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Fani Willis is an American Hero

For decades, nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan have proven to be among America’s closest allies in the stand for democracy. While our allies sometimes view Americans as arrogant, the United States is a respected leader of the free world. Recently, American leadership abroad has taken a hit and called into question because politics no longer stops at the water’s edge. What is the lasting impact on America’s standing with its allies after four years of chaos under a Trump presidency and four subsequent criminal indictments? In a 2020 poll conducted in 11 European countries by the European Council on Foreign Relations, 53% of respondents in Germany said they either strongly agreed or agreed that a post-Trump America couldn’t be relied upon.

The Germans were the most distrustful of the future of American political leadership. After the indictment of the former president by a Manhattan grand jury, few foreign leaders offered their initial opinions on the criminal proceeding, but El Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele wasn’t silent. “Sadly, it’ll be very hard for U.S. foreign policy to use arguments such as ‘democracy’ and ‘free and fair elections’ or try to condemn ‘political persecution’ in other countries, from now on,” Bukele said on Twitter. He added, “Imagine if this happened to a leading opposition presidential candidate here in El Salvador.”

The authoritarian president defended Trump in his comments, but he was correct in highlighting America’s credibility problem abroad. As the world watches, they are not only witnessing America destroying its democracy internally, but they are witnessing a democratic nation transform into the type of authoritarian government generally opposed by countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. What message would the American voters be sending to democracies around the world if an indicted and possibly convicted Trump was re-elected to the White House with no intentions of leaving? The world witnessed, as did many Americans, a former U.S. president go to Georgia to be arrested and fingerprinted with a mugshot like every other criminal defendant processed in the Fulton County jail. If Donald Trump is the GOP’s superman, then Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is proving to be his kryptonite.

Trump was not afforded special treatment in Georgia, unlike his previous bookings in New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. In charging Trump, the Atlanta-area district attorney used the state’s racketeering law, RICO, which ties the former president into a 19-member criminal enterprise typically reserved for mafia bosses and gang leaders. He faces up to 20 years if convicted of the most severe racketeering charge with little chance of a pardon. In Georgia, the courtroom will be televised where the nation and world can see and hear the compelling evidence as it is presented. This transparent access to justice at work may prove damaging to Trump in the court of public opinion. The MAGA world is not happy.

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee, said a second civil war is “going to happen” if state and federal authorities continue to prosecute Donald Trump. While Palin may be referring to political violence, America’s second civil war has been ongoing since Reconstruction. The second civil war is the battle between those who seek ways to deny full citizenship to people of color versus those who defend against the attack on democracy and ensure that all elements of democracy are equally applied to all citizens. It is a continuation of the first civil war, which resulted in over 600,000 deaths but left freed slaves without the benefits of American citizenship.

Therefore, the second civil war is the never-ending fight for rightful representation in government, free and fair elections, the ability to vote without intimidation and violence, the freedom to criticize their elected officials, the right to assemble freely and to protest government actions, maintaining the rule of law and having the right to a fair and public trial by an impartial court. Germany is telling us they see the second civil war. As a result, the United States can no longer be the dependable defender of democracy. It has become obvious to them that far too many Americans, through arrogance, ignorance and pride, would rather destroy American democracy in its entirety and accept an authoritarian leader (Donald Trump) who would permanently weaken all elements of citizenship and representation for people of color in what will eventually become a future majority-minority nation.

As part of the second civil war, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charged Trump with 13 racketeering and conspiracy charges related to his attempt to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden in 2020 and was met with U.S. House Republicans launching an investigation against Willis. Georgia state lawmakers are joining the fray by also targeting Willis with a new state law that creates a state commission with the power to sanction or even oust prosecutors found to be neglecting their duties or responsible for an array of other violations (such as charging the former president). Willis is a hero and a defender of democracy in this war. The same applies to the Tennessee Three, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Special Counsel Jack Smith and election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Anyone resisting anti-democracy efforts intended to silence voices is a hero. Sarah Palin’s threat shows Georgia means business and is ready to fight.