It makes me so happy to write ‘convicted felon Donald Trump’

OPINION: I didn't think Trump receiving 34 guilty verdicts in his hush money trial would make me this happy. But it did.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump departs the courtroom after being found guilty on all 34 counts in his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Donald Trump’s conviction in his hush money trial has made me indescribably happy. Ever since the news broke, I’ve had a Kool-Aid smile. It really did make my day. I truly felt a sense of joy as if I had gotten a special gift. What am I so happy about?

I’m happy to see something bad happen to Trump. He’s such a horrible person, and yet, so many things seem to work out for him. It seems to violate the laws of nature to have someone be horrible and also get almost everything they want. Seeing something truly bad happen to him feels like cosmic justice. Like, finally, there’s proof that, no, you can’t be a horrible person and also win all the time. Between E. Jean Carroll, Letitia James and Alvin Bragg, this is definitely the season of Trump losing.

I’m happy to see Trump be forced to wrestle with the consequences of his actions. He always seems to get away with anything. Not this time. 

“Schadenfreude” is a German word for taking pleasure in another person’s downfall, but many cultures recognize that sometimes people find joy in other people’s losses. The Japanese say: “The misfortunes of others taste like honey.” The French speak of “joie maligne,” a delight in the suffering of others. I speak of gaining joy from seeing Trump find himself in massive trouble. I love this movie. Pass the popcorn. 

I feel schadenfreude. I’m not above being petty because it’s human to enjoy another person’s misfortune Also, being petty can be an art form. But in this situation, is reveling in Trump’s downfall petty or patriotic?  

Recommended Stories

I’m happy to see a Black man like Alvin Bragg succeed. I almost never root for the government, but in this case, I had to. For a Black man, rooting for the prosecution is like rooting for the evil empire, but if Trump is in the building, I’m rooting for the other team no matter what.

I’m happy to see Trump go down in the courthouse that sits next to the one where the Central Park 5 were wrongfully convicted decades ago. That’s poetic justice.

I’m happy to see Trump having to worry about being sentenced to prison time. I don’t know if he will be sentenced or if he’ll serve time, but many people seem to think that’s possible. So until his sentencing date on July 11, Trump will have this giant stress cloud hanging over him. He will have to worry that he could be sent to prison. I love that for him.

I’m happy to write the phrase “convicted felon Donald Trump.” I know that will affect how people see him this year and in the future.

I’m happy to think that this could possibly have an impact on what happens in November. I don’t know if it will, but it might. Sure, this won’t budge the hardcore Trump voters who seem like they’re in a cult, but the election won’t turn on what they do. To win, Trump needs more than MAGA voters. He also needs people who are currently lukewarm about him. I think some voters who are more moderate may not want to see a convicted felon in the White House.  

I don’t think the election will turn on people who are choosing between Trump and Biden. They won’t be the decisive group. A more important group is people who are choosing between voting for Trump and not voting at all. If Trump can get a lot of people who would otherwise not vote to come out and vote for him, he’ll win. I think a massive negative event like this will make it harder for Trump to do that. 

We don’t need to see an overwhelming number of potential Trump voters stay home. If he loses just a fraction of potential voters he’s cooked. Republican strategist Karl Rove was on Fox recently saying that a conviction could cost Trump the election. His polling said that about three-fourths of voters said a conviction would make no difference to them. If you focus on that then you’ll miss the story. The poll found a conviction would make 17% of registered voters less likely to vote for him. That’s a gigantic number. If Trump were to lose 17% of his support or even 10%, he would lose. This is a close election. Trump cannot afford to have a large sliver of potential voters stay home. 

I’m so happy that Trump now has months to stress about whether or not this conviction will be the thing that costs him the one thing he cares about most — the election. 

In the immortal words of Ice Cube, today was a good day.


Toure is a host and writer at TheGrio. He hosts the TheGrio TV show “Masters of the Game,” and he created the award-winning podcast “Being Black: The ’80s” and its upcoming sequel “Being Black: The ’70s.” He is also the creator of “Star Stories” and the author of eight books, including “Nothing Compares 2 U an oral history of Prince.” He also hosts a podcast called “Toure Show.” He is also a husband and a father of two.