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My Indelible Memory of Peter Navarro

On, October 26, 2002, I was in my car, and I heard the dreadful news about the plane crash which killed liberal champion Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, his daughter, three aides, and the two pilots. Wellstone was running for re-election to the Minnesota Senate against Norm Coleman.

People were reeling from the horror and human tragedy of this event, which has never been fully solved. I was listening to the radio on the news station KNX, and the hour-long stock report show came on, which I often listened to at 1 pm. And Peter Navarro was on. I had heard him before, he sounded like a typical right-wing Milton Friedman economics acolyte, I usually just ignored him.

On this day, Navarro chose to tell his audience that the stock market was going up. He said something like, “It may not seem the time to point this out, but see that the market is going up! That is obviously due to the fact that there is now a better chance that the Republicans will take over the Senate.”

I was beyond appalled. What a sickening thing to think and say. Well, it turned out that Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura appointed fellow Independent Dean Barkley to finish Wellstone’s term. The Democrats chose the retired Walter Mondale to fill Senator Wellstone’s position on the ballot, and he barely lost to Coleman, and the Republicans took over the Senate.

My memory of Peter Navarro has never faded from that day. I didn’t know where he went in his career, I don’t remember hearing him too much more on KNX, though he may have been on. Then he resurfaced years later as a major Trump supporter and advisor, opining on all sorts of things, many non-economic.

Then he ultimately became one of the major architects and supporters of what the Trump insiders liked to call “The Green Bay Sweep”; that term taken from a successful offensive running play that the Green Bay Packers ran under coach Vince Lombardi, a play that with superior personnel and execution, was almost impossible to stop.

For the Trump people, this was a plan to overturn the valid election of Joe Biden, by mounting challenges to the results in eight key states. The idea was to cause such tumult, that the election results could not be certified. What would happen after that was unclear, but the principal architects of the plan, according to Navarro, who was very proud of it, were Navarro and Steve Bannon.

The House Committee formed to investigate the insurrection of January 6, 2021, eventually subpoenaed Navarro. He refused to comply with the subpoena. He claimed Executive Privilege, somehow conferred by Trump. Today Navarro was indicted by a grand jury, and taken into custody on Contempt of Congress charges. There are two indictments; one for refusing to appear, and one for not producing requested documents.

Navarro was on MSNBC last night, speaking to Ari Melber. He had said on that show, or just before that, that he thought that an indictment for a charge with a one-year prison penalty, would potentially cost him one-fourth of his life span, based on expectancy charts, and would also cost him a good deal of money in fines. Life expectancy was obviously not a concern on the day he wanted to point out that Senator Wellstone’s death was being hailed by the people who run the stock market.

Who knows what will happen to this case? Trumpists have a way of slithering out of things, even those like Bannon, Manafort, and Dinesh D’Souza, who were convicted, and then pardoned by Trump, so that they could do more evil. It is at least something that the Department of Justice has taken action to enforce the Committee’s subpoena against Navarro.

Navarro is one of many Far Right people who want to wage war on Democrats and on America. Fanatics who want to “win” no matter who dies, or how the entire democracy is destroyed. No one should say that he didn’t warn them, on that show 20 years ago. All of them have given us plenty of warning. They don’t relent, or moderate, they get worse, and they believe in nothing but their own totalitarianism. I am very glad that at least Navarro got arrested today.