The fine folks at Merriam-Webster define the word “traitor” as such:
Definition of traitor
1: one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2: one who commits treason
It’s probably important at this point for the left to get their rhetoric and terms down pat, because while the second definition of the word is very tempting to apply to Donald Trump and his cadre of douchebag sycophants — including, of course, Don Jr. — but I don’t think it’s quite right to label them as having committed treason. Why? Because that word has a very specific legal connotation, but even its broader definition hasn’t quite been met yet.
Merriam-Webster says that treason is defined as “the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.” From what I can tell, Don Jr.’s attempts to get into bed with Russia most certainly rose the level of betraying someone’s trust — namely the American electorate’s — but id doesn’t quite get there when it comes to overt acts meant to overthrow the government. They — the Trumps — wanted to control the government for their own personal benefit, not to necessarily overthrow it, per se.
Being a comedian, I don’t know much about all the legal ins and outs, and I’m just going by what’s been reported so far. I reserve the right to change my mind on this should more information come to light that shows a more nefarious intent. But I get the sneaking feeling that at the end of it all, we’re going to see Team Trump as a group so desperate for power, wealth, and all the trappings therein, that they let themselves get played and duped by Vladimir Putin and Russia.
It’s entirely possible,and I think pretty likely, that Don Jr. was just an ignorant fool. There’s no reason to believe he had even the foggiest clue about election laws. There’s an even smaller chance he knows a damn thing about ethics and morals, because we’ve already heard several former and current GOP operatives say they’d have contacted the FBI, not accepted the request for a meeting from the Russian lawyer like he did. The very act of him walking into that meeting, willing to accept dirt on Hillary Clinton from a foreign adversary, makes him a traitor. He betrayed the American people by agreeing to even hear them out, but did he commit treason?
Not without evidence that he was doing all this in order to literally hand control of our government to Putin, he didn’t. Of course, the end result of his stupidity and his father being elected might be a de facto coup of sorts. If Putin has heavy influence on the Trump Administration, that’s not quite the same thing as direct control, but it’s control. Nevertheless, it’s not treason without intent, and so far all we can tell that Don Jr. intended to do is get dirt on Hillary, probably not realizing the quagmire of dumb he was jumping into.
I have a feeling that it’s going to become more important as the weeks go by for the left to be precise about the charges they level at Trump and his cavalcade of cock faces. These are the people who think that because we call assault rifles “assault rifles” that makes us irrelevant to gun legislation discussions because it’s a loose term that the gun industry itself doesn’t use. So while it’s not necessary to keep our rhetoric precise, it still could do us more good in terms of making converts out of the less dogmatic Trump defenders.
There’s no denying that this current administration is the B-Team of everything it does. Its Department of Education sends out tweets with misspellings. It has a fucking neurosurgeon in charge of housing and urban development. It has denied any Russian collusion for a year, only now to have been caught red handed and changed the story to, “It wasn’t illegal when Don Jr. did it.” There’s almost nothing they’ve done that has been done right the first time or without embarrassing elements associated with it, but that still doesn’t make them guilty of actual, honest to God treason.
Still, though. That traitor definition is pretty much on the money. Just imagine if the Hillary Clinton campaign had colluded with a foreign adversary, or even tried to. Republicans would be howling until someone lynched Hillary, screaming “Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!” all the while. So let’s just start calling them traitors, Don Jr. especially. It’s something the right can get pissed about, but they’d only be arguing with the definitions of words.
…and we all know they’d never do that. Except on days that end in “day.” And twice on Sundays.