Is this the End of America’s Democracy?
WHEN I REFLECT on what has been happening in the political domain in the US over the past 12 months, a number of questions come to mind.
Is President Trump refl ecting the wishes of the real America? Is it that he understands the heart of America and is pandering to it? Is Trump the reincarnation of Hitler with the same mission, but is adjusting to a new environment with different players? Was America ever a real democracy, after-all Blacks had for a long time been denied their civil rights, and in some cases, still do?
Today there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Blacks still not allowed to vote. The media, the fourth estate, is playing to Trump’s tantrums, because it gives them a talking point and perhaps many believe what he is saying and doing. When he said he could go on to Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and no one will touch him, or something to that effect, we laughed and thought he was just being funny. No longer so! Alan Dershowitz will defend him and make an argument that makes sense to millions of Americans. He will say that the President can virtually do anything he considers in his best interest, if he believes that his re-election is in the public interest. He might then go home, reflect on what he said and then argue strongly that the media misquoted him.
Should Trump insist that he was divinely ordained and could do whatever he wants, Vice-President Mike Pence will stand behind him leading the charge and clapping lustily with a blank look on his face, as if he was somewhere else. The Evangelical Right will follow, and his base will celebrate. But don’t take these matters to the Court System for he has that virtually tied up with his own people.
Maybe the Nolle Prosequi process works differently in the USA, but William Barr will do his job, that is protect the President at whatever cost.
As the authoritarian state emerges, Moscow Mitch will facilitate the process. He will with a straight face get his colleagues on board to do whatever needs to be done. They will allow him two more terms in office, arguing that he would have learnt from any mistakes in his first two terms and will be a new man. This might spark controversy since many like him as he is.
The argument will be made that the economy is doing well, the best ever and that is what matters, even though the state of the economy has little to do with ‘Trumpian ego-nomics’. The Fox crew will argue that the nation should sacrifice its freedom in the interest of a strong economy. Let’s take an example from Caribbean history. When Blacks in post slavery society began to own land and qualify for membership of the Legislatures, the planter class feared a takeover, so following the Morant Bay rebellion in Jamaica they surrendered their rights to the Crown, and Crown Colony government emerged. Soon minorities will become the major voting block, hence Trump’s efforts to clear the country of immigrants.
When you think of the response of Senate Republicans to the charges against Trump, it is difficult not to conclude that America is becoming a ‘Banana Republic’. Should Trump be re-elected and the House turn red, the process will be completed. The Republican party is now the party of Trump lock, stock, and barrel.
They cannot back track, for to do so will be to admit that they were wrong in the first place, and so will continue to genuflect to the man some claimed was sent by God to save America. But are they not already there? Four prosecutors in the Roger Stone case have quit after the Department of Justice has undercut them and reduced the recommended sentence following Trump’s outburst. Should I say more?
● Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian