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Why America’s future hangs in the balance in November

By Alon Ben-Meir - posted Monday, 1 July 2024

Throughout my career as a professor and columnist, I have and continue to adhere to one principle: I govern myself based on what I consider factual and morally justifiable. Over the years, I have supported many conservative and liberal policies and found no contradictions in my approach precisely because the validity and the humanitarian justification of the issues involved mattered the most, regardless of whether they were embraced by liberals or conservatives. I have voted in the past for Republican and Democrat presidents, and my decision was always based on the realism of the policies they have advocated, their moral standing, and their record of achievements and failures.

I must admit that I am extremely concerned about this year's presidential election because so much is at stake. America's very future as the leading democracy that offers an example to the whole world of its unsurpassed achievements in just about every field of endeavor, stands at a perilous crossroads. Who will be elected president this fall will chart America's future for the next generation, if not beyond that.

To this end, I listed where these two men-former President Trump and President Biden-stand today and what can be expected of each if he is elected. If you plan to watch the debate on Thursday, June 27, the following is what you must remember.



1973: settled a lawsuit from the federal government for violating the Fair Housing Act over alleged racial discrimination November 2016: paid $25 million to settle lawsuits over fraud allegations by former students regarding Trump University November 2019: ordered to pay $2 million in damages for misusing Trump Foundation funds, including to further his political interests; the Foundation was ordered to be dissolved December 2019: impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress (failed-48 voted guilty on Article I, 47 on Article II – 67 votes needed to convict) January-February 2021: impeached for incitement to insurrection on January 6, 2021 (failed-57 voted guilty, 67 needed for conviction) January 2023: fined $1.6 million after conviction on 17 counts, including conspiracy, criminal tax fraud, falsifying business records May 2023: civil case concluded that Trump defamed E. Jean Carroll; Carroll awarded $5 million (and while not a legal ruling, the judge stated that Trump, in fact, did rape Carroll in the 1980s) (under appeal) January 2024: second defamation case between Trump and Carroll; Carroll awarded $83.3 million (under appeal) February 16, 2024: he and Trump Organization executives made false statements "with the intent to defraud"; fined $355 million (under appeal) May 31, 2024: convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11.


March 2021: sued by 2 Capitol Police officers for allegedly inciting the riot at the Capitol on January 6

April 2021: sued by 11 members of the House of Representatives for conspiring to prevent them from carrying out official duties on January 6

June 2023: 37 felony charges of willful retention of national-security information, obstruction of justice, withholding of documents, false statements over removal of documents from White House (Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, trial date not set)


August 2023: racketeering case in Fulton County, GA, over attempted interference in 2020 election (trial date proposed for August 2024)

August 2023: 4 federal felonies in connection with his attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 election (indicted August 1, 2023; trial on hold pending SCOTUS ruling)

Overall, Trump has been convicted of 34 felony counts and is currently facing 57 felony counts in two state courts and two federal districts.

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About the Author

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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