07/01/2021

Donald Trump, or the enemy of American democracy

2 min

The evil that Donald Trump has done to American democracy, and to the rebound of liberal democracy itself throughout the world, is still hard to calculate, but the assault on the Capitol that was broadcasted live on television yesterday will embarrass millions of proud American citizens for years to come for what was until now a solid democratic system with influence over the world. The legacy of Donald Trump's legislature is a sick, divided, angry country that has had the rules of the democratic game trampled on, subverted, from the highest echelons of the judiciary. Yesterday, the still President of the United States encouraged the thousands of supporters he had called in Washington to go to the Capitol to put pressure on, and prevent, the citizens' representatives from confirming Joe Biden's electoral victory. The debate was scheduled to last until the early hours of the morning, even though there was no doubt that Joe Biden would be elected as the new president of the United States, but tens of thousands of Trump's supporters wreaked havoc in the Capitol, where they surprisingly managed to enter by overcoming the building's clearly insufficient security. A mob shouting slogans in favour of the Trump presidency entered the United States Capitol building, the institutional symbol par excellence of popular representation; they stopped the Senate session, forced the evacuation of Vice-President Pence, provoked confrontations with the police and occupied the House of Representatives and the office of the President, Nancy Pelosi.

The assault on the Capitol took place shortly after an inflammatory speech by the still sitting president in which he stated that he would never concede victory to the president-elect and in which he once again blamed the press. Trump lied again about a fraud that exists only in his strategy of violating the rules of the game and the essence of the democratic system. Fourteen days before the Democratic president was sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, Trump sent hordes of his most radical supporters out to perpetrate yet another attempt to subvert democratic outcomes. Yet another of the many situations that have marked a monstrous mandate against the very decency of democratic rules, in which abuse of power, vulgarity, insult and contempt have been confused with apparent strength.

While the riots were still going on, Joe Biden took advantage of a hearing already scheduled to promise the restoration of democratic values and to remind us of their fragility. Shortly thereafter, Trump recorded a message telling his supporters, who were still camped out on the Capitol, to go home. Not a word of censure, not a word about the rule of law. Why? Trump had encouraged chaos.

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