As we turn the page on the 2023 election cycle, we are rapidly focusing on the 2024 election. I’m excited about what the future might hold with a new governor and U.S. senator. Alas, I’m reminded that I still live in Indiana, where the Republican turnout is much higher than for Democrats. And the likelihood that I will see a Democrat in one of those two seats is slim.
But I have hope. I hope that Hoosiers will value protecting our nation’s democracy more than ideology because I fear Indiana could become ground zero for the end of it.
The leading Republican candidates for governor and U.S. senator (Sen. Mike Braun, who is running for governor, and Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for U.S. Senate) couldn’t wait to share their endorsement from former President Trump. They both are leaning in on being Trump-like with their rhetoric and election denial.
“I am honored to have former President Donald J. Trump’s endorsement,” Braun said in a statement to WISH-TV Channel 8.
From Jim Banks: “I’m grateful to President Trump for his support and look forward to fighting for the America First agenda in the U.S. Senate.”
I’m not exactly sure why they would want support from Trump, because the toxic Trump I know of has four indictments on 91 criminal charges, was found guilty of fraud, and is in court to determine the damages. He was found liable for sexual abuse, filed bankruptcy six times, and complained about bone spurs to avoid the draft.
It is hard to determine which of the many criminal charges Trump is facing is the worst. But as public records show, I’m inclined to suggest putting at the top of the list the two felony counts (including one conspiracy count) of obstructing an official proceeding, one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and one felony count of conspiracy against rights related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. And the one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, three counts of solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, one count of conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, two counts of false statements and writings, two counts of conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, one count of filing false documents, one count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Charges all about Trump’s desire to forgo the Constitution and the rule of law to keep power and stay in office.
In the Colorado lawsuit to determine Trump’s eligibility to appear on the 2024 ballot, because of all those criminal charges, Trump’s lawyers attempted to defend him by arguing Trump never took the oath to “support” the Constitution. Either his brain is completely fried and he doesn’t remember placing his hand on the Bible during his own inauguration, or he is the absolute worst liar in the history of liars. And yet, Banks and Braun think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Indiana, we deserve better than this.
Banks, still on an emotional high from his endorsement, recently tweeted, “Indiana is Trump country.” Look, I get it; these two have sold their souls to get support from Trump voters. Whatever integrity they had, they forfeited by continuing to support someone who doesn’t support democracy or the Constitution. I suppose votes tell the story, but I resent the idea that Indiana is Trump country. This Hoosier is not a criminal.•
Black is former deputy chairwoman for engagement for the Indiana Democratic Party and a former candidate for the Indiana House. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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