The ‘Convicted Felon’ Label

It's a problematic concept.

Memeorandum points me to an article in, of all places, People magazine titled “Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.

Donald Trump may face travel restrictions with his newfound felon status, potentially complicating his presidency if he were to win another term in office.

Thirty-eight nations, counting the United States, bar felons from entry, according to World Population Review. Those bans stand regardless of whether someone is allowed to retain their passport after conviction.

Countries that turn felons away include several of the United States’ strongest allies, like the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada — the final of which will host the G7 summit of world leaders in 2025. The list also includes a number of nations at the center of pressing foreign policy issues, such as China, Israel and Mexico.

International governments can, and in some cases would, choose to make an exception for Trump if he requested special permission as president to make a visit.

A quick scan of the World Population Review article in question reveals this to be mostly nonsense. Australia, for example, won’t allow felons to immigrate. Canada “reserves the right to refuse entrance to any would-be visitors who have a criminal history. This includes those who have committed felonies, primarily if the offense resulted in a 10-year prison sentence.” The UK doesn’t even require those with an American passport to have a visa. For those in countries requiring a visa, a background check will be conducted and the “The permit may be declined if the officials reviewing the application believe that the person intends to commit harm while in the UK.”

But the article highlights a problem with the general discourse around convicted felons. When we hear the term “felon,” most of us think of crimes like murder, rape, robbery, arson, and the like. But relatively minor crimes, theoretically punishable with a year or more in prison, are also included under that rubric.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, where I live, there are six classes of felonies:

(a) For Class 1 felonies, death, if the person so convicted was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense and is not determined to be mentally retarded pursuant to § 19.2-264.3:1.1, or imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000. If the person was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense or is determined to be mentally retarded pursuant to § 19.2-264.3:1.1, the punishment shall be imprisonment for life and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(b) For Class 2 felonies, imprisonment for life or for any term not less than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(c) For Class 3 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(d) For Class 4 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 10 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000.

(e) For Class 5 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

(f) For Class 6 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

Yet, we apply the term “felon” to those convicted of any of those crimes and, quite often, impose rather harsh consequences, including the removal of the right to vote and difficulty in being hired for jobs, to even Class 6 felons. We should almost certainly rethink that.

I find it amusing to label Trump a “convicted felon,” but he’s been convicted of what strike me as relatively minor offenses. Were he an ordinary citizen, I would find it absurd if his right to travel or vote were restricted beyond the term of whatever sentence he’s required to serve. Given that he’s vying for our vote to be, among other things, our chief law enforcement officer, I find permanently disqualifying him for that job prudent.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Crime, Law and the Courts, , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tony W says:

    Story as old as time. Now that it’s affecting a rich white guy, suddenly the phrase “convicted felon” is a problem.

    Yes, it’s disqualifying, as you state, but so were his mocking gestures making fun of a reporter back in 2016 – we’re well past “disqualifying” when it comes to Donald Trump.

    If we’re going to treat those who committed crimes harshly – and America is the best in the world at that – then we’re going to need to be consistent.

    My vote would be to focus more on rehabilitation than punishment, but that would apply to everyone, not just wealthy “businessmen” from New York who commit fraud.

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  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    This AM’s NYT has an article on the conundrum that labeling trump a convicted felon, raises for advocates of individuals that have be convicted of felonies. On the one hand it pains them to hear their usual allies among progressives refer to trump as a convicted felon, a term that they are trying to remove from the lexicon, but at the same time they don’t see trump as one of them.

    I guess if he accepted responsibility for his actions and showed remorse, we should move on, but that won’t happen and he’ll always be Felon trump.

    Lock Him Up!!

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  3. Justin says:

    The cover-up is what usually gets folks. And he did it to make himself look good for an election. So watching him suck up money for legal fees that would otherwise go to republican candidates feels like karma.

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  4. Charley in Cleveland says:

    Note that Trump’s Republican enablers don’t defend his conduct – they gloss over what got him prosecuted and whine about the fact that he has been held to account. They ignore the reason that the prosecution and conviction of an ex-president is unprecedented: never before has the country had such a morally and ethically bankrupt person hold the highest office. Unfortunately, the business record fraud case was the first to be tried. Masking the payoff to Stormy Daniels isn’t even in the same galaxy as conspiring to undo the 2020 election and stealing classified documents, but Trump was able to throw a stick into the spokes of the 3 *serious* felonies with which he has been charged and soldiers on as a candidate. That the GOP suffers this totally unfit (and likely mentally ill) felon as its standard bearer says more about the party than it does about Trump.

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @Tony W: I see it somewhat differently: high-profile cases highlight issues that fly under the radar otherwise. “Felon” made some sense as a category in the 1600s, when it essentially meant that you were going to forfeit your estate, if not your life. Now, it covers a huge swath of crimes, most of which weren’t even conceivable when the concept was created.

    While there’s a good case for removing disabilities entirely after those convicted of crimes have served their time, permanent disability is much easier to swallow for those who have committed truly heinous offenses. Lumping murderers and those who committed minor tax fraud into the same category makes little sense.

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  6. charontwo says:

    @Tony W:

    My vote would be to focus more on rehabilitation than punishment, but that would apply to everyone, not just wealthy “businessmen” from New York who commit fraud.

    A) Protecting society is a separate issue from rehabilitation and punishment.

    B) Some people, TCFG included, have mental health or personality issues which render rehabilitation effectively impossible. TCFG will always be looking for ways to crime, like the scorpion of the fable, it’s his nature.

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  7. charontwo says:

    @James Joyner:

    Lumping murderers and those who committed minor tax fraud into the same category makes little sense.

    But in this particular case, the reason his only conviction is what you regard as minor derives from his wealth and political power enabling him to efficiently game the system.

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  8. MarkedMan says:

    I would find it absurd if his right to travel or vote were restricted beyond the term of whatever sentence he’s required to serve.

    Voting, at least, is highly restricted. Not surprising many of the states practicing Jim Crow governance (Florida (in practice, if lately not in law), Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, with Iowa, Wyoming and Arizona joining the crowd) permanently bar felons from voting. The remaining Trump states are also the harshest, only restoring the right to vote after release from prison and completion of parole, and even restricting the vote for those on probation.

    But James, this pales in comparison to the other barriers faced by people with “convicted felony” attached to their names . It’s one of the first questions asked on 99% of job applications, and a “yes” is almost always disqualifying. And while it is easy to say it shouldn’t be this way, imagine this deposition. “Did you know this employee had a felony conviction when you hired them?”, “Knowing this, why did you put our client in a situation where she would be alone with the defendant for an extended period of time?” It’s not my current companies policy to automatically disqualify felons, but we are the minority, and even here it would take a lot of well known extenuating circumstances for us to hire one convicted of a violent or weapons related crime.

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  9. Tony W says:

    @charontwo: I think the best way to protect society is to prevent future crimes. If people can be persuaded to voluntarily give up criminal activity, then great! If people like Trump make a lifetime career out of it, then we need to act accordingly.

    Many countries are pretty good at persuading would-be career criminals to stop their nefarious activities and pursue a life more conducive to societal integration. The U.S. prefers to just punish people – well, some people.

    I don’t make a distinction about whether a burglar comes into my home and robs the place or if a criminal commits fraud and robs me indirectly – either way, I have been robbed.

    The question is, are we going to focus on punishment, or are we going to be more precise and intentional about our criminal justice system and see if people can be rehabilitated. Nearly nobody locks up more people than we do here in the Freedom-loving U.S.A.

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  10. Paul L. says:

    Ted Stevens is a convicted felon just like Trump.
    faux-misdemeanor counts.
    Florida lets Trump because the State where was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

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  11. drj says:

    Were [Trump] an ordinary citizen…

    “Law and order!”

    “Lock her up!”

    Trump is exactly the kind of felon who should suffer the reputational consequences of his criminal behavior.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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  12. just nutha says:

    @James Joyner: And yet, during the Jim Crow era, lumping murderers together with people who committed crimes on the order of tax fraud was a regular feature of our laws specifically for the purpose of disenfranchising the black and the poor. That Republicans and conservatives (i.e. people who routinely will dog whistle the virtues of an aristocracy) will object and find the practice “problematic” now is simply karmic and ironic.

    This is my sad face for this situation– 😐 .

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  13. just nutha says:

    @charontwo: Still, the rich and connected gaming the system has been a feature rather than a bug since before judgement was taken out of the hands of the local satrap as a reform.

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  14. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    Here’s the thing.

    I’ve been calling the NY case an election interference case, because that’s what it was. Pecker and Cohen kept relevant information from the public (and I’m not letting McDougal or Clifford and their lawyers off either), and Convicted Felon Kleineorangefuhrer then committed a crime to cover it up.

    Now, his election, made possible in part by those noted above, resulted in vast negative consequences for America and the world, not least the many, many avoidable deaths caused by the trump virus, that even the worst serial murderers, arsonists, rapists, etc. could not even dare dream of.

    I don’t know whether NY state law allows for a sentence per charge, or has to lump all like charges together. If it did, I’d give him 4 years for every charge, making it 136 years, and would make the sentence sequential. If not, I’d give him the maximum of 4 years in prison. Because the consequences of his crime were that serious.

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  15. Tony W says:

    @Paul L.: Well that settles it. I’m not voting for Ted Stevens for President.

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  16. Kylopod says:

    @Paul L.:

    Florida lets Trump because the State where was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

    All your base are belong to us!

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  17. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:

    “Florida lets Trump because the State where was convicted New York allows felons to vote.”

    Huh?

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  18. Paul L. says:

    Florida lets Trump vote because the State where he was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

    Justice Matters!

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  19. Kylopod says:

    @Paul L.:

    Florida lets Trump vote because the State where he was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

    All your base is belong to us!

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  20. Moosebreath says:

    @just nutha:

    “And yet, during the Jim Crow era, lumping murderers together with people who committed crimes on the order of tax fraud was a regular feature of our laws specifically for the purpose of disenfranchising the black and the poor.”

    You mean to say that the rules from the time period the people who spout Make America Great Again want to return to shouldn’t apply to White Republican politicians? Shocking!

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    Murder is not the comp, here. Very few convicted felons are murderers, most are drug dealers, burglars, car thieves and embezzlers, as well as other violent crimes like rape and assault.

    The question is whether we are, or should be, treating Trump worse than we treat a kid who stole a car. Trump is, IMO, clearly worse than the average car thief. The car thief is tryna pay his rent, or buy his meth. Trump was deceiving voters in large part so that he could profit politically from loudly and hypocritically attacking his fellow convicted felons. I am more kindly disposed toward those who committed felonies out of need, rather than those who committed crimes out of lust for power.

    Fck him.

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  22. Franklin says:

    @Kylopod:

    All your Base, is belong to, us!

    FTFY

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  23. Paul L. says:

    @Moosebreath:

    the rules from the time period the people who spout Make America Great Again

    The history of Jim Crow in my state Pennsylvania.

    1867: Barred public carrier segregation [Statute]
    Unlawful to exclude any person on account of color or race from riding on railroads. Penalty: $500 to be paid to injured party. Employees who violated the law guilty of misdemeanor, and could be fined between $100 and $500, or be imprisoned between 30 days and three months.

    1869: Education [Statute]
    Black children prohibited from attending Pittsburgh schools.

    1872: Barred school segregation [Statute]
    Repealed law of 1869 that prevented black children from attending public schools in Pittsburgh.

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  24. Franklin says:

    @James Joyner:

    Lumping murderers and those who committed minor tax fraud into the same category makes little sense.

    I could agree with that sentence. But what if we compared a house burglar with someone who embezzled six figures from a homeless youth shelter? The latter is actually far worse, even though the burglar is “scary” and maybe even black (gasp!).

    For that matter, tax fraud is indeed stealing. If it’s indeed “minor” as you say, writing off an unqualified expense, well okay maybe that only affects the rest of us taxpayers a little, but the guys who are rich and committing tax fraud aren’t stealing a hundred bucks.

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  25. Franklin says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    … or what ^he^ said.

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  26. JKB says:

    This is an example of how ignorant those who write for publications are. While they might deny citizen Trump entry, no country would even whisper about it for the President of the United States. When the president travels, a little bit of the US goes with him. He doesn’t clear the country’s immigration and customs.

    But it is good that this gambit is exposing what is done by the state prosecution of an individual. We’ve certainly seen that one should always be suspicious of a conviction. If not because of NY v Trump but because of those who have convictions overturned even decades later.

    And just last month, the very Progressive 9th circuit ruled that some felons do not lose their 2nd amendment rights after conviction

    Today’s U.S. v. Duarte, written by Judge Carlos Bea and joined by Judge Lawrence VanDyke, concludes that the Second Amendment protects some felons (at least after the end of their criminal sentences). –Eugene Volokh

    The panel majority responds, among other things, that “we do not think that the Supreme Court, without any textual or historical analysis of the Second Amendment, intended to decide the constitutional fate of so large a population in so few words and with such little guidance…. [W]e agree with the Third Circuit that Bruen’s scattered references to ‘law-abiding’ and ‘responsible’ citizens did not implicitly decide the issue in this case.”

    And with the Hunter Biden defense seeming to be trying to go after the “unlawful drug user” question, it might just be that Democrats expand the 2nd Amendment rights by axledent, i.e., as an unintended consequence trying to rundown the political opposition and protect Biden.

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  27. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I have heard that there were 7 felonies at the founding of the US. I wonder if Witchcraft or Blasphemy was one of those?
    But Drug War!!!1!!

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  28. Tony W says:

    @JKB: Ah yes. Joe Biden somehow rigged a New York state court trial to secure a unanimous 12-member jury to convict Trump for fraud, but he is unwilling to do the same for his own son because…reasons.

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  29. Kylopod says:

    @JKB:

    While they might deny citizen Trump entry, no country would even whisper about it for the President of the United States.

    When you’re president, they let you do it.

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  30. Kylopod says:

    @Tony W:

    Ah yes. Joe Biden somehow rigged a New York state court trial to secure a unanimous 12-member jury to convict Trump for fraud

    Including apparently one juror who said he got some of his news from Truth Social.

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  31. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    I guess Trump will have to give up playing at his Scottish golf course.

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  32. Slugger says:

    We all agree that wrongdoers and criminals should be punished; the question is how long should this punishment last. If I steal a car and get twelve months of jail time, is my debt to society paid when I get out, or is a real stigma attached to me for my lifetime? I generally feel that there should not be lifetime shackles. Jean Valjean shouldn’t have had a yellow passport, and even Milady de Winter’s branding seemed excessive to me. In general, I favor wiping the slate clean after convictions; however, I recognize that some criminals are likely to reoffend. Sexual offenders against children would be an example of likely reoffenders. Trump is not a naïve youth who shoplifted some cigarettes. People can make up their own minds about how to treat him. Other nations have their own laws, and we just have to accept that. My opinion about Trump has not changed. I think the same about him today as in 1995.

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  33. Rick DeMent says:

    I am of the opinion that any federal elected official as well and anyone who is is an officer of the court should be held to a higher standard in cases that involve betraying the public trust.

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  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Please don’t compare that ignorant, stupid, classless, pathological liar, narcissist and sociopath to the Founding Fathers. They created a nation. Trump just created a cult of morons and creeps. Trump is the living antithesis of the Founders.

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  35. Paul L. says:

    @Tony W:

    but he is unwilling to do the same for his own son because…reasons.

    Remembering Matt B. lecturing me on the difference between state and Federal courts.
    Has Hunter has been convicted or acquitted yet? Hunter was just offered Plea deals.
    reasons.

    About the Hunter trial…we’re only here after David Weiss allowed charges in more serious crimes to expire, withheld evidence from investigators, tried to settle this with a sweetheart deal that a judge blew up as absurd, tipped off defense counsel about pending search warrants, among many other attempts to make sure this never happened.

    David Weiss tried very hard to make sure Hunter skated. The IRS whistleblowers made sure he couldn’t.

    I hope Hunter gets the gun charge thrown out due to ATF form violating the 5th amendment.
    I bet the DOJ tried to drop the gun charge as they didn’t want the courts to review it. Like ACLU v. Alvarez.
    They extended the statute of limitations (Because Covid suspended the Constitution) to convict Trump.

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  36. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    The Founding Fathers went to a nearby Philadelphia whore house while drafting the US Constitution. Would Trump have owned slaves?

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  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    WTF does a whore house 200 years ago have to do with anything? And of course Trump would have owned slaves. He’d happily make a slave of you, dummy. And he’d happily order you whipped. And your children sold and your wife raped. God you’re clueless. You think you can worship a psychopath and somehow you’d be immune? Yes, the leopard absolutely will eat your face.

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  38. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    I don’t think that person, an investment banker, got his news from Truth Social. What he said was that he read it, which could mean that he kept up with it only to keep tabs on whatever grotesqueries Trump was spouting.

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  39. Moosebreath says:

    @Paul L.:

    “The history of Jim Crow in my state Pennsylvania.”

    Because of course PA is the most trenchant example of Jim Crow.

    Smarter trolls, please.

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  40. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    WTF does a whore house 200 years ago have to do with anything?

    Karen Mcdougal, Stormy Daniels and Jessica Drake.

    Sociopathy, is a mental health condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others.

    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. [Trying to paper over a contradiction] People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others.

    Mayo Clinic is full of crap
    Doesn’t care about feeling of others, But desires and wants the feelings of respect, admiration, subservience and adoration of others (just like cops).

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  41. Paul L. says:

    @Moosebreath:

    rules from the time period the people who spout Make America Great Again

    Why can’t I use where I live as an example? You could cite the minimum wage as a example of Jim Crow because free blacks were taking jobs for less wages from whites and immigrates.

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  42. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:

    “Mayo Clinic is full of crap”

    What in hell does the Mayo Clinic (a world-respected medical facility, btw) have to do with anything under the present discussion?

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  43. Paul L. says:

    @CSK:
    Michael Reynolds: Trump ignores and doesn’t care about other people’s feelings but he wants people to feel feelings of respect, admiration, subservience, love and adoration for him.
    Mayo Clinic wants to claim that people with Narcissistic personality disorder can be Sociopathic.

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  44. becca says:

    @CSK: it’s just Paulie being Paulie. The usual blither blather of its disorganized mind.

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  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JKB:

    This is an example of how ignorant those who write for publications are. While they might deny citizen Trump entry, no country would even whisper about it for the President of the United States. When the president travels, a little bit of the US goes with him. He doesn’t clear the country’s immigration and customs.

    With the President in such a case being named Trump, I wouldn’t count on what you are asserting being the case; indeed, some nations might make a show of refusing Trump for propaganda purposes alone. Still, I will agree that the conditions for citizen Trump and President Trump are different.

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  46. Jax says:

    It is absolutely possible for a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to also be a sociopath.

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  47. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t know. Maybe someone brought in a jar of mayonnaise and the people at the clinic couldn’t make it better?

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  48. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Make Mayonnaise Great Again!

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  49. Paul L says:

    @Jax:

    It is absolutely possible for a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to also be a sociopath.

    How? Use the words “Feelings, Care and Ignore” in your argument.

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  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Being an investment banker does not immunize a person from becoming a RW-MAGAt-NJ. Just 2 or 3 days ago, we had the story from one of our own commenters about listening to his highly-educated in-laws/loved ones spouting MAGAt nonsense. And, as types go, I’d think that an investment banker might be more likely to buy into MAGAt nonsense, if only to justify voting GQP for the tax bennies.

    ETA: When someone tells you who they are, BELIEVE THEM. (Some famous writer person said that, I think.)

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  51. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:

    So wtf has Michael’s comments to do with the Mayo Clinic’s definition of NPD, which, again btw, appears to be the standard one?

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  52. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Of course it doesn’t. But I’m certain the guy made it clear that he only read the site, and didn’t necessarily endorse the contents.

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  53. Tony W says:

    @Paul L:

    How? Use the words “Feelings, Care and Ignore” in your argument.

    That’s oddly specific. Are you trying to get us to do your 7th grade homework assignment again Paul?

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: Wait, you you don’t think that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be sociopathic??? Is there some specific reason that you hold to that viewpoint? It seems illogical to me (but the again I may well have NPD (undiagnosed) and am pretty clear on being sociopathic).

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  55. Paul L. says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    ignores the rights and feelings of others.

    Includes all feelings positive and negative.
    @CSK:
    To quote M Grant:

    Please don’t compare that ignorant, stupid, classless, pathological liar, narcissist and sociopath [Trump] to the Founding Fathers.

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  56. Kylopod says:

    @Tony W: Paul L. is going full Dunning-Kruger; the fact that he can’t understand how NPD and sociopathy can be comorbid, based on what he thinks are contradictions in the definition of the two, proves to him that the concept is ridiculous.

    It’s just a psychology version of “If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys today?”; “How can the earth be warming if it’s snowing?”; “If underpants don’t stop a fart, how can masks stop the spread of Covid?”; etc., etc.

    This is why ignorance is so endemic to humanity–it’s not just lack of knowledge in a vacuum, which can be solved by better education. It’s lack of humility. If a person is programmed to believe at the outset that experts with years of training and experience are all laughable clowns whose opinions can be crushed by the average 2nd grader, that person will perceive that their inability to understand the experts proves that the experts in fact don’t know what they’re talking about. Nothing can pierce the certainty of someone committed to believing they’re smarter than the world.

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  57. Mimai says:

    Question: Is it possible for a non-Spaniard to feel Spanish Shame?

    Answer: Yes, yes it is.

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  58. Paul L. says:

    Detective Bryan Gillis is a lying bitch. It must stick in his craw, He couldn’t attack Scottie Scheffler in his statement because it may cause some legal action against the Louisville police.
    Scottie Scheffler

    said he has no interest in pursuing legal action against the police department, even though his attorney, Steve Romines, had signaled he might.

    “That was something that if we needed to use it, I think Steve was more than ready to use that, just because there was a ton of evidence in our favor,” Scheffler said. “I don’t really know how to describe it, but basically if I had to show up in court, I think Steve was more than prepared to pursue legal action.

    “I did not want to have to pursue legal action against Louisville because at the end of the day, the people of Louisville are then going to have to pay for the mistakes of their police department, and that just doesn’t seem right.”

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  59. mattbernius says:

    Short comment from the road:

    When we hear the term “felon,” most of us think of crimes like murder, rape, robbery, arson, and the like. But relatively minor crimes, theoretically punishable with a year or more in prison, are also included under that rubric.

    100% this. Our definition of felony has exploded over the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Perhaps even worse, our definition of “violent felony” has grown as well to include acts that on their face may not appear to have violence in them.

    Yet, we apply the term “felon” to those convicted of any of those crimes and, quite often, impose rather harsh consequences, including the removal of the right to vote and difficulty in being hired for jobs, to even Class 6 felons. We should almost certainly rethink that.

    100% as well. Especially for people who have completed the nonmonetarty of their sentences.
    Fees and fines are a while different area (and being used in places like Florida to continue to disenfranchise voters despite the passage of a State constitutional amendment).

    When I get back from vacation, I am planning a post about the Trump protection from the perspective of someone involved in the criminal legal system reform community.

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  60. mattbernius says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But James, this pales in comparison to the other barriers faced by people with “convicted felony” attached to their names . It’s one of the first questions asked on 99% of job applications, and a “yes” is almost always disqualifying. And while it is easy to say it shouldn’t be this way, imagine this deposition. “Did you know this employee had a felony conviction when you hired them?”, “Knowing this, why did you put our client in a situation where she would be alone with the defendant for an extended period of time?” It’s not my current companies policy to automatically disqualify felons, but we are the minority, and even here it would take a lot of well known extenuating circumstances for us to hire one convicted of a violent or weapons related crime.

    100% this.

    Also we are at the point that violent misdemeanors (and nv ones) are also a huge barrier too. Though not as bad as felonies.

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  61. Paul L. says:

    @Kylopod:
    Expert with years of training and experience said my mom had arthritis in her hip. 4 months later her hip bone snapped and cancer was found.
    I guess it is my burden that I am a little jaded about how infallible Doctors are.

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  62. mattbernius says:

    Florida lets Trump vote because the State where he was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

    Correct. Ron DeSantis even tweeted about this.

    Now if only he would follow the will of voters in his state and reverse all the regulations the Republican legislature put in place to effectively overturn the will of Florida voters. Florida voters passed a State Constitution Amendment to enable people to regain their voting rights and then the legislature essentially overturned it by adding additional requirements that are difficult if not impossibly to complete because of how the state tracks and applies fees and fines).

    Maybe they could learn from a blue state.

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  63. mattbernius says:

    Florida lets Trump vote because the State where he was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

    Correct. Ron DeSantis even tweeted about this.

    Now if only he would follow the will of voters in his state and reverse all the regulations the Republican legislature put in place to effectively overturn the will of Florida voters. Florida voters passed a State Constitution Amendment to enable people to regain their voting rights and then the legislature essentially overturned it by adding additional requirements that are difficult if not impossibly to complete because of how the state tracks and applies fees and fines).

    Maybe they could learn from a blue state.

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  64. Kylopod says:

    @Paul L.:

    Expert with years of training and experience said my mom had arthritis in her hip. 4 months later her hip bone snapped and cancer was found.

    I’m sorry to hear that.

    I just have one question: How do you know it was cancer?

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  65. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:

    So what does that have to do with the Mayo Clinic (consistently rated at the TOP U.S. hospital) being “full of crap”?

    Jesus, why do I bother?

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  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.:

    “ignores the rights and feelings of others.

    Includes all feelings positive and negative.”

    ETA: [hit “send” instead of “return”] ?????

    ETA II: “…the fact that he can’t understand how NPD and sociopathy can be comorbid, based on what he thinks are contradictions in the definition of the two, proves to him that the concept is ridiculous.”

    Wowsa! Kylopod read A LOT more into what Paul L. was saying than I was able to. What they say about what getting old does to mental acuity must be true. 🙁

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  67. Paul L. says:

    @Kylopod:

    How do you know it was cancer?

    Biopsy on the bone when she got hip replacement surgery for the broke hip.

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  68. Kylopod says:

    @Paul L.:

    Biopsy on the bone when she got hip replacement surgery for the broke hip.

    You’re getting warmer.

    Who performed the biopsy? Who interpreted the results?

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  69. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: My brother constantly points to the evidence contradicting the Clovis First hypothesis (the first people in the Americas were about 10,000 years ago, and had the distinctive Clovis points on their arrows or spear heads) as evidence that scientists don’t know anything, and that therefore Climate Change isn’t happening.

    We’ve been sporadic finding evidence of humans in the Americas dating back to about 18,000 years, just not nearly as much — a lot of early sites were likely along the coast, and with rising water levels they are harder to find.

    A normal person would say “ah, they are incorporating new evidence.” To my brother it’s just that scientists don’t know anything and are just making stuff up.

    Why are Clovis People his …um… Clovis People? I have no idea. He just fixated on it.

    I expect El Paul has a similar thought pattern.

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  70. al Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    Florida lets Trump vote because the State where he was convicted New York allows felons to vote.

    There are restrictions in Florida. He’s not allowed to attend Drag Queen Story Hour sessions, to take online courses concerning the History of Race in America, or help a woman get an out of state abortion.

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  71. gVOR10 says:

    @Charley in Cleveland:

    Note that Trump’s Republican enablers don’t defend his conduct

    How can they? Aside from E. Jeanne Carroll’s rape, has Trump denied any of the conduct charged? He doesn’t claim he didn’t take the Mar-a-Lago documents, just that it somehow doesn’t count. He made the call to the GA Sec O’State, but it was “perfect”. Given the falsified NY documents were in evidence, his defense seemed to be that Michael Cohen is a lying liar. His fraud defense seemed to be that everybody lies about valuations. Except the rape, has he actually denied anything?

    I blame the GOP establishment and voters for this whole thing. Prior to the election in 2016 Trump was widely rumored to have paid bribes, laundered money, and to have mob ties, foreign and domestic. He and his businesses had been subjects of investigations and forced to pay judgements and fines. The Access Hollywood tape was out. His foundation and university had been investigated and either had or would shortly be shut down with major fines. They knew he was a career criminal and supported him anyway. Elect a clown, get a circus. Elect a known criminal, get trials.

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  72. DrDaveT says:

    Dear mods,

    If we can’t ban Paul L., can we at least get a Paul filter that will allow members to read threads without having to wade through either the trolling or the responses to it?

    Make OTB Great Again

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  73. Gustopher says:

    @al Ameda:

    There are restrictions in Florida. He’s not allowed to attend Drag Queen Story Hour sessions,

    Is a man allowed to wear makeup in public in Florida? If not, I can think of a test case.

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  74. just nutha says:

    @DrDaveT: As Captain Planet used say, “The power is in your hands.” You don’t know who the trolls are? Really?

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  75. DrDaveT says:

    @just nutha:

    You don’t know who the trolls are? Really?

    Knowing what rabbit pellets look like doesn’t make it any less unpleasant to have to pick them out of my salad.

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  76. Ken_L says:

    As usual, the bloody politicians make things unnecessarily complicated. Venial and mortal sins were the only two categories required for 17 centuries.

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  77. just nutha says:

    @DrDaveT: False analogy. You can consume OTB without reading every word of each post. (Or maybe, you can’t, in which case, you have my condolences. 🙁 )

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  78. mattbernius says:

    @Kylopod:
    Well reasoned sir.

    ReplyReply

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