Democracy has been under persistent attack around the world. The man who began the trend -- Donald Trump -- is still leading the attack. Michael Harris writes:
Trump . . . cozied up to democracy-wreckers outside the United States, all of whom were charter members of the Live Dictators’ Society: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Aliza Al Saud; North Korea’s Kim Jong-un; Brazil’s Jair Bolsinaro; Turkey’s Recep Erdogan; and Viktor Orban in Hungary. These were Trump’s kind of people and he was theirs. With Trump providing the blueprint, many of these current and former leaders began using the phrase “fake news” whenever they were criticized.
That lie led to major consequences. The first one was the deadly riot at the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, in which five people died and 140 police officers were injured. Next came Trump’s impeachment for turning the Capitol Riot into no more than an afternoon’s entertainment in the White House. While Rome burned, this modern-day Nero watched TV.
But there are signs that Trump won't get away with all of this:
There is a ray or two of sunshine breaking through the gloom. There are a number of signs that the extreme right-wing politics of anger and aggrievement, of authoritarianism and lies, is waning.
The Republicans flopped in the recent mid-terms, where a number of celebrity election-deniers like Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker were defeated. Trump was the star of the show at the recent Conservative Policy Action Conference, but the event was sparsely attended, and actively boycotted by senior Republican figures.
Former vice-president Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Florida’s Ron DeSantis found other places to be, while Trump was telling Team Crazy that he was their “warrior,” their “justice,” and their “retribution”.
Although Fox “News” continues to shill for the former president, the network’s stars have been outed as serial liars. It is hard to imagine that Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham will continue to front Fox’s slime time.
But the most hopeful sign that Trump is headed for con-man oblivion is from the American justice system he tried so diligently to manipulate. Trump is facing multiple criminal investigations, including illegally retaining classified documents, inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, election interference in the Georgia election, and paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence about their alleged affair.
Last week, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg did something that legal experts believe signals Trump may soon become the first U.S. president to be indicted; Bragg invited Trump to testify, without a subpoena, before the New York grand jury. That is usually a sign that prosecutors have finished their case and are about to lay charges.
All pie in the sky? We'll see.
Image: The Guardian