1704006866 Donald Trump is putting the system in the USA to

Donald Trump is putting the system in the USA to the test (again).

Donald Trump is putting the system in the USA to

Even for someone as adept at dealing with shocks as Donald Trump, his final weeks have felt like a roller coaster ride. He was compared to Adolf Hitler for some xenophobic comments; He has threatened retaliation against those who now hold him accountable for his actions in his previous exercise of power; He has said that he will be “dictator for a day” when he takes charge; and ends the year in the midst of an unprecedented legal battle to prevent him from running in next November's presidential election, which has opened an interesting debate about democracy in the United States.

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It's a debate about who should decide, whether the judges or the voters, whether the candidate best positioned to get the Republican Party's nomination and even win, according to recent polls, should become president given his precedents Opponent, a Joe Biden, whose popularity is not increasing due, among other things, to his advanced age or the war in Gaza.

The idea of ​​a second round of Trumpism in the White House has at least managed to bring the two Americas to an agreement by highlighting the dangers that threaten democracy in 2024, a year that – like 1776, 1861, 1968, 2001 or 2020― begs for passage to present the annals of its history. On the one hand, four more years of Trump would push the country toward autocracy. For the other, the real risk lies in the attempts to stop him in court, which would respond to an illiberal political persecution with the full arsenal of the state apparatus: a dirty trick to defeat him in the face of a rival's inability to do so do. at the elections.

The tycoon closes the year of his troubles with the judiciary with more legal attacks; so far four cases in which he is accused of 91 criminal offenses, election fraud, his co-responsibility in the attack on the Capitol, handling secret material and black payments to a porn actress. The last relates to the Disqualification Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. Its third section, written after the Civil War with Confederate rebels in mind, bars anyone from running for public office who participated in an insurrection after pledging allegiance to the Constitution.

It is a legal battle similar to that of the presidential election: It is fought state by state. Maine and Colorado have provided two good interpretations for now. On the one hand, what Trump did (and still does) by refusing to accept the results of the 2020 election and his encouragement of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 counts as an act of insurrection and is not freedom of expression protected by law. On the other hand, what is contained in that obscure paragraph of the seldom-quoted policy text can be applied to the office of president, even if it is not specifically mentioned in the array of elected offices mentioned therein.

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A half-dozen states (the most recent, California) have already rejected this legal theory, and there are at least 32 that have brought cases based on this interpretation of the Constitution. The ball is now in the court of a Supreme Court with a conservative supermajority that features three justices appointed by Trump. If they accept the case, they can decide on both questions (that of insurrection and whether the clause affects presidents) or limit themselves only to the practical side and put the candidate's name back on the ballot. What these nine justices decide will have repercussions across the country, paving or blocking Trump's path to the White House. There is some urgency: The primary process begins in mid-January with the Iowa caucuses.

Those advocating for him to be removed from these primaries are putting the idea that no one is above the law ahead of the certainty that these attacks can end up having the opposite of the desired effect: winning him votes. No one like Maine's secretary of state — Democrat Shenna Bellows, in whose argument she wrote that “democracy is sacred” — has embodied that fight these days.

Betrayal and protection

The same recourse to the sacred ideal of democracy serves those who think differently, of which there are many, and not just from the tycoon's supporters. It's better to let voters speak than to have a handful of judges ban him from the campaign, they say. And of course it would be easier if there was already a verdict proving that he committed the crime of insurrection.

For Samuel Moyn, a law professor at Yale University, there is a danger in resorting to the disqualification clause: “Turning what should be a national referendum on the future of the country into a spectacle in which judges interpret a legal text from the past. “It might benefit Democrats in the short term,” Moyn believes, but in reality it would only “postpone the need to govern by legitimate means rather than legal subterfuge.”

Some, like conservative analyst David Frum, Trump's longtime opponent, also point to the irony that “the president who betrayed democracy is now asking for its protection.” “Perhaps, out of caution, one would recommend keeping Trump's disgraced name on the primary and general election ballots. But remember the old joke about the man who murdered his parents and then begged for mercy because he was an orphan? Another could be told of a former president who destroyed democracy when he was in power and then demanded that democracy be protected so that he could have another opportunity to destroy it,” Frum wrote on the magazine’s website The Atlantic after learning of Maine's decision.

The latest edition of the publication is a monograph on all the ways and areas in which a Trump back in the White House could do that damage. To emphasize the drama of the alarm signals contained within, the creative director decided to place the register on the red cover in homage to another solemn occasion on which the editors resorted to this idea: August 1939, a month before the start of World War II.

The list is long: His election as president would pose a threat to immigration, climate, journalism, science, relations with China, the rise of extremism on both sides, disinformation and the Justice Department, among other things…” In his first During his tenure, Trump's corruption and brutality were tempered by his ignorance and laziness. In a second round, he could arrive with a much more refined knowledge of the system's vulnerabilities and an agenda of retaliation against his opponents and impunity for himself,” Frum writes in the special issue.

For Trump, who bid farewell to 2022 staring into the abyss of political irrelevance and heads into 2024 while sitting on his outstanding accounts of justice and inflated popularity, victim rhetoric has served to appeal to a loyal base of supporters , who consider him little less than a martyr. In recent weeks he has raised the tone with an already openly revanchist speech.

The climax came last Tuesday when he bragged about his rhetoric by sharing on his social network account Truth a cloud of concepts published by the British newspaper Chron, mixing into the blender the words used by a thousand potential voters A pollster asked for a concept that summarizes what they expect from a second term for the two candidates seeking a repeat run in the White House. “Revenge,” “power,” “economy” and “dictatorship” were the terms highlighted in large print in the Trump crush. In Bidens?: “Nothing,” “Economy,” “Democracy,” and “Peace.”

That the former president has acquired a list that everyone else would have preferred to forget is new evidence that Trump is not “just any other” politician, but someone who is able to emerge unscathed from statements like those that he recently made on FoxNews. He said he would be “dictator for a day” to “close the border with Mexico” and restart “oil production.” And then democracy would return. This democracy that has been cornered several times since its emergence on the political scene in 2016, as a candidate, as a president and as a former president.

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