Reviews | Garland must hold Trump to account for the sake of American democracy
It is a reminder that the United States remains, as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called it, the “indispensable nation.” But how long can we continue to defend democracy abroad while enduring a democratic crisis at home?
Biden was all too specific in his searing denunciation last week of “MAGA Republicans” who pose “a threat to our very democracy” and flirt with “semi-fascism.” The same conclusion was reached by independent researchers who found that the GOP has more in common with authoritarian political parties in countries like Hungary and Turkey than with center-right parties in Western Europe.
This is a big problem because the GOP is not a fringe third party. As recently as 2018, he controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, and he is still on course to regain control of the House in November, despite some encouraging political trends for Democrats.
And yet, no matter how much damaging information comes out about Donald Trump, the GOP remains a cult of personality for the disgraced former president. Even though the House committee on January 6 showed that the Capitol takeover was part of a coup attempt by Trump, it is still viewed favorably by 80 percent Republicans. It’s the committee’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who is the GOP pariah — not Trump.
Even Trump’s unauthorized deletion of classified information – he kept more than 700 pages of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago – did not shake his standing among Republicans. On the contrary: the number of Republicans expressing a “very positive” opinion of Trump has actually increased (from 45% to 57%) after a court-ordered FBI search of his property. The same right who called on Hillary Clinton to be prosecuted for using a private email server for official emails are rushing to excuse Trump’s handling of mere “documents,” even though those documents have the potential to compromise data collection methods. highly sensitive information or to kill human sources.
Imagine what it looks like from abroad. Like Axios Remarks: “In at least 76 countries, leaders who have left office since 2000 have been imprisoned or prosecuted, including in democracies such as France, Israel and South Korea.” Yet the de facto Republican position seems to be that their supreme leader should be above the law, just like Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping.
Trump has already gotten away with numerous offences, including likely obstruction of justice in investigating his campaign’s dealings with Russia, his attempt to use military aid to extort Ukraine from to help politically, and of course his instigation of a mob attack on the United States. Capitol. Now the GOP seems to think it should get away with the mishandling of classified information.
It just adds to the perception that America is becoming a banana republic. We are the country, let’s not forget, which had confirmed the most covid-19 deaths – more than a million – than any other. The number of deaths per 100,000 population was nearly three times higher in the United States than in Canada.
Since the worst of the covid pandemic has passed, our international reputation has been shattered not only by the uprising of January 6, 2021, but also by our failure to deal with soaring gun violence. It is in homage to American evil that we are toughening our abortion laws as relaxation our gun laws.
It’s no wonder that although America’s international reputation has rebounded since Trump left office, few around the world see our democracy as a model to emulate. In a Pew Research Center survey Across 16 countries last year, 57% of respondents said American democracy used to be a good example, but not anymore. A more recent bench survey finds that 66% of respondents in 19 countries say China’s influence is growing, while only 32% say the same about the United States.
This brings us to the momentous decision that Attorney General Merrick Garland may soon have to make on whether to accuse Trump of possible offenses such as obstruction of justice and violations of the Espionage Act.
Some suggest Garland should fire for fear of a Republican backlash that would only strengthen Trump. These concerns are real; violence will likely erupt if Trump is arrested. But if there is enough evidence to charge the former president with a crime and the Justice Department refuses to do so, it would send a dangerous message of impunity for high-level wrongdoing that would further undermine democracy. American at home and American influence abroad.
The United States must defend the rule of law not only in Ukraine but also in Florida, come what may. The Department of Justice cannot give in to the political intimidation of American fascists.