this post was submitted on 24 May 2024
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[–] jordanlund 176 points 1 month ago (2 children)

Counter offer: Pass a law barring people facing felony charges from running for President.

If it would keep you from owning a gun:

ATF form 4473, line 21c and d:

"c. Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year, or are you a current member of the military who has been charged with violation(s) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and whose charge(s) have been referred to a general court-martial?

d. Have you ever been convicted in any court, including a military court, of a felony, or any other crime for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?"

Why should you be allowed the button? 🤔

[–] [email protected] 121 points 1 month ago (4 children)

Super easy for those in power to keep their rivals from being able to run for office. Currently the president and afraid you'll be unseated by the opposing party's candidate? Just start an investigation on them! Boom, no more rivals.

[–] credo 66 points 1 month ago (2 children)

I upvoted both of you. This requires deeper debate.

[–] [email protected] 25 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Totally agree. These systems are critically important for our society. They need to be considered with care, and we need to be mindful of the complexities that come with any changes to them.

[–] billiam0202 27 points 1 month ago (1 children)

The real solution is you need a populace that is civically engaged and capable of enough critical thought to not fall for the right-wing fearmongering propaganda Fox, OAN, Newsmax, Murdoch, et al. spew out.

[–] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Bingo. A properly funded and functional public education system, that teaches real critical thinking and let’s include media literacy while we’re at it.

[–] Nycto 9 points 1 month ago

Not saying that they were right, because they were wrong, but this was actually a presented logical reason why voting was restricted to male landowners at one point. They were the only part of the population that received a formal education. Regardless of motivation this became a method of oppression.

To be clear, I agree that public education is a key to a strong democracy, as is removing restrictions on voting.

[–] credo 1 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Pros:

  1. Maintaining public trust and promoting integrity
  • Barring those under felony indictment from running for office could help maintain public confidence in the integrity of elected officials and the political process.
  • It sets a higher standard for candidates, emphasizing that those seeking public office should not be facing serious criminal charges.
  • It underscores the expectation that public officials should be free from wrongdoing and suspicion of significant criminal activity, cultivating a political environment where ethical behavior is prioritized.
  1. Reducing corruption and preventing distractions
  • Individuals under felony indictment may be more susceptible to engaging in corrupt activities. Preventing them from running for office reduces the likelihood of corrupt practices infiltrating government.
  • Legal battles can be time-consuming and distracting, detracting from a candidate's ability to focus on campaigning and, if elected, governing effectively.
  • If an elected official is convicted of a felony while in office, it could lead to their removal, necessitating a special election and causing disruption and additional costs.
  • If an elected official is convicted of a felony while in office, that individual may use the office itself to avoid sentencing outcomes.
  1. Maintaining national security
  • [While I am less than thrilled to include this one, ] Allowing individuals under felony indictment to run for office could pose national security risks, especially if their past actions have compromised national security.
  • Individuals under the influence of external and independent nations may have resources beyond the intended scope of our elections process, giving them an artificial boost towards victory. This is akin to a complete capture of our Government in the case of the Office of the Presidency. Or near enough.

Cons:

  1. Presumption of innocence and potential for political manipulation
  • In the U.S. legal system, individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Preventing those under indictment from running could be seen as undermining this principle by imposing a penalty based on an unproven allegation.
  • There is a risk that felony charges could be brought against candidates for political reasons to prevent them from running, exploiting the indictment process to eliminate competition and undermine the fairness of elections.
  1. Limiting voters' choices and potential for disenfranchisement
  • Such a restriction would limit the pool of candidates available to voters, potentially preventing them from choosing their preferred representative.
  • Voters may wish to support a candidate who, despite being under indictment, they believe is the best choice. Restricting candidates based on indictments can be seen as undemocratic and paternalistic.
  1. Variable legal standards and unequal treatment
  • Different jurisdictions may have varying standards and processes for indictments, leading to potential inconsistencies in the application of this restriction.
  • This variability can result in unequal treatment of candidates based on where they are running for office, creating a patchwork of standards that complicates the electoral process.
  • Depending on how such a rule is applied, it could disproportionately affect certain communities that face higher rates of criminal legal system involvement.

My conclusion. This was stated elsewhere in the comments and is also my number one priority (aside from an alternative voting pipe dream):

-Education.

With an educated, well-reasoning and engaged populace, we don’t need the Government to coddle its voters. It’s a wonder Republicans are so against education and critical thinking skills.

One additional note that doesn’t really fit in the pros/cons list itself: This change would probably require a constitutional amendment, not just a standard law.

Edit- sources for further reading

https://www.politifact.com/article/2023/may/24/can-donald-trump-run-president-if-indicted-or-convicted-crime/

https://thepoliticswatcher.com/pages/articles/us-politics/2023/6/17/convicted-felons-run-president-exploring-legal-political-implications

https://www.voanews.com/a/can-felons-serve-in-us-elected-federal-offices-/6703196.html

https://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/articles/prison-cell-oval-office-laws-say-candidate-indictment-running-president/

[–] jordanlund 17 points 1 month ago (3 children)

Assuming a corrupt system, yes. But in our current system? Not so much. Trump deserves each of his felony indictments and if it would keep him from buying a gun, which it does, it should block him from being Commander in Chief.

[–] [email protected] 26 points 1 month ago

I don't think our current system is nearly as robust as you think. Trump's first term laid that bare.

So many laws dictating what the president can and can't do don't have any actual repercussions for breaking them written in them because it was assumed impeachment would be sufficient. Trump showed that with our current system that means if you can't guarantee you'll have 67 votes in the Senate, then those laws may as well not exist. And every week the Supreme Court shows how much "settled case law" isn't anymore, so with a corrupt high court in his league, even the laws that do have teeth may be subverted.

We absolutely need to make changes to shore up the system and plug the gaps, but we have to do so with care that we don't end up handing new, more powerful weapons to the very bad actors we're trying to protect against.

[–] lemmefixdat4u 16 points 1 month ago

The problem is not that Trump is under felony indictment. It's not that he's a liar, a cheater, a misogynist, narcissist, and elitist. It's that, knowing this, a lot of people STILL support him for our nation's top office. That's how screwed up our populace has become. That's the problem.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

I think it’s important to consider just how… ickily inviolable most (if not all) of the right wing feels about the second amendment. I don’t think this line of logic would carry much weight with that crowd.

But I agree with what you’re saying. We need much more stringent controls on who is eligible for office.

[–] [email protected] 9 points 1 month ago

Wouldn't it take more than an investigation? A grand jury would need to sign off on the indictments.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago (1 children)

But how is it fair for so many of his trials and investigations to drag on for 4 years, especially when the accusations are this serious?

[–] Valmond 3 points 1 month ago

Narrator: it isn't.

[–] Fedizen 4 points 1 month ago

I think we just need something like "can you legally buy a gun? Then you can run for president"