Democracy for Sale

Rodney Clough
2 min readApr 19, 2023
Anthony Warlow and Lilla Crawford, Annie, the Musical, 2021. Photo courtesy of

Something died in Wilmington yesterday.

Now “we” get it: Trump isn’t the first former President to be indicted, he is the first former President to be indicted on criminal charges… that qualifier became obvious today on the steps of the Wilmington Delaware Federal Courthouse:

Dominion settled and withdrew their civil suit for a price. One can imagine a count-down of the minutes to a “Trump trumpet”… ‘I am exonerated! Fox is willing to back up our election fraud campaign for $787.5 million. Wow!’

And Fox gets to preserve their favorite ‘pickelers’ from public embarrassment, including their fearless 92 year-old leader, Daddy Warbucks. (1)

The public appraisal of Fox’s orchestration and confidence manipulation of election outcome will again be exposed, this time by Smartmatics LLC. They are seeking $2.7 billion in damages. That both sides have already embarked on brokering their reality — Smartmatics, the defamed; Fox, the willing representer (2) — indicates that both sides will probably ‘settle.’

As a legal career friend advised, “don’t look to the legal community to defend democracy; that’s not their client.”

My friend’s comment raises the argument for advocating for multiple voting access points: to expand ‘voting’ instead of institutionalizing choice. The counter argument — to suppress voting — further entrenches its perpetrators and renders insignificant the movements of redress and institutional change which comprise the precipice where America finds itself. (3)

So a defamation suit and it’s monetary outcome expose the frailty of ‘democracy.’

April 19


1-Rodney Clough, “Fox Pox,” Medium, March 9

2-David French, “Why Fox News Lied to the Viewers It ‘Respects’,” New York Times, February 26

3-Comment: Right of petition (redress) is one of the “four pillars” of the First Amendment




Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.