Trump’s impeachment, king’s trial compared
Comparing the trials of King Charles I of England and ex-President Trump, which occurred almost 400 years apart, reveals unsettling comparisons.
Both trials ended in a matter of days, with the outcomes a foregone conclusion. Thousands of troops encircled the cities of London and Washington, portraying grandiose show trials for the world to behold.
Both men rejected the legitimacy of the charges against them. Charles refused to enter a plea and would not participate in any way in the proceedings. Trump’s attorneys took minimal time presenting their case, simply pointing out the charges were plainly unconstitutional against citizen Trump.
Charles was found guilty of treason. He was summarily executed by beheading on Jan. 30, 1649.
Although Trump was acquitted of the charges of “inciting an insurrection,” to consider this verdict a comprehensive exoneration for Trump is clearly misguided.
Amazingly, though, if both men had followed a path of cool moderation characterized by a breadth of judgment, a real victory was at their fingertips.
Charles, even after his defeat in the first Civil War (1642-1646), still had strong support among the English people, Parliament, and the army. Charles had a real likelihood to continue to reign as king of England, if only he had accepted a reduction of his previous powers. Charles absolutely refused, started a second Civil War (1648-1649), and was once again defeated.