Sun. May 19th, 2024

This week’s discussion over his eligibility to run for office was an uncomfortable reminder that any other individual with such legal troubles would likely have abandoned politics by now.

Former President Donald J. Trump currently leads national polls of the Republican presidential primary race by approximately 50 percentage points and early nominating states by more minor but still considerable margins.

In another era, any politician might have left.

American elected officials who faced criminal allegations or severe violations of public trust would often step aside despite any discomfort to save their nation and alleviate pressure on its institutions.

Donald J. Trump stands out in this regard by not simply proceeding despite four indictments and 91 felony charges but instead actively fomenting conflict between America’s political and legal systems.

This week saw further fallout when questions surrounding former President Trump’s eligibility were thrust upon an already overwhelmed Supreme Court that is grappling with allegations regarding his plan to overthrow the 2020 elections.

But the legal debate surrounding Mr Trump’s potential insurrection obscured an astonishing reality — his running for president with new vigour and playing out an old playbook that assumes that no matter what, they won’t lose – never being charged or sentenced and staying around to stay put forever and evermore.

That plan remains intact largely because his approach continues to reap political dividends.

Trump seems invigorated by strife and his never-surrender philosophy, incentivized to weave legal battles with presidential campaigns. On Friday, he claimed another win when the Supreme Court declined to decide immediately upon an essential point in his 2020 federal election case.

While at first this year, most Republicans preferred another presidential nominee over Donald Trump, in 2024, nearly three-fourths will support their nominee. His legal issues, which in years past might have hindered rival candidates for major party presidential nominations more strongly, only helped increase support among Republican voters unified around Mr Trump even further.

former Democratic governor of New York and one-time governor resigning over prostitution scandal allegations in 2008. Mr. Spitzer stated a sense of responsibility towards family and the public then and left office upon invoking family obligations before standing aside due to public expectation.

Recent criticism against Donald Trump alleging his use of fascist language and authoritarian tactics have grown ever more vital, prompting repeated assertions by him this week that he hadn’t read Adolf Hitler’s Nazi manifesto “Mein Kampf.”

Of course, had there been any guidebook on running traditional American political campaigns, he likely wouldn’t have read that.

At the outset of his 2016 bid, Donald Trump disparaged decorated military veterans, and voters still supported him. When an audio recording surfaced of Mr Trump casually suggesting celebrity status made sexual assault on women easier, he ignored calls by fellow Republicans to step aside and dismissed these comments as locker room talk; 32 days later, he won.

Repeated year after year, this cycle would become an accepted truth in the Trump world; chaotic incidents surrounding the former president were rarely startling or shocking despite appearing unexpected.

So much of life seemed absurdly sensible! In other words, its bizarre logic always made perfect sense to us.

Even Mr Trump’s supporters at the Capitol nearly three years ago demonstrated this principle by violently storming it; whether this attack marked the conclusion to his presidency or heralded an ever darker phase in U.S. politics, its violence was as shocking as it was inevitable.

Mr. Trump had spent four years using the powerful White House bully pulpit to assert that any critical media coverage was false, no elected official opposed by him should be believed, and courts couldn’t be trusted.

Washington’s drama also unfolded unexpectedly – yet was far from startling. Polls revealed that President Trump maintained high levels of support within his party after leaving office; those in Congress who voted against impeaching him found themselves censured or facing primary challenges; Republican leaders visited Mar-a-Lago frequently as an outpouring of admirers flocked there in support of their exiled ruler.

Soon, it became evident that the Republican Party had missed its best opportunity to remove Donald Trump when 43 senators from its ranks voted overwhelmingly to forgive him in his impeachment trial following Capitol rioting.

Mr Trump recently boasted in an interview about continuing to run for office despite criminal allegations against him.

“Others who get indicted tend to leave politics,” he explained to Univision, adding, “They tend to use the microphone and declare their intentions: ‘I plan on spending my remaining years clearing my name while also spending quality time with their families.”

Trump noted his observations were the same each time: they have poorly backfired for them and always been wrong decisions. “I can tell they made poor choices that have backfired upon them.”

Mr Trump’s commitment to his fight can be traced to an obsession with not appearing as an “outcast,” according to Mark Sanford, the former Republican governor of South Carolina who considered leaving office after allegations arose regarding an extramarital affair that made national headlines in 2009.

As previously reported in interviews this week, he ultimately maintained his seat while recalling that his objective had been to take responsibility and show genuine humility by acting upon regrets for actions taken and reconciling with constituents.

Mr. Sanford wondered if Mr. Trump had ever seriously considered not running again for president.

Sanford claimed that for Trump to think strategically in terms of what’s best for our republic would require having his frontal lobotomy performed. With all his lawsuits against others and subcontractors ripped off by him and bankruptcies under his belt – plus playing to an audience of one: himself! — it appears he plays to himself!

Former Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi suggested that Mr Trump withdraw his presidential candidacy if one of his federal cases resulted in a criminal conviction.

Mr Lott was forced out as Senate majority leader after making comments praising Strom Thurmond – an outspoken proponent of segregation who passed away the following year – who died the year before that praise being shown for him by others.

At some point, someone must convince Donald Trump of what’s best for our nation and have him cease campaigning,” Lott advised of Trump. However, Mr. Lott didn’t see any indications indicating any plans away from returning to power in 2020.

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