No, Donald Trump is not an aberration, nor Jan 6, 2021 an isolated instance of degeneration of the United States. If all the followers of a particular religion or all the citizens of a particular country can be blamed for any crime committed by one or two persons why not the entire United States be held responsible for the hooliganism committed by thousands of Americans inside the US Congress (Parliament) at the instance of its President, Donald Trump, and in the city named after the first President and the Father of the Nation, George Washington. By this logic not only all the Republican bigwigs who initially helped a non-politician and ignorant businessman, Donald Trump, become the President of the lone Super Power be blamed for the ugly manifestation of demo(n)cracy, but also those Democrats are responsible who too had throughout past many decades been busy exporting the soft power of democracy and liberalism with the hard power of bombs, missiles and nuclear weapons—President Truman, who had ordered the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was from the same party.
The truth is that the United States has destroyed democracies in much larger number of countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia. It is still busy preventing the growth of democratic movements across the third world, especially Middle East.
The United States and its western allies thrust their own brand of democracy if any regime dares to defy them. In the name of exporting democracy and liberal ideas they have massacred and maimed millions throughout the world.
Now when the chickens came home to roost on January 6 many Americans and their friends are washing their hands of and are just blaming Trump for the mockery of democracy. Why this hypocrisy? Trump’s supporters who had indulged in all sorts of lawlessness are well aware that their leaders have been exporting this brand of democracy to other countries of the world. So why not experiment this in one’s own country with much better perfection. After all Americans are scientifically and educationally the most advanced nation of the world, so whatever novel the people would do, they would do better than the people elsewhere in the world.
The truth is that all these intellectuals who were praising to sky their own brand of democratic ideas have failed to look into serious flaw within their own countries. Some of these western political thinkers should learn from several Third World democracies too. After all what type of system is this where the power is transferred to the new President two and a half months after the election day? What is this tag of President-elect?
Why only Trump, several other Presidents have fully mis-utilized this crucial period of seventy-five days. Trump only went too far away in using this opportunity. The whole system of electing US President is complicated and has often caused controversies—be it during the election between George Bush and Al-Gore or Trump and Hillary Clinton. In the last election, that is of 2016, it was alleged that Russia had interfered and influenced the result. If this is really true how had this happened? After all United States is not Botswana or Guatemala?
The problem with the ruling establishment of the United States—and so is the case with several European countries—is that they have started exporting their brand of democracy without teaching their own masses and without reforming their own system.
What type of democracy the United States is where there is a body called National Rifle Association and top lawmakers insist on having the right to possess fire-arms. They refuse to amend the law notwithstanding the fact that hundreds of people are killed every year by mindless shooting by ‘lone-wolf’ killers. Yet the media never uses the word ‘terrorist’ for them. This democratic country has about 33 crore guns, that is one fire-arm for each person.
Another significant aspect of democracy is that it grew in inverse proportion to the expansion of imperialism across the world, for example, when England and France were finding virtues in democracy in 18th and 19th centuries, in rest of the world they were busy in loot, plunder and enslavement.
After all Adolf Hitler too was the product of the same western democracy as he came to power following electoral victory. There is always fear of a democratic country turning into a majoritarian one.
It is also a fact that the two European countries Spain and Portugal had dictatorship for a much longer period till the late half of 20th century yet the US never tried to export democracy there, though it had problem with one party rule in the Soviet Union and China.
Soroor Ahmed is a senior journalist based in Patna. The views expressed are personal.