Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about the glaring issue that undermines the very tenets of democracy and justice: Presidential immunity.
This is my two-minute tirade. Let’s start the clock!
The idea that a President or Presidential candidate is immune from prosecution during an election year is bananas.
Where exactly does it say that being a candidate during an election grants one a get-out-of-jail-free card? The last time I checked, the law was supposed to apply equally to every citizen of this great nation.
Imagine this: you or I commit a crime, and what happens? We’re arrested, we’re tried, and if found guilty, we pay the price. But for the President? No! They can just waltz right through an election season without so much as a slap on the wrist! It’s outrageous! It’s a slap in the face to the very notion of accountability, and to the bedrock upon which this country was founded – that of equal justice under the law.
What kind of message are we sending? That as long as you are in the most powerful position in the country, that you’re above the law and that the rules don’t apply to you? And these are not just any rules we’re talking about, but federal laws, constitutional mandates, the kinds of rules that are non-negotiable for the rest of us! Defying them shreds the mesh of our social contract and makes a mockery of the justice system itself.
Election year or not, nobody should be above the law, not even, or especially our President. As an elected officeholder, he/she shouldn’t say, “l’État, c’est moi”, I am the state.
We like to say that the United States is the “land of the free,” but what freedom are we talking about when our highest elected officials can skirt the very laws they are sworn to uphold?
Let me tell you, it’s not freedom; it’s a fast-track to anarchy, chaos, and the breakdown of social order.
You know, we already struggle with a lack of trust in our institutions. This notion of election-year immunity only perpetuates cynicism, allowing those in power to continue playing by a different set of rules. It deepens the divide between the governed and the governing, and it casts a dark shadow over the entire democratic process, and our country’s founding, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
If we, the people, are expected to follow the law, then we should demand that our leaders do the same—election year or not, President or not. Anything less is not just a failure of justice for one man, but it’s a failure of democracy itself.
Douglas Christian is a multimedia Capitol Hill reporter. He has covered the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions as a photographer and has produced numerous audio and video reports for Talk Media News. He has written scores of articles and op-ed pieces for the Baltimore Post Examiner, touching on politics to the arts and to hi-tech.
Douglas has worked as a photographer for decades. He has produced a few books on Oriental rugs; one was on Armenian Oriental rugs and the other was published by Rizzoli and co-authored by his uncle entitled, ‘Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route’. Douglas attended the Putney School in Vermont, a tiny progressive school in Vermont, where he became enthralled with photography and rebuilt a 4×5 camera. Later during college, he attended the Ansel Adams Workshop at Yosemite, where he determined to pursue photography. He transferred to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and received a BFA from Tufts. He has photographed an array of people including politicos such as William F. Buckley, Jr., George McGovern, Edward Teller and Cesar Chavez. His photography URL is www.photographystudio.com. His twitter feed is @xiwix. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.