Monday, March 13, 2023

Signs Of Hope

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


Cap said...

"I’ve got you now you wabbit. I’m gonna bwow you into a miwion wabbit cutlets." Any day now, just wait, you'll see, the American justice system really does hold former presidents to account for their crimes.

zoombats said...

"There are a number of signs that the extreme right-wing politics of anger and aggrievement(sic), of authoritarianism and lies, is waning".

I hope Skippy gets the memo.

Owen Gray said...

I understand your cynicism, Cap. We'll see what happens.

Owen Gray said...

I'm not sure Skippy reads, zoombats.

zoombats said...

Touche Owen. I had to laugh!

e.a.f. said...

Trump and those like him rely on people's anger. However, it is hard to stay angery all the time. It requires real energy. some people may simply be tired of being angry all the time and to what end. Some of those who are constantly angry also maybe loosing friends, family, etc. Its boring to be around some one who is angry all the time.

There may also be fewer angry people around because anger isn't good for your health. You die younger.

When PP goes around saying our country is broken, its laughable. We aren't being bombed into oblivion nor are our hospitals being destroyed by bombs, women can go outside without a head covering, we don't get shot to death or executed by those in charge because we disagree with them. There are a whole lot of places in the world that are in much worse shape than Canada and the U.S.A. Do we need improvement, YES. Are we a disaster? NO.

Owen Gray said...

Poilievre figures he will ride a wave of anger into office, e.a.f.

jrkrideau said...

Minor point: Harris seems to be writing about Trump's time as US president. If so, Trump must have had a good medium if he was cozing up to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. King Abdullah died in 2015.

Northern PoV said...

"The man who began the trend -- Donald Trump"

If only that were true.

tRump is simply the most blatant example and the roots of democratic demise go at least as far back as Reagan/Thatcher.

e.a.f. said...

I'd suggest he would be a tad dillusiuonal if he thinks that will work. The problem with PPs anger is it has no humour or entertainment value. some American politicians have the act down pat, but PP not so much. In with his anger is also his "preaching" attitude Not a good move.

Owen Gray said...

A point worth noting, jrk. I confess I don't keep up with the Saudi royal family.

jrkrideau said...

I confess I don't keep up with the Saudi royal family.

It appears Michael Harris does not either. If he cannot even get the name correct, why should I believe his claims?

Well I don't particularly because it seems pretty clear that ill-health has led King Salman to delegate day-to-day policy-making and decision-making to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who, while Trump was US President was reported to be very close to Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law. The cozying was there, Harris just got the players wrong.

Owen Gray said...

That's true, PoV. The trend began before Trump.

Owen Gray said...

Put bluntly, e.a.f -- he's very easy to dislike.

Owen Gray said...

The Trumps are good at finding corruptible people, jrk.

Anonymous said...

The message must get through to the Seniors that flock like flies to PP’s
rallies. DJF

Owen Gray said...

If he cuts taxes, DJF, seniors will pay the price.