Armstrong: Can Trump Run for President From Prison?
By no means is Trump the first to find himself in the crosshairs of the rath of government because he sought real transformation. Eugene Victor Debs (1855–1926) was an American socialist, political activist, and trade unionist and a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). However, he was also a five-time candidate of the Socialist Party of America, running for President of the United States in 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920 when he ran for president from prison. That’s right! It was the Democrats who also imprisoned him, but he still ran for President.
Debs ran for President from prison in the 1920 election. Many people voted for him; he received the most significant number of popular votes ever received by a Socialist Party candidate in the United States. It is important to clarify that there was also the Communist Party, which was separate and distinct from the Socialist Party at the time. It is ironic that FDR running as a Democrat, was really advocating socialism, which Debs had advocated, except for war.
It was Woodrow Wilson who sent the Department of Justice to imprison Debs, and they used his speech against the Wilson administration for its support of World War I. Wilson was vicious and called Debs a “traitor to his country.” On June 16th, 1918, Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio, where he urged resistance to the military draft imposed by Wilson. For that, he was arrested on June 30 and charged with ten counts of sedition.
18 USC §2383. Rebellion or Insurrection
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
This is why Trump is NOT guilty of any “insurrection” that not a single person of the over 1,000 people the DOJ has targeted for political reasons once again by the Democrats has been charged with the insurrection statute – 118 USC §2383. They are desperate to use the 14th Amendment, and the Supreme Court will never uphold such a conviction. This is why they have not charged anyone with that crime because if they lost, they would not be able to interfere in the 2024 election using the 14th Amendment.
Now that said, the very best they could ever charge Trump with would be sedition. But like Debs, he could still run for president even from a prison cell. Also, like Debs, Trump would probably get more votes than before as a martyr, as was Debs. This is why the Democrats are desperate to use the 14th Amendment that was intended against the former member of the Confederacy who waged a civil war. If we are honest, the intent behind the 14th Amendment does not apply to Trump and certainly to not more than 1,000 people they have criminally charged for just being there – most taking selfies.
Debs called no witnesses at his trial for how they used sedition in such an abusive manner that just opposing Wilson would get life imprisonment. Debs addressed the court in his defense, knowing that the court had to politically imprison him for life because of Wilson’s ruthless character. Debs spoke for two hours and was, of course, found guilty on September 12th, 1918. The courts today are equally biased and just as corrupt and will do their best to imprison Trump in the same manner.
Debs again addressed the court at his sentencing on September 14th, 1918. Many considered his address a political classic, even by those who opposed him. His speech was said to have inspired a nation. One press article that opposed socialism still wrote: “All those who know Eugene V. Debs should regret that his sense of duty brought him into collision with the United States government over the war.” They admitted that Debs merely spoke against war and what he believed; he thought he was right. Not that he supported the Germans; he opposed the war.
Few paragraphs of Debs’s speech that moved the nation, but not the judge, nor Wilson:
“Your honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the form of our present government, that I am opposed to the social system in which we live, that I believe in the change of both but by perfectly peaceable and orderly means.”
“I am thinking this morning of the men in the mills and factories; I am thinking of the women who, for a paltry wage, are compelled to work out their lives; of the little children who, in this system, are robbed of their childhood, and in their early, tender years, are seized in the remorseless grasp of Mammon, and forced into the industrial dungeons, there to feed the machines while they themselves are being starved body and soul.”
“Your honor, I ask no mercy, I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right needs to prevail. I never more fully comprehended than now the great struggle between the powers of greed on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of freedom. I can see the dawn of a better day of humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time they will come into their own.”
Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison on September 18th, 1918, and was also disenfranchised for life. Debs presented what has been called his best-remembered statement at his sentencing hearing:
“Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I decided that I was not one bit better than the meanest on Earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
The Paradox of War challenges all wisdom and comprehension, for it should be the greatest learning experience in human history, but we strangely never seem to learn from war. We all hate war if we are not in government. What are we to do when those who do not hate war as the Neocons set the world afire? What they did to Debs suggests that we are to become non-resistants and remain silent. Those who look down upon us from the seats of power expect us to obey and adopt non-resistance as a world policy and die on their command. Even the New Yorker said of Vietnam, and how it was all a lie. Communism was an economic failure, and the rhetoric from the Neocons was never viable then or today. The New Yorker commented:
“We got nothing for pretty much everything we tried in Vietnam, and it’s hard to pick out a moment in those thirty years when anti-Communist forces were on a sustainable track to prevailing.”
The common people of North & South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and China do not seek war or to occupy another country. Those are the desires of our rulers. We are merely the pawns on their chessboard, expected to obey where the best we can hope to gain is to return from war intact. The common people never gain anything, just as more than 8 million Ukrainians have fled their own country, losing everything for the territorial gains on this chessboard of the Neocons.
All we do is obey. We think we have no right to object – Debs established that precedent. There is no free speech when it offends them, and we do not live in a democracy since we have no direct right to vote – U.S.A. is a Republic with people pretending to represent the common folk. We have no say in war, taxes, or anything that really matters to our future and our posterity.
September 25, 2023