The 14th Amendment Does Not Disqualify Donald Trump
Defenders of the sacred American democracy want to bar their chief political rival from running for office
The louder a person yells about the threat Donald Trump poses to democracy, the more you can assume they would be willing to support anti-democratic policies to stop his candidacy for president. Hypocrisy in politics is as American as apple pie, but the levels we’ve seen employed against Trump are in a class of their own. Just about anything you can come up with that Trump has said or done, or allegedly said or done, as a “threat against democracy” is an argument that was said or done against Trump by the same people. Trump is an election-denier? So is Hillary Clinton. Trump attempted an electoral coup against Joe Biden? Some Democrats tried the same against Trump in 2016. Trump stole classified material? So did Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence, and Joe Biden. Trump incited a violent riot at the Capitol? Democrats supported violent riots across the United States in 2020, including at the White House, with Kamala Harris tweeting, “If you’re able to, chip in now to the MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.” Donald Trump held up aid to Ukraine for his own corrupt political dealings? Joe Biden bragged about holding up aid to Ukraine until a prosecutor investigating the energy company that his drug-addict son was receiving millions of dollars from was removed from office.
Nothing Donald Trump has said or done while president or running for president is unique to him, which, in my opinion, is bad enough, but, for cynical, political purposes, Democrats, the corporate media, and the deep state pretend as if he’s some kind of unique threat to American democracy and freedom. My guess is that it’s because he’s not enough of a warmonger for these groups, who all benefit politically and financially from new and expanding wars. Trump is the only president in my lifetime who didn’t start a new war.
Now many of these people are floating the theory that Donald Trump is ineligible to run for the presidency again in 2024 under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citing section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
From The Washington Post:
They argue that under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, Trump is ineligible for the presidency because he took the oath of office and subsequently “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies” during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
The only problem with this theory is that Trump has not even been charged with “insurrection or rebellion” let alone convicted of such. You can’t simply declare that Trump is guilty of these crimes and thus ineligible for public office the way that Michael Scott declares bankruptcy in The Office.
Donald Trump has been indicted several times at this point, but none of the many charges against him are for insurrection against the United States government. If he hasn’t been charged with insurrection then he can’t be convicted of insurrection, and if he isn’t convicted of insurrection then he can’t be disqualified from running for president for engaging in insurrection. Furthermore, Trump has not been convicted of any of the charges that have been leveled against him as of yet, so it’s even more preposterous for people to claim that he’s already ineligible to run for office. Sorry, but even Donald Trump is innocent until proven guilty.
This is not to say that as Trump’s poll numbers continue to improve in head-to-head match-ups against President Biden in the 2024 election he won’t eventually be charged with insurrection, and possibly even convicted. The important point, however, is that none of these people are genuinely concerned about the principle of democracy; they are cynically exploiting democracy for the purpose of stopping their chief political rival from defeating them in an election so that they can maintain their hold on power. Their favored politicians and activists are as guilty of anything you could credibly accuse Trump or his supporters of being guilty of, and will be again in the future. And when this precedent is inevitably turned against them they will call that a threat against democracy as well.