The Election 2024 Chronicles, Volume 11; The Trump Chronicles, Volume 162: Why I Believe Trump Is Ineligible To Be President Again

As of a few days ago we are in an election year. This election, alas, has been hard to watch and I wish I had written more. By the election I hope to have written enough to have given a good sense of the year.

This is unusual this early but the nominees are almost certainly set. Once again, presumably, Joe Biden will run against Donald Trump. We’ve had a rematch before. We’ve been this way before. Grover Cleveland served from 1885 and 1889 and lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888. Cleveland ran again in 1892 and defeated Harrison’s bid for reelection. He served his second term from 1893 to 1897 and retired after that.

But the election of 2024 has a few wrinkles. For the first time in our history in 2020 the loser refused to concede. Trump has spent the time since 2020 successfully convincing a large percentage of Americans that he was fraudulently defeated and the Presidency was stolen from him. Frankly conceding defeat is custom but not a requirement.

But on January 6, 2021, in the waning days of his Presidency Trump planned to overthrow the government and stop the peaceful transfer of power. That was the day the Senate was to gather and accept the electoral votes and vote to name Joe Biden the 46th President. But on that day Trump gathered his supporters at the White House and directed them to march to the Capitol and stop the voting. They almost succeeded. It was only through the heroic actions of Vice President Mike Pence, the Secret Service and the Capitol Police.

So why does that make him ineligible to run again? After the Civil War we passed three Constitutional amendments: 13, 14, and 15. The 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to newly freed slaves who were born in the United States but it does several other things. Section 3 says this:

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.

Section 3 intended that those who betrayed their oaths by fighting for the Confederacy couldn’t come back to government service. But according to my reading Trump’s actions fit this. He took an oath of office at his inauguration in 2017 and called for the violent overthrow of the government in 2021 to stay in office.

Those who support his reelection claim that it should be up to the American people to chose our next President. But if you want someone who is under 35 or was not born in this country to be President, you can’t have what you want. Several years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger was the wildly popular governor of California there was talk about finding a way to be President. His political star fell soon after that but even if it hadn’t he couldn’t become President. Even a naturalized citizen can’t be President.

Constitutional amendments don’t expire and they don’t become guidelines. They are the law of the land unless they are repealed (as was the 18th Amendment).

More later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *