McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Opinion | Trump should not run for president again 

The 2024 presidential election is being littered with scandal about Donald Trump as his involvement in multiple different cases should affect his ability to run for office 
Win McNamee / Getty Images / TNS
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during a Get Out the Vote Rally March 2, 2024, in Richmond, Virginia.

An eighteen year old high school student excitedly prepares to vote in his first election. But, when he starts to look into his options, trying to be informed, he sees that one of the top candidates is on trial for four different cases. All of a sudden, instead of being excited he is dreading what is to come as he loses faith in the system.

Donald Trump, the 45 president of the US, was president from 2016-2020. While Trump is currently running again for a second term, he is also facing charges in four cases. He is facing charges in a hush money case, where he paid off Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign  to keep her quiet about their affair, the Mar-a-Lago documents case in which he took classified documents with him after his presidency ended. There is also the Jan. 6 investigation where he is under scrutiny for inciting an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building by his followers after losing the 2020 election, and then there is the election interference case where Trump attempted to “find” votes to change the results of the 2020 election.

Trump should not be able to run for president again because of his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack. According to section 3 of the 14th Amendment, any person who has taken an oath to support the United States Constitution, and then engaged in an insurrection, like the Jan. 6 attack, may not run again without at least a two-third vote in the house and senate. If Trump did actually urge his followers to storm the Capitol then, not only legally but constitutionally, he should not be able to run for office again. While the Supreme Court just ruled on March 4th that he could not be barred from the ballot for his involvement in the January 6th attacks, he is still facing charges in four other cases that could affect his political career. Trump has already shown that he is incapable of keeping his emotions in check when he urged his supporters to march the Capitol because he lost the election against Joe Biden.

The last election that Trump took part in ended in an inserection on the U.S. Capitol, causing hundreds of people to be injured and seven killed. The one before that, in which he became president, was only the fifth time in US history that a candidate, Hillary Clinton, has won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. That election contained less of a debate and more of a cat fight with the way both candidates were brutally attacking each other. Who is to say that this election will not turn ugly too.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is the statement that runs our count systems. While we follow the basic principle in our regular lives, a former president and current runner for president should be held at higher standards than the regular. Maybe if it was just one case, or one charge, but as it is four cases and 91 charges, it is clearly more serious than just a ploy to not allow Trump to take office again. It is something bigger than just one man, now it is about a nation, the leader of said nation, and every choice that has been made before, during, and after his presidency. More so than anything, these cases are about accountability, in which Trump is taking none as he has pleaded not guilty in all of his cases.

As to why Donald Trump should not be barred from running, the United States is largely based on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” For most cases, a candidate should be able to run for office until trials are over and they are found guilty, like how all crimes work. But, in this instance, the fact that some of the charges that are against him are related directly to the government, it should affect his ability to be the head of said government.

“Obviously our court system, innocent until proven guilty, is important,” said AP Government teacher John Lunkenheimer. “So valuing the justice system. However, sometimes, there are specific crimes that are government specific that should be limited.”

In Trump’s case, it is government specific and should affect his ability to work for the government.

As Trump is the first former president to be criminally indicted, his attempt to run for a second term is new waters in the world of politics. Should he be able to run while facing 91 offenses in four cases that involved our government? No matter the outcome of this coming election, it should be interesting to see how Trump’s cases progress and how Americans react to it. As it is an election year it is important to know about the people who are on our ballots, and if people still choose to vote for a man on trial, it says more about us as a country than anything else.

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