Keep Trump On The Ballot

Keep Trump On The Ballot


Leonard Zwelling

While my heart and funny bone are tickled by the efforts of courts to keep Donald Trump off Republican primary ballots based on the premise that he committed insurrection on January 6, 2021 and that disqualifies him from office according to the 14th Amendment, it’s not funny. Courts should not decide elections. It was wrong in Bush v, Gore and it’s wrong now. The Supreme Court ought to reverse these attempts to influence the outcome of an election. Elections are to be governed by legislatures and the outcome determined by voters alone.

My heart is tickled because I fear Donald Trump as president again and anything that might stop that result makes me happy. But, not this. All elections must be in the hands of the electorate only, not the courts.

My funny bone is tickled because this is so ludicrous that I can only laugh.

Not only ought courts stay out of elections to the extent possible, but Mr. Trump has not even been accused of insurrection in any court to my knowledge. He’s been accused (and not convicted) of election interference, but not insurrection, so these latest decisions to keep him off ballots are wrong on their face.

Listen, I don’t like Donald Trump. Even though I think he will do better with border policy than Mr. Biden has done, his autocratic instincts petrify me. So do his quest for revenge on his political enemies and his belief that the entire government ought to do his bidding. However, he has every right to run for office until convicted of anything and state courts are in no position to declare him guilty of insurrection without due process.

It is going to be a long and brutal election season. There are seemingly insurmountable problems facing the country on both the domestic and international fronts. The southern border is a sieve or something even more porous. Homelessness appears to be out of hand. Crime is perceived to be worse (it’s not) and inflation is still taking a bite out of the economy. On the foreign front we are funding two wars and in the war in the Middle East, we are being directly targeted and provoked. And, China waits on the sidelines ready to seize Taiwan at any moment.

Neither candidate seems up to the task. They are both very old and in Biden’s case backed up by someone who appears both confused and incompetent most of the time.

The is a particularly fraught moment for America. Critical decisions will have to be made and neither candidate seems ready to me.

The election may be won by the candidate people dislike least. That’s a poor way to run a country and shame on the parties for putting up with this. I don’t denigrate the Republicans much as Trump seems to be their choice as foolish as this is given the other choices. The Democrats are not forgivable. If Biden is the best they can do, shame on them and shame on the party leaders for not whispering in Joe’s ear it’s time for you and Kamala to declare victory and retire.

But regardless, let’s let the people decide who is going to run and who is going to win. The courts have no place in the contest. I am worried about a Trump dictatorship, but I am also worried about courts acting without due process. Let’s get America back on track. It probably won’t happen in 2024. We may just have to hang on for four years and await 2028 and hope Donald Trump at 81 won’t try to hold on to power as he did last time.

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