Democracy Trumps Trump

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Outgoing US President has only harmed himself and Republicans

THE storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday would be remembered by the world as one of the most horrifying attacks on democracy. The attack took place when the members of two houses of Congress – the Senate and the House of Representatives – were meeting to formalize the election of Joe Biden as President. The members had to take shelter under tables and elsewhere to save themselves from the marauding Trump supporters. Though such incidents have taken place at the Capitol, they were for reasons other than to upturn election results. Trump had refused to accept the results of November 3 elections and concede defeat, saying that the Democrats had “stolen victory” by foul means. He had vowed that he would undo the election results to rule America for another term. His stolidly bellicose posturing and direct and indirect instigation drove his followers to storm the US Capitol and indulge in violence. At least five people, including a policeman, lost their lives in the incident.

No US President had ever stooped so low as Trump did to cling to power. Despite the advice of several Republican attorneys and politicians, Trump went on raising objections to the vote count in the states of Arizona and Pennsylvania. The storming of the US Capitol was the last attempt by him to subvert the democratic process as both the Senate and the House of Representatives were set to reject his objections. Surprisingly, the US security forces, which enter into the backyards of other nations on the pretext of ensuring safety and peace, were seen as hapless spectators as the anarchists ran through the Capitol. Were they not acting at the behest of their supreme commander? Though the events have taken a toll with a spate of resignations, many see continuation of Trump in office as a threat not only to America but also the whole world as he still has the nuclear weapons codes. The storming of the Capitol and the role played by Trump has shaken the faith of Americans in their supreme commander. The events will have a deep bearing of the Republican Party in the years to come.

The US is the oldest democracy in the world and has seen a smooth transition of power from one president to another. The January 6 events are being seen as dangerous and a blot on the image of America as a democratic country that respects people’s will. He sought to undo the election results by making claims of rigging of votes without showing any evidence to substantiate his claims. Though he has committed to orderly transfer of power to Biden on the appointed day, January 20, many Americans are sceptical whether he would keep his word or play another trick. The US security forces and citizens would have to be vigilant to prevent any untoward incident till the new president takes office to lead the country. The Republicans have a duty to keep Trump under check and prevent him from causing more divisions within the country and bringing disrepute to their motherland. The Republicans have suffered damage to their reputation they will not find easy to repair.   

Trump earned notoriety for his acerbic speeches and blatant lies during his term. He was also mercurial in making statements and issuing threats that were not becoming of US President. There has been worldwide condemnation of attack on the Capitol. It was only after condemnation from all quarters for what his foolish, aggressive posturing had driven his supporters to do that Trump finally conceded his defeat and promised an “orderly” transition of power. By way of public posturing he condemned the storming of the Capitol. Perhaps his belated action was prompted by talks of his impeachment or his removal by invoking provisions under 25th Amendment to US Constitution at the fag-end of his term. The US democracy was the victim of the attack. The storming of the US Capitol does not suggest that there is something wrong with US democracy. Democracy has come out strong with both Democrats and Republicans rejecting his rigging allegations. The incident has damaged only Trump. History will remember him as a rogue president.