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(American Thinker) — It’s the middle of the night as I write this, and I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s conviction. Why? Perhaps I’m hyper-partisan, perhaps not. I know I’ll never forget where I was when I heard about his conviction. I knew I’d remember it forever, just as I did when I first heard about 9/11, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, President Kennedy’s assassination or the Soviet Union breathing its last. They were all moments when the clock stood still. The world was never quite the same afterward, and the question, always, was what comes next.

My friends who believe either that what happened to Trump was not such a big deal or that the rule of law is not yet totally corrupted because Trump is likely to prevail on appeal miss the point. Anarchy at this level in America is outside of any of our experiences. Even those who dislike Trump recognize injustice in the same way that Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart recognized pornography: “I know it when I see it.”

I have watched a man who does not need us, even though we need him, dragged through the streets of New York in an almost medieval manner. All that was missing was either tar and feathering him by breathless spectators or cries of “hang him.”

READ: Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump Jr. slam Democrat ‘persecution’ of Trump

Trump was heard the day before the verdict, acknowledging that he would likely be found guilty. My wife, an optimist, thought a hung jury was likely. I’m not an optimist. Like Trump, I expected a conviction, given the judge’s conduct during the trial and the legally weird instruction given to a jury that we can assume reflected Manhattan at large, 85 percent Democratic.

What is it about New York City and the Democrat party, in general, that’s got it in for Trump so bad that a politician can run for office on the single pledge that he or she will put Trump in jail, and no one bats an eye? That’s what a rogues gallery of politicians or political appointees espoused, including the New York state Attorney General, the Manhattan District Attorney, and the U.S. Justice Department’s number three, who resigned and stepped down to prosecute Trump in New York.

All of us bear stark witness to something never before seen in American political life – the successful use of lawfare to nullify a political enemy. How else can you explain the wantonness of New York’s attempt to silence its conservative enemies? If you need another example of how lawfare works, Trump’s conviction overshadowed a landmark Supreme Court decision about a New York official who used lawfare against the National Rifle Association:

The Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association, alleging that a New York official violated the group’s First Amendment rights when she urged banks and insurance companies not to do business with it in the wake of the 2018 shooting at a Florida high school. In a unanimous decision by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the justices agreed that the NRA had made out a case that Maria Vullo, then the head of New York’s Department of Financial Services, had gone too far in her efforts to get companies and banks to cut ties with the NRA, crossing over the line from efforts to persuade the companies and banks – which would be permitted – to attempts to coerce them, which are not.

As wrong as this quote sounds, the reality is even worse. Vullo offered to let New York corporations slide on possible violations of New York law in exchange for joining her in pillorying the NRA. It was New York Attorney General Letitia James, the same woman who got Trump convicted for paying off loans on time and in full, who filed suit accusing LaPierre and other current and former executives of flouting state laws and internal policies to enrich themselves.

James made no bones about her motives. She went after the NRA for its position on guns and not for the stated reason. James tried and failed to break up the NRA in the first round and failed again. The NRA is moving its corporation to Texas in a move long overdue.

The case for whether Trump could get a fair trial in Manhattan has been answered. New York’s legal and governance system has sunk to the level of junk bonds, along with its reputation, which may never recover. The rule of law is the one expectation Americans understand and believe separates us from countries that make it up as they go. America’s standing in the world has been diminished. What’s happened in New York instantly turned us into a third world country.

So, you may ask where we go from here. We are in uncharted territory for sure.

Trump will likely go on campaigning, but with what restrictions, we don’t know. Trump’s status as a free man is now gone, at least for the moment. Judge Merchan owns Donald Trump right now. Despite the case being appealed, Trump has lost his civil rights. He cannot vote, for instance, or own a gun. His movements and his speech are subject to review. He must show up for court, various court-mandated psychiatric evaluations (something Democrats have lusted after for years), and more. Trump, at this moment, is Merchan’s ward. I can’t begin to wrap my mind around this singular reality.

Do we think the Democratic leadership of New York is huddling right now to determine how best to turn this conviction (at least for now) to the party’s advantage? You betcha! They know they have a tiger by the tail, and it is only wounded, not vanquished.

READ: Legal experts, conservatives slam politicized Trump conviction: ‘Dark day for America’

This is where all of you come in. Up to now, the Dems’ warfare strategy has not gone as planned. Over the next two weeks, polls will come out that will give us a better read on how being tarred as a felon will play out with likely voters. Be prepared for some potential surprises. The Dems may triangulate again depending on how those polls play out; we’ll see.

One more final thought. Perhaps Democrats knew from the start that Trump would prevail on appeal. The entire purpose of this kangaroo court was to waste his time and diminish him with the electorate by being able to say President Trump is a felon. If so, I hope they are wrong. We’ll soon find out that Americans of all persuasions see this for what it is and come to his aid.

For the first time, we can see how a corrupt system can violate our rights with impunity. If they can get Trump, they can get you too. The level of outrage by ordinary Americans will determine more than just the next president.

God Bless America and help us all survive this travesty.

Reprinted with permission from American Thinker.