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Guest Opinion

Fearing Trump, everyone passes the buck


Will somebody please finally, definitively decide whether Donald Trump is fit to be on the ballot? Too many are content to kick this can down the road, to pass the buck.

In February 2021, Mitch McConnell dodged this issue, saying that Trump’s actions on January 6th were a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” but he still voted not to convict Trump. He justified this spineless decision insisting President Trump is “still liable for everything he did while in office,” and “we have a…justice system..and former presidents are not immune from being accountable,” washing his hands and passing the buck to the courts.

Several courts are obliging as Trump is facing myriad criminal cases, from fraud to defamation to seeking to undermine the 2020 election. Citizen Trump is trying to dodge that liability, claiming that as Candidate Trump, he is somehow absolved of any accountability for his past actions. The fact that Trump is a presidential candidate is irrelevant; as McConnell stated, Trump is “not immune from being accountable.”

Yet we are treated to legal appeal after legal appeal, to conflicting state ballot decisions, to mud and murk.

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely find a narrow, magical-thinking interpretation that allows Trump to appear on state ballots, and pass the buck to the voters.

It was ugly in 2020 with Trump’s call to his supporters to do their utmost on January 6th to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election. Will we be faced with the same attempts to undermine, delegitimize, disenfranchise voters, to sow doubt in the election’s legitimacy if the election does not go Trump’s way?

Trump is desperate to absolve himself of all previous wrongdoing and to avenge his perceived wrongs; being President will allow him to do so. To what lengths will he and his supporters go to achieve this?

This kicking of the can simply encourages Trump and his cronies. It sends the message that nobody will stand up to or call Trump to account; that an election that does not go his way can be hijacked with impunity, setting up an election débacle that will be déjà vu all over again.

All because we are still waiting for someone to have the courage and integrity to be definitive and say the buck stops here.

Deborah DiMicco lives in Newtown.

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