America is officially one year away from the most consequential election season of our times. Tittering on the precipice of democracy and authoritarianism, America’s future stands in the balance. This is not a far-fetched analysis or an overly dramatic synopsis. What America is facing is a storm. The eye of the storm will reach every American household this time next year and the clouds are gathering. To say that the 2024 presidential elections can be reduced to a Marvel plot of good versus evil or a Star Wars saga of darkness against the Force is simplistic. November 2024 will be a reckoning of democracy and the people that want to destroy it, and those who will fight to preserve it. Republicans are shoring up their bets on former president Donald Trump for the win. Trump who is currently on trial in New York for fraud and faces four criminal cases: the Georgia Election Interference, the Classified Documents case, the Hush Money case, and the January 6th Insurrection case. On Oct. 23, 2023, Trump filed a motion to have the charges pertaining to Jan. 6th dismissed “on the basis of selective and vindictive prosecution.”

In his motion to dismiss filing, Trump attorneys claim that since “there are no other prosecutions in American history” like the one the federal government has pending against the former president and therefore as former president, he should not be prosecuted. The dismissal filing also argues that President Joe Biden is the definitive voice and architect behind the federal government’s motives stating that the case “is a straightforward retaliatory response” to interfere and prevent Donald Trump from actively campaigning and seeking another term as president. Inside the motion, Trump’s legal team attempts to reframe his actions after the 2020 presidential election by relying on the United States v. Judd decision that states, “the government cannot base its decision to prosecute on some unjustifiable standard, such as a defendant’s political beliefs.” Former president Trump alleges that that since he “criticized Biden and his family before, during, and after the election,” the resulting indictments were nothing more than a standard case of payback initiated by President Biden. What is notable in the Trump motion to dismiss filing are his attempts to reframe history through a revisionist’s lens and his belief that the presidency itself should shield him from prosecution. Trump claims to only “criticizing the process and results of the 2020 election” and that everything he is being accused of should be considered as “protected speech and expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment” in connection “with his official responsibility as leader of this Nation.”

Special Counsel Jack Smith and Assistant Special Counsel James Pearce responded Monday in an extensive 79-page, scathing rebuttal to Trump’s motion to dismiss on “statutory and constitutional grounds.” Smith argued in the rebuttal that “the defendant stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes” is because “no other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power.” This argument alone deflates Trump’s legal assertion that his actions simply came to nothing more than just being critical of the 2020 election outcome. Smith then outlined that as the original indictment alleges, former president Donald Trump knew that the accusations of a stolen election “were false” and that he did “knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with co-conspirators…to defraud the United States by using dishonesty…to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election.”

In America’s fashion, the attempts to spin what happened on Jan. 6th and the events that culminated in on that fateful day in history is happening in real time. House Republicans have continued in their fealty to Donald Trump by repeating stolen election rhetoric publicly and calling what occurred on January 6th nothing more than a “peaceful protest.” In late October, House Republicans finally elected a Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson. Johnson comes to the role as speaker with a MAGA hat. Speaker Mike Johnson was on Trump’s defense team during the first of two impeachment trials. Johnson is most notable for putting together the amicus brief that supported the Texas lawsuit that sought to invalidate the 2020 election results in four key swing states: Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. With Speaker Mike Johnson now third in line to the presidency, the question of the stability of this country’s democracy becomes even more critical. With the 2024 presidential election season quickly approaching, it becomes even more vital that Black Americans become informed and up to date on the latest voting and polling information in their counties. Remember that in Florida, if a voter would prefer a mail in ballot, the request must be made each year. Now is the time to begin thinking about getting out the vote. 2024 will be a consequential election cycle. The forces are gathering.