Considering the entire cornucopia of errant and bizarre behavior of our twice impeached (and soon to be multiply indicted) 45th President, our understanding has been challenged by the slow and, virtually diffident progress, of the administration in the effectuation of his well-deserved, retribution. We, in tandem with a great many citizens, have disappointingly, observed an apparently, incoherent and dysfunctional administration of plain justice for his plethora of criminal, seditious and undemocratic behaviors.

 We have observed with impatience, the yet, unexplained, dysfunctional, discomfort on the part of the parties, committees and appointed prosecutors, in the prescription of the inarguably, justified, punitive action in his case. Some would argue that the uncommon, hesitation is the result of his unique, situational status as former President. We, emphatically, do not agree. We feel that if the uniquely, assertive and bizarre persona of the accused miscreant were rationally, understandable, less exotically, sui generis, (and bizarrely,, attractive to our populist underbelly) the prosecutorial agency of government, would, by now, have, confidently administered appropriate, punishment. With the reader’s indulgence, we would attempt to explain.

Herman Melville, best known, internationally, for his outstanding classic, American novel, “MOBY DICK’, was the author of a contextually, relevant, short story, “BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER” (1853). Our interpretive understanding of the fictional tale,, provides, in our considered view, an analogous understanding of the thematic, dynamics behind the observable, hesitancy, to date,  to summarily, punish Trump.[ As an  aside, we have eternally recommended good literature as the key to the mature perception and understanding of humankind’s classic, (repetitive), problems and eternally,  confronting issues.]

In the literary work, Melville introduces the reader to a “scrivener” (hand copier of legal, official documents) whose employer directs him to do something, within the regular purview of his job. Bartleby responds, “I prefer not to do so.” The situation is repeated until the employer fires him and asks him to leave the premises.  Bartleby states, yet again, that he prefers not to do so. Bartleby does not leave and, ultimately, the employer, himself, is obliged to move to a different office.

As we perceive it, the purport of the short story (and, indeed, the intended context of this essay) is basic and metaphysical. Organized society, existentially, depends upon the acceptance of relationships, official, as well as non-official, upon certain mutually undertaken, but not necessarily, articulated, assumptions and expectations, upon various and many implicitly, assumed expectations and traditionally, recognized assumptions regarding behavior. Members of society, in addition to the necessary adherence to the “Social Compact” (or “Contract”) maintain fixed and fundamental expectations, regarding the nature and kind of behavioral response to various, presenting, stimuli.

In Melville’s short story, reality is completely, upended. In the expected scheme of things, employees obey the employer’s instructions; Bartleby does not. To further distort reality, he refuses to recognize his firing, and even his employer’s firm instruction to leave the place of business. His refusal to leave, is revolutionary, and experientially, dystopic, leaving the employer no alternative but to, himself, leave the office premises.

In the same sense as Bartelby acted (or failed to act) in accordance with expected, societal, empirical normality, as a matter of personal principle, the bizarre and societally unprecedented behavior and mindset of Donald J. Trump, is analogously, unorthodox and alien to societal normality; by contrast to Bartelby, motivated, not by radical intention, but, apparently, by mental disorientation; lacking any rational compass or philosophy. What U.S. President would proudly, declare on public television, that he could get away with shooting people on Fifth Avenue.

Trump, a truly, unique combination of bizarrely configured, traits is the possessor of a one-off, sui generis, persona; accordingly, our sincerely dedicated, authorities have been, slowly, but with  difficulty, learning the skills to punish such an alien personality who resides in a neurotic, self-centered, singular, bubble.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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