Trump’s egotistical manipulation of the epidemic at Mar-a-Lago is a fitting and appropriate resting place for Americans who expected protection from their president and his administration.