Former President Donald Trump was recently indicted on numerous counts in a classified documents case. This is his second indictment since leaving office, and it’s likely that he will receive a third indictment for election interference in Georgia later this summer. The impact on next year’s presidential campaign remains to be seen. Predictably, Republican Party leaders have denounced the indictment as baseless and politically motivated, despite the seemingly clear evidence that Trump broke the law in mishandling classified documents. At both the elite and mass levels the GOP is still in thrall to Trump and the politics he represents, even though he has more indictments than election victories to his name. Despite everything, he is still the leading contender for the Republican nomination, and it would be foolish to bet against him in the GOP primaries.
The fate of electoral democracy often hinges on whether the conservative party accepts it as legitimate, regardless of who wins elections. At this point, it’s difficult to say that the Republican Party abides by this basic principle. Its candidates question any result that is not a Republican victory, and are increasingly hostile to the idea of universal citizenship. In 2016, Trump even questioned the fairness and legitimacy of an election that he won according to the rules. As the country heads toward what is sure to be another tumultuous presidential campaign, DSA and the left in general needs to start planning our approach to the election and our response to potential scenarios that may arise. We cannot afford to wait until it is too late.
This issue of Socialist Forum features a number of articles addressing the many challenges facing DSA and how we might tackle them moving forward. These discussions are particularly important with the national convention coming up this August, the last time DSA is scheduled to meet as a body before the 2024 elections. As always, we invite readers to submit responses to any of the pieces in this issue at [email protected] to continue the discussion.