It should be clear by now how dangerous Donald Trump is for American democracy. After losing the US presidential election last November, Trump has doggedly refused to accept the result. He has continuously put out a stream of falsehoods on social media claiming how the election was stolen by the Democrats and that he was the real winner. He has failed to provide even an iota of evidence to substantiate his charge of so-called election fraud perpetrated by the Democrats. All the lawsuits he and his supporters have brought to the courts to challenge and overturn the election result have failed.
Yet Trump persists dangerously and is clearly willing to do anything to hold on to office. His shocking phone call to two Republican officials in the state of Georgia, almost goading them into manipulating the result in his favour in that state, is a categorical example of corruption aimed at subverting the American electoral process. Thankfully, the two officials – again, both of whom were Republicans – stood their ground and called out Trump’s bogus claims of fraud.
If this weren’t enough, 10 former US defence secretaries – both Republicans and Democrats – have issued an extraordinary appeal to forestall the possibility of a military-supported Trump coup. This comes as speculation is rife that Trump may declare martial law and have the US military re-run the election. He even discussed this proposal in the White House! Who knows? He could even go to war with Iran as a last-ditch attempt to create an emergency situation and stay in office.
All of this goes to show that Trump doesn’t give a hoot about procedure or American democracy. He is only interested in preserving his presidential privileges by hook or by crook. In my earlier article about Trump’s post-election tactics, I had also alluded to another reason why Trump is refusing to accept the election result. It is all designed to fire up the Republican Party base which he has cultivated over the last four years. In doing so, Trump is trying to ensure that the core of the Republican party supporters stays with him. And this makes it difficult for any establishment Republican leader to ditch him as party supporters will turn against that leader.
In essence, Trump has fundamentally changed the Republican party and its support base, moving them way to the right. And Trump wants to make sure that the support he enjoys remains intact. This in turn will ensure that the Republican Party is unable to sideline him. And he needs the party and its supporters on his side, for he might be in a lot of legal trouble otherwise after he leaves office.
Thus, what we are witnessing is the desperation of a selfish man who is extremely afraid about his future. And this is why he is desperately trying to overturn the election result – even though it is a losing cause – or at least hold on to his Republican base. The damage he is doing to American democracy in the process is something that will take time to repair. As will America’s dented image in the world. After all, if American democracy can be so flawed to facilitate the election to the presidency of a man who is willing to subvert the whole system for his personal interests, it only strengthens the arguments of authoritarian regimes like China that scoff at democratic values. In that sense, Trump has done great damage to democracies everywhere. It will be good to see his back.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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