Trump Needs to be on the Ballot

Elections Supreme Court

           Mexico City     Well, go ‘head, Colorado!  Most have heard the news, I’ll bet.  The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Trump is ineligible to be on the ballot for the Republican Presidential Primary in that state because his role in the January 6th insurrection is a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Section 3 was a product of the Civil War and blocked, at least for a time, former Confederates from running for and holding office.  This is all huge, and a well-deserved slap in the face to Trump and his fans.  The Colorado Supreme Court expects Trump to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court, which he certainly will do, and given the 6-3 conservative majority they will find a way either via a technicality or other rationale for him to stay on the ballot.  Furthermore, that will be the right decision for the election and the country, in my view.  For the sake of the country and what semblance of democracy we have left, Trump shouldn’t be beaten in the courts, but at the ballot box for the United States to be able to move forward together.

This is already a hot potato.  Several courts in New Hampshire and Minnesota have already dismissed similar disqualification cases on technical grounds.  Even in Colorado, the lower court had not disqualified Trump, before the Supreme Court overturned.  In Michigan, a judge wisely ruled last month that the issue was “political” and past his authority, which is exactly right.  Trump and his antics, assuming as is highly likely, that he is the Republican nominee needs to be beaten once again politically by the voters, not by judges.  The Michigan judge was affirmed on appeal, but that case is still live and going before that state’s Supreme Court.

Even if all the rhetoric about the US living under the “rule of law” is poppycock, this is not to say that the courts aren’t political and that their decisions don’t have political weight. They absolutely do.  Polls indicate that as many as 70% of Trump supporters would reconsider their support for Trump, if he were convicted in some of these various judicial proceedings.  As his grave dancing fundraising proves, he’s able to raise money on each reversal with his claims of grievance, because he argues they are politically motivated and he’s the victim.  There are some hardcore Trumpers and hardcore Biden-haters, that won’t be moved by anything, but many will move their votes, even if not their love, away from Trump, rather than vote for him, if and when convicted.

No one can count on that, though.  No one who opposes Trump should put their faith in the courts.  The only way to beat him is to work like heck talking and motivating voters between now and November 2024 at the ballot box, and to do so in overwhelming fashion.  That’s the real job now, just as it has been over the last three years, and no one should be confused that only votes and voters will be able to get it done.