En el primer aniversario del ataque contra el Capitolio de Estados Unidos, manifestantes se concentran ante el edificio, jueves 6 de enero de 2022, Washington. (Foto: AP/Jose Luis Magana/Archivo)

It was a surprise to many Americans when we were told by the pundits that Donald Trump could run for president again, even if convicted as the mastermind of the insurrection. The truth is that he wasn’t qualified to be president, even before he descended the escalator in Trump Tower.

This would-be dictator never believed in democracy, never developed a sense of duty to anything, never had ethical considerations in business or personal dealings. And that is not speculation–it is a judgment based on the evidence, on his record, on his declarations, on the numerous lawsuits throughout the years. His reality is not the one most of us share.

As Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s U.S. Counselor told the press, Trump had a whole set of “alternate facts,” from which he and his aides operated. In more common parlance, what she was saying was “don’t believe your lying eyes.” Their truth is not our truth, even now, as he seems to be on his way to the Republican nomination for 2024. Trump lies every day at every opportunity.

He has appeared at his trial in New York although he is not required to be present, looking for another opportunity to campaign. When he was at the courthouse, he spoke to the media to attack Judge Engoron and his clerk. He has attacked the judges and prosecutors at his other trials accusing Biden of weaponizing the Justice Department, in an incredible display of chutzpah.

Trump used Bill Barr, his Attorney General, to interfere with the Mueller Report. Now, he is even more brazen, promising to use the Justice Department, and all the powers of the presidency to retaliate against his political enemies, Democrats, Republicans, and the media. In fact, the primary reason Trump is running for president, is because he sees the danger of nis numerous transgressions and the very distinct possibility that he could end up in prison.

He also has promised to pardon himself and all those involved in the insurrection of January 6th. More than a thousand have been prosecuted and many have received long sentences. Their lawyers argue that they were following Trump’s orders, and he should be tried as the intellectual author of the crimes. And, while it is an appealing prospect for many people to contemplate the former president doing the perp walk, that possibility is fraught with grave danger.

A guilty verdict and a prison term for the former president will bring his supporters to stage violent demonstrations. We know Trump can cause riots.  Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon to avoid more serious consequences. We might never understand the appeal of Trump for the millions who follow him, but we know that he represents the kind of thinking that considers demographic changes a threat to the white majority. We know that Trump is not qualified to serve, but he is a clear and present danger to our democracy. He must be stopped. That is the main reason we must vote in 2024.


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