32 Million
Dawkins Silenced

Pardon Me

By Jonathan B. Wight

“Pardon me,” you say when you accidentally step on someone’s foot.

“Pardon me” said by our current President means something else entirely!

Beyond saving his own skin, hinting that he might pardon his aides and family members sounds like the first salvo in a Prisoners Dilemma game, in which one party wants to shore up cooperation among one’s fellow thieves to reduce back-stabbing—in this case by becoming a state’s witness and testifying against higher-ups.

Issuing a blanket pardon (or hinting that one will) would mean that conspirators have every incentive to lie and obfuscate to investigators, secure that they will walk free. 

One commentator wrote that issuing such pardons “would destroy any legacy of Trump’s and demean his office.” Has demeaning the office ever stopped this president before?

I’ll never forget the outrage I felt against President Ford when he pardoned Richard Nixon.  Ford was not complicit in Watergate, and thought that a pardon was best for the healing of the country.  But the lack of closure and accountability was equally damaging to our country. 

There are good and legitimate reasons why Presidents might pardon someone.  By contrast, giving an implicit guarantee of pardon to one’s henchmen engaged in dishonest or treasonous activity is an outrage, even if legal.


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