America is now deeply divided across partisan lines such that many Republicans who are potentially guilty of wrong-doing have received protection instead of scrutiny or being held accountable. Therefore, what happens if Trump is not prosecuted for his role in the capitol riot and instead wins re-election? What will the country be like under a more proficiently autocratic and vengeful Donald Trump? These questions also apply to Trump-enablers like Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, all elected officials, who benefit from this growing corruption and impunity.
Questionable following and aberrant norms
Not so long ago, former President Donald Trump boasted that he could stand on 5th Avenue and shoot someone and but lose no support. So what kind of support does he desire or wield? Are his supporters or backers violent, hateful and uncaring people? How does the American political system fit in all of this? Is the political landscape in this country changing? What role have economic hardship and the right-wing media played in this transformation and acceptance of aberrant norms? I argue that when people are facing hardship and their children are under the same dire conditions, they will follow a harmful leader and that leader won’t lose backers regardless of misconduct.
The apple does not fall far from the tree: origins of a predicament
Our democracy’s death walk can be traced to the Ronald Reagan, Herbert Walker and George Walker Bush governments. Their catastrophic policies in Central and South America for Reagan and the Gulf of Persia for H. W. Bush and son are well known. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Therefore, it is no surprise that policies pursued in these countries have been creeping into our democratic system. Take the case of the Patriot Act.
Unfortunately, the Neo-liberal Democratic Presidents that followed did little to change the situation. They nearly nothing to improve on living standards and instead engaged in an assault on the rights of American and foreign journalists and whistle-blowers including Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning. But the Jamal Khashoggi assassination and the lack of justice thereof came under the Trump Presidency. The result of this mayhem is an aggravated mass willing, just like they were when they elected Trump the first time, to burn the country down to the ground if necessary to get what they believe is real change, even if it could be violent, fascist-style change.
The dangers of populism
The danger at hand is that a sizeable part of the population no longer cares for moral values. These right-wing politicians know this and are willing to entertain these masses with some “blood” for political expediency. Precursors of this ostrich politics can be found in Rome where rulers drew advantages from entertaining the population with violent games in the colosseum and the people soon forgot the burning issues of the day.
In America, the greed of the Oligarchs caused most of the current problems. These oligarchs then bought the politicians and the Supreme Court so that we can no longer depend on The Constitution and The Bill of Rights to save us. There is more benefit for such actors from having an autocratic leader in power. This can come in the form of tax breaks and deregulation.
Resetting the political playbook
These recent developments should have the majority on edge and at least interested in and intellectually invested in the state of American politics. I still believe that history should be for the purpose of drawing important lessons. We’ve been through a lot already yet it seems that our leaders and especially corporate America keep making decisions that are pushing our political trajectory in a direction that could be potentially dangerous.
I believe what is going on now is a scary lesson that we should have learned already and it should be evident to all and we should change our ways to include a more democratic lifestyle. From the ballot box to the members of the board of directors in business, all of us need to be represented or things typically go wrong. There are consequences for actions and profit at any price.
I’m sure many Republican businessmen don’t want people to be hurt, but I would ask them, what they are doing to prevent such a reality from taking shape. Desperation has facilitated this dramatic turn of events as well as bad economic policies including neoliberal democrats.