How much longer will Americans tolerate Trump?
I suggested before that the fact that the US had been debating whether President Trump could pardon himself shows the depth to which that country has sunk.But they have moved on from that, as Trump has them reacting to all his unfettered nonsense. His latest talk about Venezuela alarms me. He says that a military intervention in Venezuela is an option. Vice-President Pence adds a comic touch, by suggesting that the need for intervention has come about because that country is heading for a dictatorship. Regardless of how one feels about Venezuela, military option by the US is the worst possible scenario, especially since that country had been suggesting that the US is behind their problems. Let us forget Venezuela for the time. I am suggesting that if any country can be accused of moving toward a dictatorship, it is the US. So far, the institutions that have been set up as checks and balances have been holding their own, but it is people who hold a constitution together and therein lies a problem with the Presidentâs power to appoint his own people at the Supreme Court. He has begun the process of removing persons in the Justice and State Departments and other key areas, replacing them with his own. Will the Republicans in Congress stand up? One cannot be sure!
My concerns go further. When President Reagan wanted to bolster his support at home, he turned his military might toward Grenada, a country which few Americans knew. In war situations, Americans discard their political differences and stand behind their president. With Trumpâs flagging support, he might see Venezuela as the place to go. Certainly, it will never be as easy as Grenada, but it will cause enormous problems in Latin America and the Caribbean, and for that matter, the rest of the world. Venezuelaâs oil might even be a motivating factor. Maduro had signalled a willingness to talk with President Trump. His response was that he would speak once democracy is restored. Will he say the same thing to his brother âCrazyâ, Kim Jong-un? Dictatorial government is not an issue with Trump. In fact, it has not been an issue with many presidents. They would work with any dictator, once it could serve their ends.
We talk about Trump, but the focus must be on those who have been putting up with all their presidentâs nonsense. Although his base has shown slight shrinkage, it remains committed to him. American media and commentators have not been giving as much attention to this as they should, because to do so will be to expose a nasty side of America. Members of the white supremacists that created havoc in Charlottesville, Virginia, have been suggesting that they were responding to Trumpâs desire to make America great again. The Guardian newspaper of London has made the point that Trumpâs election has empowered angry white people.
America, once called the fountain of democracy, is in even more trouble than it realizes. It has lost its credibility in the rest of the world, except of course in places like Russia and Saudi Arabia. In commenting on Trumpâs response to the horrific events in Virginia, the August 13 Guardian stated âThe hope is that this dishonest and morally shaming moment will define Mr Trump for sufficient decent Americans that he will not be trusted again. Sadly, the evidence of modern America gives too few grounds for optimism.â The Guardian has hit the nail on its head. When will Americans begin to take action? It just might be that the US is where there is need for outside intervention!
Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian