Prosecuting a President, Defeating the Dangers

Prosecuting Trump is necessary to prevent the danger of him becoming president again and to restore American values.

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Republican senators acquitted Trump of inciting the insurrection inflamed by his rhetoric and driven by his conspiracy theories, leaving him free to run for president again in 2024. Trump continues to have a major influence on the Republican party, as 74 percent of Republicans want him to remain politically active, and 42 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump in 2024, putting him far ahead of other possible candidates. Even after Trump failed to properly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, spread false election claims, and incited a riot in an attempt to undermine our democracy, Republicans are still willing to return our country back to his leadership.

Trump gained popularity by making those who traditionally have power and privilege feel like victims. He painted immigrants as thieves of American jobs and the media as the enemy, which created a general distrust in facts. Trump was successful in spreading false election claims by promoting the sentiment that “liberal” voting methods, like early voting and mail-in ballots, infringed upon the rights of conservative voters. These ideas allowed Trump to gain support because they played on the insecurities and hatred that many conservative voters have toward certain groups. Other Republicans are afraid of opposing Trump, in fear of losing his large base and the chance of getting nominated for primary elections. However, acquitting him only made it worse for their party and the country. We cannot break this cycle unless he’s incriminated on the charge of inciting the Capitol riots.

The Department of Justice must prosecute him criminally on account of inciting an insurrection. The U.S. Code states that anyone who incites an insurrection is ineligible to hold public office and can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Republican senators ignored the necessity of disqualifying Trump because he was a president who acted like a criminal. Therefore, the best way to prevent the danger of having a criminal as our president is to prosecute and place charges on him.

Prosecuting Trump is also necessary to reinforce our American values. In a country where we believe in equality under the law, we cannot let someone get away unchecked simply because of a past position of power. Trump is a private citizen, and a court should treat him as such. By spreading false election claims, Trump tried to undermine democracy in an attempt to hold on to power. To reinstate our position as a democratic country, we need to prosecute Trump to show that we do not let challenges to our democracy go overlooked, especially at a time when other nations have questioned our democracy in light of the insurrection.

Finally, acquitting Trump because he was out of office signals to future presidents that they can get away with what they want in the last days of their tenure. Prosecuting and subsequently convicting Trump would ensure that we do not leave this precedent.

Trump must be prosecuted to prevent his re-election and uphold the rule of law. He acted criminally and needs to be charged as a criminal. The insurrection has put the American values of justice, democracy, and truth into question. To restore our values, we need to start by prosecuting Trump and proceed with our fight against the cycle of conspiracy theories and lies.