Donald Trump’s criminal conviction is not a cause for celebration but a sober reminder

I am not celebrating the conviction of Donald Trump. It was inevitable and, though a just outcome, it will not solve anything.

I know a lot of folks were dancing in the streets when the “guilty” verdicts were read. But Trump is not the problem; he is only the symptom, much as a herpes sore is not the disease but a manifestation of it.

Trump, the now-convicted former president, is a weeping sore, a manifestation of a much deeper disease. It is virus driven by social media algorithms and power-hungry politicians. It is a nurtured by ignorance and a general intellectual incuriosity that pervades our society.

We are a society in search of easy answers. Unfortunately, we live in a complex world where nuance and details make all the difference. There are no easy answers.

The search for easy answers crosses all party lines. Republicans turn to hucksters and despotic strongmen, while Democrats look for a savior, a magical candidate who will solve everything. Both are driven by what product they can easily market in this polarized world, and they are playing to the lowest common denominator.

I am reminded of an adage I follow whenever I see a product in a store that has the word “easy” on the box: I stay away from it because it will not be easy!

There is no easy answer to the problem our country faces. No one candidate or piece of legislation will fix it. We have to start the slow process of educating future generations to the difficulties of a democracy.

Democracy manifests itself at the ballot box, but it is born in the minds of those who vote. And as long as those who vote are ignorant, they will constantly be swayed by the magic, easy fix.

Governing and legislating used to be a collaborative process, and it should be one again. Our elected representatives need to start looking at how they can work together to build a better country instead of going for measures designed to garner votes and little else. We need to end transactional politics, and that is a difficult road.

The conviction of Donald Trump is not a victory; it is a tragedy. It is a symptom of that same virus that created him and made voters so gullible that they thought he was somehow “the answer.”

But Trump is not the answer; he is the question.

Can we as a country recover after having managed to put a cheating huckster in the White House? Can we as a people recover after having been so easily swayed that almost half of our population would still vote for him even when he is a convicted felon? Can we move forward with a generation of young people who are relying more on artificial intelligence than their own intelligence?

Can we all stop looking for the easy answers and do the work of healing our country?

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and board chair for the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. His blog is at