Reversible error.

Former president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Paul GleiserReversible error.

When a New York City jury convicted a former president of the United States of multiple felonies – felonies that still cannot be succinctly explained to persons of nominal intelligence – the fact that such a verdict was widely anticipated did little to mitigate the shock of it actually happening.

Legal pundits – mostly on the right but many notably on the left – have opined at length on the long list of reasons that the jury’s verdict against Donald Trump will not survive on appeal. The reasons cited are what lawyers and legal scholars call “reversible errors.” In legal speak, a reversible error is something that the judge in the trial court got wrong that affected the outcome of the case. The list of things that judge Juan Merchan got wrong is too lengthy for this column. I recommend an article at by Kenin Spivak.

But the subject of reversible error has me thinking. The country is a mess. There is much gloomy writing on these being the end days of the American experiment.

Possibly. But not inevitably.

Just as Donald Trump’s farcical conviction can be set right by fixing the reversible errors of the trial judge, so too can America be set right by fixing the reversible errors of bad policy.

The mess at our southern border is a reversible error. We know this because the border was under solid operational control during the Trump administration. A return to Trump policy will stop the flood. Most Americans favor deportation of those who have come in illegally. That won’t be easy. But it must be done, and it can be done.

Americans noticed that the vilest of the antisemitic protests on college campuses this spring were on the campuses of our most elite universities. Continuing to hold schools like Columbia and Harvard in high esteem is a reversible error. Prospective students and prospective employers are, in significant numbers, rethinking the value of an elite university degree. That will inevitably chasten those institutions.

Regarding education, many of our country’s primary and secondary schools are teaching kids the wrong things about America. That’s a reversible error, too. School boards are accountable to their local communities. We fix our schools by paying much closer attention to local school board elections.

And then there are our political parties. For decades the paradigm has been that Republicans represented the aristocratic, corporate, Brahmin class, while Democrats represented the middle and the working class. That is in the process of being turned on its head.

For those same decades, Republicans largely wrote off black and Hispanic voters. That is an immediately reversible error. Today’s Republicans are much more aligned with the interests of a black voter aspiring to entry into the middle class than today’s Democrats. Republicans will profit mightily by reaching out to the minorities they once wrote off.

As to Republicans and the election, we’ll never know for certain to what extent cheating and malfeasance made the critical difference in the approximately 40,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that gave Joe Biden the win in 2020. But regardless of whether you believe that malfeasance made the critical difference, failing to be prepared for election night shenanigans was an error – one that must be reversed in those three critical states this time around. And one that can be.

It’s easy, given all that’s going wrong, to become downhearted. Don’t. Much of what’s going wrong can be reversed. And there is ample evidence that the reversal has begun.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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3 Responses

  1. Shirley Qualls says:

    Love this – gives us hope!!!

  2. Chuck Goldsmith says:

    Another good one, Paul, thank you for the good word. I recall the malaise of the late seventies when the nation decided to change from the Carter administration to the Reagan, 44 years ago. There was a widespread and almost tangible discouragement and disappointment over the direction of the country then but we made a dramatic turn going into the 80’s, and hope, and liberty, resurged. The hostages in Iran came home immediately, the economy was released to thrive, and we quit taking as much abuse from malefactors within and without the country. Praying we’ll get yet another reprieve from our seemingly inevitable decline this year.

  3. Mike says:

    This is an uplifting article of Hope; with a caveat. We The People must act ourselves, individually, to put this massive vehicle in reverse gear. But at the same time; we as individual’s taking personal responsibility to vote as a block (group) for positive change. Not only at a National Level but at home as well. WE MUST be vocal; whether in writing ( hand written letters go much further than an email), picking up the telephone making a call, or actually stopping by the elected official’s office and conveying YOUR approval or disapproval in person (which is the most powerful message of all).
    I am not one to sit idly by waiting for others to act. Just about everything in our electronically saturated society is anti-customer service due in part to security issues or budget cuts; OR with bureaucracies finding ways to shut us out with AI or some other stupid perplexing messages. A Fantastic Example: Texas DMV; OMG and Holy Cow is this a nightmare!!!! At a Federal Level the IRS, our worse nightmare. Only One Way short of revolt in changing this; YOU opening your mouth to convey a message of change; and acting upon this message of voting for those who would change or reverse the avalanche of oppressive government from school boards to the Presidency of the USA. Time is gone for gripping and fussing; time to act.

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