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Donald Trump Needs to Quit Running for President

There are conservative candidates who offer the same ‘Donald Trump’ policies without promising constitutional disorder. Choose one of them.

Donald Trump. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Donald Trump Indicted for the Fourth Time – He Should Drop Out of the Presidential Race: Former President Donald Trump was indicted yet again this week.

This time, he and his many co-conspirators faces charges of attempting to overturn the election results of the 2020 US presidential contest in Georgia.

This indictment is a sprawling, multi-faceted effort regarding Trump and his circle’s attempt to ‘find’ a few thousand votes more to push Trump over the top.

These efforts include fake electors, a demonization campaign against poll workers, and Trump’s notorious phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state demanding that he ‘find’ further Trump votes. 

Trump has also been indicted recently for hush money payments to a adult actress to cover up their tryst; for absconding from the White House with classified documents he was unallowed to keep after his presidency; and for 2020 election interference around the insurrection of January 6, 2021.

From a legal perspective, this most recent Georgia indictment is threatening because it is not a federal case – from which Trump might be able to pardon himself if he is elected again in 2024 – and because the Georgia prosecutor is deploying RICO law against Trump. RICO was primarily a tool designed to fight the mob, including mandatory jail time.

Donald Trump Can’t Help but Tell Us He Is Guilty

Trump now faces a total of ninety-one separate criminal charges across four separate cases moving toward trial. There is little doubt that Trump is guilty of most of the charges, if only because Trump himself cannot help but publicly brag about his lawlessness:

-Trump has long boasted publicly about his sexual prowess, affairs with models, and so on. His former ‘fixer,’ Michael Cohen, has repeatedly stated that he helped clean up these sorts of personal shenanigans for Trump.

-The documents case has played out very publicly. Trump has admitted that he took the boxes and claimed, erroneously, that he is allowed to declassify anything he wants. The photographic evidence of document boxes piled up in Trump’s bathroom is blatant and damning. The FBI only raided Trump’s home after many months of solicitation to retrieve the documents.

-Trump’s meddling on January 6 is similarly obvious, because Trump gleefully stoked the crowd which eventually attacked the Capitol building that day. And Mike President, the Vice-President at that time, has public admitted that Trump told him to block the count of electoral votes, a power which the vice-president does not have.

-Finally, in Georgia, Trump’s recorded phone call demanding that the state find more votes so he could win is practically dispositive.

These very public transgressions reflect a well-known twist in Trump’s character – his refusal to cover-up his violations. Like many politicians, Trump bends the law. But unlike most, Trump does not want to hide those transgressions. Instead, Trump likes to boast about his violations in public and gleefully demands that other Republicans validate his behavior.

This is likely part of Trump’s domination over the GOP – he forces others to cover for him – and bolsters his alpha-male image with his voters. But it also gives prosecutors a lot of very public evidence of his guilt. Just this week, Trump again very publicly and shamelessly broke the law

There are Other Republican Candidates – Choose Them

Trump’s self-immolation would not matter were he not, bizarrely, the leading candidate in the 2024 Republican primary. It is a deeply disturbing commentary on the GOP electorate that it so happily embraces an obvious, repeat criminal.

To state the obvious, it does not have to be this way.

The Republican primary is filled with candidates offering a wide range of policy views, both to the left and right of Trump.

One – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – appeared for awhile as the obvious Trump-killer.

DeSantis offers Trump voters all they could want on policy and more. Trump talks and blusters but is actually quite lazy. DeSantis, conversely, has pushed through trumpist policies in his home state. DeSantis is more focused, more coherent, and less self-absorbed than Trump.

He is also not a career criminal.

For GOP voters to the left of Trump, there are also respectable candidates – such as Tim Scott of South Carolina, Chris Christie of New Jersey, or Nikki Haley of South Carolina. None of them are criminals either.

None of them have engaged in behavior subverting the basic democratic processes of the country.

Trump Needs to Drop Out

Trump’s candidacy is pushing the US toward a crisis. It is simply infeasible for a president to be in jail. Trump’s election from prison would create a constitutional crisis in itself.

And his second term would be one crisis after another as he used the powers of the office to target his enemies and subvert democratic processes. 

The GOP need not go this route. There are conservative candidates who offer the same ‘Donald Trump’ policies without promising constitutional disorder. Choose one of them.

Dr. Robert E. Kelly ( is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Pusan National University and 19FortyFive Contributing Editor.

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Written By

Dr. Robert E. Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly; website) is a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at Pusan National University. Dr. Kelly is now a 1945 Contributing Editor as well.