Two wrongs do not make one right. Exactly a week after Jan 6 insurrection in Washington the United States’ House of Representatives passed an impeachment resolution against the President who is most likely to demit office on Jan 20.
As sometimes a bird’s eye view is better than one seen from the land, a person living thousands of kilometres away from the United States—and who has never gone to that country and who never wishes to visit either–may be able to understand something better than law-makers of the self-proclaimed lone Super Power of the world.
Are those championing the need to impeach Donald Trump understanding what are they doing? Or they are just getting carried away by the emotions?
Without sounding as devil’s advocate one thing needs to be told loud and clear that the Democrats and a big, if not overwhelming, proportion of the Establishment are also responsible for Jan 6 uprising in the Capitol Hill. Trump is not just a maverick—no doubt he is so—but he represents a very big chunk of American population. Mind it, he had lost by a relatively smaller margin of 4.5 % against all odds. Any President apart from Trump may have lost by a much huge margin in this post-COVID-19 election.
The pandemic has thrown everything upside down. Millions of people lost their jobs and about 2.5 lakhs had perished till the time of election on November 3. The economy, which had shown some signs of recovery earlier, had suddenly nose-dived after the spread of pandemic. If in such a situation when a huge chunk of the American media, intellectuals and public opinion makers had always been against him, drawing such a huge number of votes (7.4 crore against Joe Biden 8.1 crore) is certainly an extra-ordinary performance.
Needless to be reminded, much well-known Presidents such as George Bush Senior and Jimmy Carter—Republican and Democrat respectively—lost after one term in the last over four decades. George Bush Senior could not get the second term even though he had decimated Iraq in the First Gulf War in 1991.
One should not forget that the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was voted out of power just after he led his country to victory in World War-II in 1945.
If Trump just failed by a relatively slender margin to get the second term when everything was going adverse to him it clearly suggests that there certainly is a substantial support and he is really “capable of starting a civil war” and that he is a “dangerous person” as passionately argued by Democrats in the House during debate on Jan 13.
The phenomenon called Trump needs “handle with care” approach. A defeated and humiliated Trump may fade a few months later, if the new Joe Biden administration works sensibly. But by impeaching him and thus in a way debarring him from the 2024 election the Democrats are committing a blunder and underestimating the right-wing forces—Trump just symbolizes them. There is every likelihood of making Trump a political martyr. The Democratic misadventurism has more potential to throw the country into a civil war than Trump himself.
The counter-arguments of the Trump supporters perhaps did not get due weightage. They had a point that the policy of blindly following globalisation had detrimental impact on a large number of Americans—economically and socially as well.
Besides, the Democrats and liberals did not recognise Trump as the President of the country and went to allege that he had come to power with the help of a manipulated election and in collusion with Russia. This was simply ridiculous as the 2016 election was held at the fag end of Obama Administration with Hillary Clinton as the Presidential candidate of the Democratic party. Can Russia—not the erstwhile world power Soviet Union—ever influence the election of the United States which itself used to influence the election results throughout the world. The United States is certainly not Honduras or Angola. Why Russia didn’t influence this time.
So if Trump is saying that the 2020 election has been rigged and is a fraud why, by the above logic, is there so much hue and cry about it. The hardliners among Republicans, who are prepared to die with Trump, should also be paid heed.
It is true they are white supremacists; they hate outsiders and coloured people. Still, they need to be tackled cautiously. Believe it or not there is a surge in sympathy for Trump after his impeachment. If he is really debarred by the Senate there is every likelihood that a large section of Americans may later regret that Trump is a man more sinned against than sinning.
It should not be forgotten that Trump won the election in 2016 after the United States elected its first non-white President Barack Obama in 2008. Was it the outcome of a reaction?
Soroor Ahmed is a senior journalist based in Patna. The views expressed are personal.