bookmark_borderThe authoritarianism of removing Trump from the ballot

As almost everyone knows, the state of Colorado decided last month to disqualify Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot for the Republican primary.

In making this decision, the Colorado Supreme Court cited section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which bars from federal office anyone who has engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”

This provision was passed in the aftermath of the Civil War, and its use against Trump reflects the same authoritarianism that the 1860s United States used against the Confederacy.

Contrary to the assumptions of almost everyone, insurrection and rebellion are not bad things, but good things.

Insurrection and rebellion are acts of resisting authority. They are acts of courage. They are the manifestation of thinking for oneself, as opposed to mindlessly complying with authority and conforming to social norms.

Therefore, insurrection and rebellion are morally good things. They should be praised and encouraged, not condemned and punished.

Just as it was wrong for the Union to wage war on the Confederacy for attempting to leave the country and form a new one, it is equally wrong for courts to disqualify Trump from the ballot for standing up to an oppressive, unjust, and wrong system.

Both Donald Trump and those who fought for the Confederacy engaged in insurrection and rebellion.

In other words, both Trump and the Confederates demonstrated courage and moral goodness by standing up for what is right, even when it was difficult and unpopular to do so.

Both Trump and Confederate historical figures deserve to be honored, not punished, by our society.