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Thursday December 09, 2021

Ego-centric rulers

January 11, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden in his speech made it known clearly that personal style of running the government was not acceptable for being inclined to debasing the functioning of the democratic institutions. In his speech, after ‘an attempted coup’ by pro-Trump supporters at the Capitol Hill, he strongly condemned the assault on the seat of US democracy implying that legitimacy of the presidential elections was above board after the failed attempts to question the same. His words were also meant for the consumption of the despotic rulers around the world who had been following the footsteps of Trump in all forms and manifestations. This was least required and would not be endorsed, he asserted with firm resolve. President Trump was big national embarrassment, he added. President-elect’s statement also hinted that the personal governance style of President Trump had also captivated the imagination of the ego-centric rulers in numerous countries who relied more on their misplaced competence rather than collective wisdom of the Parliament. In such countries, violations of human rights were being perpetrated with impunity, and the judicial system generally obliged the rulers rather than the people. Evidently, this type of monopoly of power had no relevance in democracy. It was the sole privilege of the people and not of the top men or their accomplices. His assertion might have domino effect in the countries where Trump style had overshadowed the thinking of the ruling class at the expense of the aspirations of the people.

In politics, admittedly, political opponents’ losses are deemed as gains for those who are on the other side of the equation. It is going to be true in case of President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden too. The US incumbent President was seemingly down after his supporters stormed the Capitol Hill unleashing violence of an embarrassing scale. The pouring in of pervasive condemnation, within the US and around the world, for the sitting US President was undoubtedly equated with ‘from sublime to the ridiculous. The downward spiral of his credibility and respectability would haunt his political career for long time to come. The emerging political state of affairs is likely to give much needed requisite boost to Joe Biden to begin with, first good step at the outset paving the way for half success as widely believed. President Trump’s huge baggage is going to be a catalytic of huge windfall for the new administration. To sustain the political fortune may be the real challenge for the Biden Administration. Building upon it may surely be considered as resounding success by any stretch of imagination.

The overwhelming view that had emerged was that President Trump had played out his trivial trick at the tether end of his Presidency by instigating his supporters, on 6th of January, to ransack the Capitol Hill forcing the lawmakers to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. It was no less than an attempt to upstage coup, according to senators, Congressmen and many political analysts. The US Congress was in session to certify the Democrat’s candidates, Joe Biden, as the winner when Trump supporters broke their way into the House creating chaos and the lawmakers had to suspend the proceedings. They had to run away in quest of cover as their safety and security was indeed in danger at the hands of the charged mob that was capable of bringing mayhem to any extent. They wrote the ugliest chapter in the US political history by inflicting fatal blow to the well-established democracy worthy of emulation. It also hugely bedeviled the image of the US globally as the curdling images of violence were flashed on the TV screens and social media forums.

The law enforcement agencies though flushed out the rioters but only after the despicable violence resulting in four deaths and the police officer who succumbed to the wounds inflicted when he desperately tried to keep them at bay. Their desecration to the sanctity of the House including the assault on the office of Speaker of the House was both condemnable and contemptible. They smashed the windows of the buildings and vandalized the furniture and other valuable collection placed there. Such images might be somewhat normal in new democratic dispensations but were quite shocking in US well-established democracy. How unbecoming of the holder of the US Presidency who owned violent protestors as ‘heroes’.

Ironically, President Trump lived up to his notoriety as he minced no words even much before the presidential elections making it aptly clear that he would not concede defeat if he was defeated by the American voters. His decision not to join oath taking ceremony reinforced his characteristic obstinacy.

President Trump’s reservations to the voting system were understandably pre-planned to make the elections controversial if results were not of his liking. As anticipated, after his defeat in the elections, he launched full throttle campaign against the elections results at multiple levels of courts praying for the recount of the votes in the tossing states, and also questioning the very authenticity of the whole electoral system that allegedly was prone to fraud and rigging. His whole focus was evidently to get the transition dragged in controversy that would delay the transition resulting in his continuity in the Oval Office. It was unimaginable that the US president could go that far as contemplating to hurt the constitutional democracy that too without remorse. He was not perhaps anticipating such a harsh reaction from the US civil society abhorring his pernicious endeavour of grotesque proportion .But, Trump’s malafidies had been exposed to the hilt among people. Even a sizeable number of his supporters in the House, administration and indeed in his staff had been distancing themselves from him leaving him high and dry. The cancellation of Twitter accounts of the sitting US president was the ultimate profanity he indeed asked for.

The playing out of the narcissist mindset could not be starker as he was determined to pursue the crash-and-get tactics reflective of rendering no consideration, whatsoever, to the legitimacy of the means and ends. His compulsive fascist inclination, with no holds barred, was at variance with the democratic optic of the US democracy. The attack of his supporters on the Capitol Hill was the culmination of what he had been projecting all along of his intentions in the eventuality. The political observers were too apprehensive of his playing foul but they could not imagine that he would covertly endorse assaulting on the citadel of US democracy. He proved them wrong by exercising his Trumpian style of misadventure that was in its worst form in this case.

The pouring in of condemnation around the world was seemingly not enough to realize Trump that he had committed near irreparable infliction to the US democracy. He did not regret the gathering of the protestors at Capitol Hill though discounted the violence in a fashion that looked like mere a tainted PR exercise destined to blunt the edge of criticism. His quick statement condemning the violence was also an afterthought meant to control the damage, and also to base his future defence in proceedings against him either in the court or in the Congress or in the people’s court.

The lawmakers across the political divide are reportedly seriously considering to initiating proceedings of impeachment engrossed removing the incumbent president before he embarks upon the abomination to harm democracy including peace and security across the board. The pre-emption is being felt very seriously in the face of Trump’s unpredictability mired in his fixations. Anticipating the gravity of the situation, House Speaker had already spoken to the US Chief of Staff apprising him of the apprehensions. The active consideration at the Capitol Hill to get rid of him at the earliest might not be misplaced. The Democrats are reportedly initiating another impeachment proceeding against President Trump today (Monday).

The 6th of January, 2021, would be, haplessly, deemed as the ‘black day’ of the American democracy when venomous attempt was made by the supporters of President Trump to disrupt the process of constitutional transition of power. He is instrumental of creating mayhem that shell-shocked not only the American public but also the rest of the world. Today, he has been grappling to hold his ground as many of his close aides have already resigned while cascade of such parting of the ways is reportedly in the offing. No wonder, there is serious consideration to oust the president immediately under the 25th amendment as his desperation may tend to harm the country and democracy beyond recognition. It may be mentioned here that the US constitution provides for solution to get rid of such president if found mentally unfit to carry out the duties attached to the coveted office.

Vice President, Mike Pence, indeed made a history as he condemned violence in unequivocal terms without clubbing his president. But, tone and tenor of his condemnation did not seemingly spare Mr. Trump when he said,’ violence does not win, freedom does’. It was widely reported in the media that vice president did not oblige Trump as he unequivocally stood his ground of not going against the constitution. The president reportedly was very disappointed of his VP as he declined to oblige.

muhammadshaheedi@yahoo.com