Donald Trump’s Election Will Mean the Failure of US Democracy

Donald Trump will now do everything to win the White House back and bring the justice system under his control. Failing that, he will end up in prison for years.

The indictment of the former president Wednesday in Miami is very serious. The federal prosecutor believes that Donald Trump took hundreds of top secret documents to his residence at Mar-a-Lago, including classified information about the use of U.S. nuclear weapons and documents analyzing the weakness of American allies. He thwarted efforts by the FBI to retrieve the materials and even disclosed their contents to people unauthorized to see the material.

The situation is unprecedented. The U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped both an investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account to send official documents and former Vice President Mike Pence’s holding of similar material at his Indiana home. The investigation into the discovery of sensitive documents in Joe Biden’s Delaware home during his time as a senator and vice president is ongoing, but the current president is cooperating fully with law enforcement. Trump has chosen a different path.

Although he did not speak during his arraignment, he recorded a message for television when he returned to his office in New Jersey accusing the Justice Department of carrying out “the most horrific abuses of power” in U.S. history, and announced that when he returned to the White House, he would destroy the “Deep State.”

There’s no reason not to believe him. Trump is facing a total of 71 charges. He was previously indicted in New York on charges of attempting to bribe a former prostitue in exchange for her silence about an affair that could have harmed him in the election campaign. He faces dozens of years in prison if convicted. Trump, who turned 77 on Wednesday, has nothing to lose by trying to free himself from those charges any way he can. This is all the more the case as prosecutors are considering filing charges for his participation in the attempted coup (the attack on the Capitol) on Jan. 6, 2021, and earlier in an attempt to reverse the outcome of the Georgia election.

All this means that on Nov. 5, 2024, Americans will face an existential choice: whether to bet on a man who seeks to destroy the rule of law and democracy or to protect the system and values that constitute what is great about the United States. It is unlikely that the Republican Party will act to protect America from this threat. Of the candidates seeking the party’s nomination, only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has hadthe courage and decency to openly confront Trump.

The rest prefer not to risk losing standing with the party rank and file, especially since 70% of Republican voters say they want to see the 45th president return to office. In circles that rely on fake news and where conspiracy theories are rife, the billionaire successfully plays the role of a victim of the state, not its executioner.

The failure of U.S. democracy could deal a decisive blow to many other democracies in Europe and on other continents. In many of them, the U.S. has been the guardian of the rule of law. But now, it would become a model of how to destroy it.

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