Post #278: Trumpism Has Brought Democracy to Its Knees

In what we can only hope is its terminal phase, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to make a mockery of American democracy.  Friendly foreign observers bemoan the depths to which our country has sunk as Trump seeks reelection, and unfriendly observers celebrate the demise of the American example.  It continues to astound me that one man and a coterie of conspiratorialists could, in less than four years, bring democracy to its knees.

But we were warned: Donald Trump has never, so far as I can tell, spoken about democracy or democratic values; he has been too busy stomping on them.  Let’s recall, for the record, these  examples.  Perhaps one day they’ll be used as reminders to another generation of how fragile and porous democracy is, and how susceptible to a determined autocrat.

  • Failing to act decisively on the pandemic, leaving the responsibility to states while saying virtually nothing about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
  • Incessantly spreading the lie that mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud.
  • Devising and authorizing numerous actions to depress the vote of minorities.
  • Encouraging armed far-right groups to intimidate voters and Democratic officials.
  • Taking the side of white supremacists on racial issues.
  • Adopting policies both inhumane (separating children from family) and contrary to international law (rejecting amnesty applications) in order to drastically reduce or eliminate immigration and refugees.
  • Using the office of the president for personal financial gain.
  • Attacking independent media, judges, women, his own appointees—in short, anyone who is disloyal, criticizes him, or stands in the way of pursuit of his private agenda.
  • Refusing to acknowledge, much less support, science-based findings by his own agencies on public health and the environment.
  • Undermining the Constitution’s clauses on presidential power, the role of Congress, and official corruption.
  • Announcing the intent to ignore defeat at the polls, and use the Supreme Court as a vehicle for staying in  office.
  • Colluding with foreign powers to interfere in US elections on his behalf.
  • Demanding that political opponents be jailed.
  • Politicizing the justice department and other government agencies, converting them to a personal weapon.

“Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.”  So begins the New York Times editorial of October 16, 2020.  The court of public opinion will have its say November 3.  But someday one may hope that Donald Trump will be hauled before a real court to answer for his crimes—with a genuinely independent department of justice as prosecutor.  He is an enemy of the people, pure and simple, and we cannot leave it to “history” to judge him (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/truth-reconciliation-tribunal-trump-historians/2020/10/16/84026810-0e88-11eb-b1e8-16b59b92b36d_story.html).  He has singlehandedly so damaged the institutions, reputation, and ideals of the United States that repairing them will take an enormous effort on the part of Joe Biden’s administration.  The job must begin January 20.

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6 Comments

  1. Spot on. Such a tragedy for our country and the world really. I hope you are correct that he faces real court and is prosecuted for his crimes. That will stop his vile megaphone. As Biden said “Would you just SHUT UP?” My concern is the media will keep covering his uncovered mouth after he is out of office. So sad.

    On Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 5:03 AM In the Human Interest – Mel Gurtov wrote:

    > Mel Gurtov posted: ” In what we can only hope is its terminal phase, the > Trump administration is doing everything it can to make a mockery of > American democracy. Friendly foreign observers bemoan the depths to which > our country has sunk as Trump seeks reelection, and u” >

  2. Dear Mel:

    Once again, irony abounds, in spades, on vote-by-mail in Oregon: If memory serves me correctly it was the Republican party who initially urged vote-by-mail!

  3. The list of abuses is endless. Today it was Dr. Faucci. Let’s just watch sports until the election.

  4. Hi Mel,
    good as always. But you are preaching to the choir, no ?
    Trump’s followers cling to him, no matter what; when he is “outta there”, Biden or Harris still have to deal with those millions of supporters. To them he is the savior, to most of us, the Anti-Christ. (And you know, how that is supposed to end !!)

    1. Preaching to the choir? Probably. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with affirming what we know to be true, and possibly in a way some folks haven’t thought about it. Besides, we all need support at this crucial time.

  5. A list of staggering importance. Keep up the great work.

    Stay well.

    Pete

    On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 11:03 PM In the Human Interest – Mel Gurtov wrote:

    > Mel Gurtov posted: ” In what we can only hope is its terminal phase, the > Trump administration is doing everything it can to make a mockery of > American democracy. Friendly foreign observers bemoan the depths to which > our country has sunk as Trump seeks reelection, and u” >

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