Paul Walters in Lifestyle, Communications and journalism, beBee in English Spreading the word in SE Asia • Brand Ambassador Be BEE Feb 14, 2020 · 4 min read · 1.9K

Democracy. Is This The End Of Days?

My posts on this platform have, over the years deliberately steered clear of politics as my first foray into that particular field elicited a barrage of negative and bullying comments.

I even got hate mail for goodness sake!

Democracy.  Is This The End Of Days?

Lately, however, I feel compelled to say something as American politics and, more importantly, one Donald J Trump has invaded my space even on this small island perched on the Indonesian archipelago.

I have begun to wonder how Americans think they are perceived by the ‘outside’ world given their current policy of ‘America First.’ I think I have reached the conclusion that a large proportion of their population couldn’t give a tinkers toss about what others think.

What a shame!

The international media over the last two weeks has delivered scathing report after scathing report on Donald Trump’s acquittal in his senate trial. The gist of most of the articles portrayed it as a comical charade that ultimately would give the president free rein to continue to chip at the very foundations of America’s democracy.

Germany’s respected “Die Zeit,’ wrote that the outcome of the impeachment process was “a triumph for Trump – not just over the Democrats, but over democracy itself”. The piece went on to say that, “the end of this historic yet absurd process had made it abundantly clear how seriously damaged the US political system now is”

Trump is a president who knows no borders and although he did not begin this attack on democracy, he recognized it and accelerated it. He has taken advantage of the smouldering distrust of institutions and norms, proffering lies to those desperate to hear them and slander to all who oppose him.

Die Zeit went on to say that Trump, his followers and the majority of the pusillanimous Republican senators are, together and wilfully breaking down the very concept of democracy,”

I am dumbfounded as these self-same senators blindly kneel and kiss the ring of the Emperor who wears no clothes and sit back and watch as the man strides towards dictatorship.

The judiciary, traditionally an independent pillar of the state has lost its moral compass when it comes to decisions concerning Donald Trump and willingly follows his outrageous decrees.

The press, should they criticize the man in the White House instantly becomes an enemy of the people.

Intelligence agencies, advisers, the whole government apparatus is somehow justified only as long as it supports and agrees with the truth of power.

France’s Liberation, summed up the impeachment saga thus, saying; “The curtain had fallen not before time on a process that for the past fortnight had offered The American public, and the world, a desperate spectacle. A hollow pretence of justice, without testimony or an ounce of impartiality, it ended as expected – in the president’s acquittal.”

The US Senate, once known as the world’s greatest the deliberative body did not deliberate at all. Not for a moment. In refusing to allow witnesses to be called, the Republican bloc, more subservient to Trump than ever, ensured the evidence against him would simply not be examined.

“What will future historians make of it”, the paper wondered. “Will they see a turning point in the way the executive branch accounts for itself to Congress? The ultimate splintering of American politics? The abandonment by Senate Republicans of their pledge to defend the constitution? Or a strategic error by the Democrats? The answer will largely depend on the outcome of the presidential election on 3 November.”

The Australia media too weighed in with gusto with The Age coming out swinging. “Even taking into account Trump’s positives, his negatives, his corruption, his reliance on lying, the numerous sexual assault allegations, his disregard for the spirit and letter of the law – are destructive for constitutional democracy,” it said.

“With Republicans unwilling to check his power, Trump functions more like a ruler, a mob boss, or a kingpin than an elected official. Disregard for the law should be of deep concern to citizens of democracies everywhere. It creates a world where now, status matters more than the law.

In the Netherlands, De Volkskrantz’s Washington correspondent agreed, saying the outcome of the impeachment process was never in doubt: “If it has made one thing very clear, it’s that he has the undivided support of his party – and that if he wins in November, he will be accountable only to himself.”

Trump was going from strength to strength, the paper said: “He exhibits behaviour that has never been seen before in US presidents: the lies, the lack of decorum, the way he puts people under pressure, the demonstrable corruption. But, no one seems to be put off. The traditional values of honour and respect, an inherent part of the Republican party for so long, have been abandoned in a staggeringly short space of time.”

I personally have always loved America as I admire the raw vitality of its constitution. That document was always intended to be a beacon for outsiders to come and create a melting pot of global migrants keen to settle their way across America.

However, that wonderful piece of writing has hardly changed since the 18th century, and as such has become archaic, ramshackle and slightly flawed. 

And then, along comes a Donald Trump who has crafted himself as being a folk hero to the ‘deplorables’ the dispossessed and the underprivileged. He presents himself as a ‘benevolent’, tough billionaire buoyed by unfettered vanity, paranoia and narcissism and, in doing so he has somehow made mendacity an agent of power.

 A president should, and indeed must surround himself or herself with skilled and wise advisors of substance and yet, a deluge of advisors have come and gone in rapid succession, walking out in despair, their knowledge and experience unwanted by someone who believes he ‘knows it all.’

This revolving door policy tears apart the very fabric of national cohesion which, from the outside looks as if it has become strained close to breaking.

But for many Americans – not just the poor ones – who have long felt isolated from the power centres of Washington and New York, his ineptitude and bullying are somehow perceived as evidence of authenticity.

I recently caught a clip on YouTube where the BBC interviewed a Southern Baptist woman on Trump’s multitude of moral failings. Her response was as flawed as the man himself. “We are all sinners and if Trump is a crook, he is my kind of crook.”

Hopefully Trump will be ousted by a perfectly healthy democracy (if Americans can be bothered to vote!) in 2020 or 2024. So it is up to the Democratic party to find a plausible candidate to succeed him, and in doing so repair whatever damage the current sitting president has caused at home and abroad.

His disruptive term of office should be a warning to all hubristic governments and, if not, the man will be consigned to being a mere blip in the history of America.

But in our time, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump marks an alarming shift in that it has taken a dangerous turn for the fate of democracy not just in America but across the globe.

Paul v Walters is the best selling author of several novels and when not cocooned in sloth and procrastination in his house in Bali he also scribbles for several international and Vox Pop journals.

@Harvey Lloyd I couldn't agree more. I think it sometimes takes the kiss of death to wake us up. A few years back, when I was just about in the grave, I started digging to save myself. I've done as much as I can in that vein. I'm still dying--just slower. I really shouldn't be here today.

Once I started digging, I couldn't stop. I still haven't. The only reason legislators get away with throwing rotten tomatoes at jurisprudence is that too damn many of us are asleep at the wheel. The Constitutional rug is slowly being pulled from beneath and nobody is the wiser.

I was conversing with a business owner last year, and he made mention of the fact that people are too busy putting food on the table.

I said, "Sure--that's understandable. People don't have time to look around them."

He nodded his head.

I went on, "But what good is food on the table tonight if you are dead tomorrow?" [and yes--it is that bad...]

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John Rylance Feb 19, 2020 · #21

There are two dangers re Trump. First you believe he will carry out his threats. Secondly you don't believe he can carry out this threats. 
One can only hope that if/when he gets a second term, like the child taken to visit somewhere for a second time, it is to apologise for the first time/Term. 
I can hear the murmurs of "fat chance"

Lada 🏡 Prkic Feb 19, 2020 · #20

Paul, I stick to my decision of never getting involved in discussions about politics and religion on social media. American politics, Constitution and Trump fall into that category. I can only say that people voted for Trump, and very likely will vote for him again. The good thing is that he cannot be President more than twice. :)

Harvey Lloyd Feb 19, 2020 · #19 Should you find it interesting. Here are some the details of events without all the adjectives generally associated with reporting on the issues of America. Specifically surrounding the events leading up to impeachment.

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Harvey Lloyd Feb 19, 2020 · #18

I cant say i disagree from your side of the world. The media has created a narrative that on the surface is true. Trump is a madman. But what is not being talked about is the US Constitution has been on the butcher block for sometime. Decades. The rule of law has been at the convenience to political dogmas and pocket lining on both sides. The education system has become a wing of the democratic party.

Long before Trump the parties have created identity groups and written laws outside the Constitution for these groups. Excluding others.

When a country has moved so far away from its fundamental beliefs what or who would you need to clean house. Each War fought has had those nasty people that got it done, Patton, Doolittle and others. People who had a knack for doing the things no one else wanted to do. But were necessary at the time. They were all hated by media. Rightfully so. They represent everything America is not. But what we have become is not who we are either.

It is estimated that Bernie Sanders has pocketed over 85 million in campaign donations by setting his wife up as the media buyer for his campaign. The evidence around the Biden's, Obama's and the Clinton's profiting from office is a whole lot clearer than Trump and the Russians.

This is the other side of the story that doesn't tend to leave the US or show up in 80% of our own media. The bias on both sides is destroying the fabric of society.

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Jim Taggart Feb 18, 2020 · #17

#12 I discovered that America's political party system has its roots in 1792, a time when the founding fathers actually wanted (naively) a non-party system of government. Moreover, they didn't want a military, which put Alexander Hamilton (for a military) at odds with Jefferson Davis and James Madison. By 1800, the amount of vitriol and accusations being launched among those in positions of influence and power is not just similar to what's occurring now in the U.S. but almost de-railed the development of America. What is most appalling is how the tyrannical minorities (within both mainstream parties) are inhibiting America from addressing so many critical issues. In short, Americans have been hijacked.

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Paul Walters Feb 17, 2020 · #16

#15 @Charlene Norman. Bravo. And thanks for stopping by!

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