It was hardly just Americans watching the fiasco of an impeachment in their senate last week. Canadians were only a small part of the international community watching the events. You can easily imagine the hourly reports arriving on the desks of Xi Jinping in Beijing and Vladimir Putin in Moscow. You can just see the smiles on their faces as the impeachment trial of Donald Trump proves to the world that American democracy does not work.
The Trump presidency showed the world that American democracy is reserved for the rich and privileged. It proves that the American president can lie about anything. It shows that he can foment insurrection, send mobs to murder his vice-president and his republican party will still back him.
It leaves president Joe Biden with an almost impossible task. Biden has just two years of a slim majority in the U.S. congress to help restore democracy in America. In two years, Trump will be behind the drive for the republicans to take back the congress. The former president and his rich friends will once again buy back the congress. They will leave Biden as the abandoned democrat.
Biden can hardly use the Trump tactics of presidential decree to remove all of the harm that Trump has done. All that would do is prove that Trump was right. Biden needs to demonstrate that even a divided congress can back him. He has to get congress to support his American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion attempt to fast track the American economy as the country, hopefully, emerges from the pandemic.
It would have helped if the republicans in the senate had been revolted by Trump planning and executing the attack on congress. Those men and women were under attack by Trump’s mob, the same as the vice-president, and yet they still chose to support him. They might as well hang a sign on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour: Democracy is Dead in America.
Something to celebrate: It is Hazel McCallion’s birthday today. The former mayor of Mississauga, Ontario is 100 years old.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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