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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Biden ‘saves’ democracy by destroying it

When faced with the possible return of former President Donald Trump, the current agenda of the Democratic Party is summed up simply as, “We had to destroy democracy to save it.”

The effort shares a common theme: Any means necessary are justified to prevent the people from choosing their own president, given the fear that a majority might vote to elect Trump.

Sometimes the anti-democratic paranoia has been outsourced to state and local officials and prosecutors to erase Trump from the primary and likely general election ballots as well.

One unelected official in Maine, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, is a Democrat, an official never elected by the people, and a non-lawyer rendering a legal edict. Yet she has judged Trump guilty of “insurrection.”

And presto, she erased his name from the state’s ballot.

Yet Trump was never charged, much less convicted, of “insurrection.”

The statute Bellows cites is a post-Civil War clause of the 14th Amendment. It was passed over a century and a half ago. It was never intended to be used in an election year by an opposition party to disbar a rival presidential candidate.

In the earlier case of Colorado, the all-Democrat Supreme Court, in a 4-3 vote, took Trump off the ballot.

In sum, just five officials in two states have taken away the rights of some 7 million Americans to vote for the president of their choice.

Note that Trump continues to lead incumbent President Joe Biden in the polls.

Sometimes, indictments are preferred to prevent Americans from voting for or against Trump. Currently, four leftist prosecutors — three state and one federal — have indicted Trump. They are petitioning courts to accelerate the usually lethargic legal process to ensure Trump is tied up in Atlanta, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C., courtrooms nonstop during the 2024 election cycle.

Their aim is to keep Trump from campaigning, as he faces four left-wing prosecutors, four liberal judges and four or five overwhelmingly Democratic jury pools.

Yet all the indictments are increasingly clouded in controversy, if not outright scandal.

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis campaigned on promises to get Trump. She now faces allegations that she outsourced the prosecution to an unqualified personal injury lawyer — her current stealth boyfriend who was paid handsomely by Willis’ office and traveled on pricey junkets with her.

New York partisan Attorney General Letitia James likewise sought office on promises to destroy Trump. She preposterously claims Trump overvalued his real estate collateral to a bank. Yet it eagerly made the loan, profited from it and had no complaints given that Trump paid off the principle and interest as required.

Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg is even more desperate. He is now prosecuting Trump for campaign finance violations from nearly a decade ago, claiming a nondisclosure agreement with a purported sexual liaison somehow counts as a campaign violation.

Federal special prosecutor Jack Smith claims Trump should be convicted of improperly removing classified documents after leaving office. In the past, such disagreements over presidential papers were resolved bureaucratically. Biden, for example, improperly took out classified files after leaving the Senate and vice presidency and stored them in unsecure locations for over a decade.

All of these prosecutors are unapologetic anti-Trump progressives. Some have communicated with the White House legal eagles, even though Biden is likely to face Trump in the November election.

Some prosecutors are themselves facing controversies, if not scandals. Some wish to synchronize their drawn-out investigations and indictments to hinder the Trump re-election effort.

At other times, the effort to neuter Trump is waged by his rival Biden himself.

He has hammered Trump as an insurrectionist and guilty of a number of egregious crimes against democracy — even as Biden’s own attorney general has appointed a special counsel to try Trump on just those federal charges concerning the Jan. 6 demonstrations, a dead horse that Biden periodically still beats to death to scare voters.

Biden periodically smears half of America who supported or voted for Trump as “ultra-Maga” extremists and “semi-fascists” who would destroy democracy.

Yet the more Biden and the left weaponize the judicial system to prevent Trump from running, and the more Biden screams and yells that Trump supporters are anti-American and anti-democratic, the more Trump soars in the polls while Biden sinks.

The left privately knows that its historically unprecedented strangulation of democracy is increasing Trump’s popularity. But like an addict, it cannot quit its Trump fix.

In sum, the left is creating historic, anti-democratic precedents that will someday boomerang on Democrats should Republicans win the November election and follow the new Democrat model of extra-legal politics.

Democrats are tearing apart the country in a manner not seen since the Civil War era — apparently convinced democracy cannot be trusted and so itself must be sacrificed as the price of destroying Trump.

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a classicist and historian at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Contact him at authorvdh@gmail.com.

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