Last week, a New York City jury, prompted by the legal coordination between Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan — both partisan actors — convicted Donald Trump on 34 felony counts having to do with falsification of business records. Or election fraud. Or more tax issues. Or … something. Nobody really knows, and apparently it was unnecessary for the jury to agree on the crime in order to find Trump guilty of one.

No matter.

Trump was convicted and may now face jail time. We’ll find out on July 11 — just a few days before the Republican National Convention. Obviously, this represents opportune timing for the Biden campaign. And yet Donald Trump remains firmly knotted with Biden in the race for the White House. There have been four polls taken since Trump’s conviction. In all of them, Biden and Trump are either tied or within two points either way.

But how? The question echoes throughout the media: How can a convicted felon be running even with the incumbent president? The answer is twofold: First, Joe Biden is a truly awful president; second, Biden has no ground to stand on in labeling Trump a threat to law and order.

First, Biden’s terrible record. Americans have been slammed by inflation for three years. Our social fabric has continued to decay as Biden openly seeks “equity” — meaning discriminatory legal regimens designed at rectifying group disparities — in every area of the federal government. On the foreign front, Biden has hamstrung Ukraine in its defense against Russia, and openly manipulated on behalf of Iran and Hamas in Israel’s war against the terror group that performed Oct. 7. It is difficult to see an area of the world that is markedly better off since Biden took the White House.

Second, Biden’s hypocrisy. In the aftermath of the Trump conviction, Trump naturally condemned the justice system that targeted him. Biden then responded by doubling down on his narrative that Trump’s pushback represents a threat to Our Democracy and Our Institutions: On Friday, Biden staggered out to the podium to claim that “the American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed.” He added that it was “dangerous” and “irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict.”

The problem is this: Biden as Defender of Our Democracy and Our Institutions just doesn’t play. This is the same president who tried to use his Occupational Safety and Health Administration to illegally cram down vaccines on 80 million Americans; who attempted, in defiance of law, to relieve student loan debt — and then bragged about defying the Supreme Court; whose DOJ even let him off the hook for mishandling of classified material by calling him a dotard. Biden’s party has spent years tut-tutting massive riots, appeasing pro-terrorist student trespassers and calling for an end to parental autonomy. There isn’t an institution in the country Biden hasn’t weakened. To hear Biden rail against Trump for undermining institutions, then, simply won’t play. But Biden doesn’t have much left in the playbook.

All of which means that Trump still — still — has the upper hand. Ironically, Trump being sent to jail might actually help him, given that most Americans will correctly see the jailing of Biden’s chief political opponent as an act of vicious partisanship unworthy of the most powerful republic in world history. In 2020, Biden ran on the platform of stability and normalcy; he has exploded both. All he’s left with is slogans about Orange Hitler. And that’s unlikely to be enough come November if gas prices are high, groceries cost too much and the world remains aflame.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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