By Rotimi Bello
It is disheartening that president Trump has finally used his trumped-up mantra of election fraud to incite his fanatically narrow-minded, crude, irredentist supremacist followers to violate and desecrate the US traditional democratic process of affirmation of Electoral College votes. This body comprises the joint session of the congress of the Senators and Member of House of Representatives under the leadership of Vice President (Mike Pence) and the Speaker (Nancy Pelosi) respectively.
The storming of the Capitol (the seat of the US congress in Washington DC) was an insurgency and political assault against the constitutional authority of legislative arms of government, a sacred institution saddled with the constitutional responsibilities of legitimizing elected President’s and Vice President’s (Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) mandate.
This is a strange and unprecedented incident unexpected of US status as the quintessence of constitutional democracy. This singular act battered US towering image globally. The spectacle of the event as portrayed by the CNN showed a nation torn asunder by political pressure instigated by a sitting president to overturn the lost election in his favour. This is nothing but daylight coup d’état and savage insurrection against the state and incoming regime. The situation was orchestrated by a tiny minority of die-hard Republicans from cities and rural areas across the United States. The Capitol was defiled and looted, and some of them even took snapshots in the inner sanctum of the speaker’s office, corridor and congress chamber, praising Trump loudly and claiming that the building belonged to them.
While the crisis was raging, the Turkish President Erdogan issued a statement to condemn the defilement and cheekily warned Turkish citizens in US to avoid Washington and other volatile areas across the US. This statement was issued by the Erdogan to mock the US, a country that prides itself as the best democracy in the world but found itself at the mercy of an obsessive-compulsive, tantrum-throwing political maniac.
Nothing has dented the image of US ego in the recent past like the event of the last few days in Washington, and Trump overzealousness attempt to upset the apple cart without a vestige of sympathy ever since he lost the presidential election to a man he called ‘sleeping’ Joe. Second term presidency is self-actualization for Mr. Trump whose larger than life image and ego have been badly deflated and bruised by the apparent loss which he refuses to accept and believes as the verdict of Americans about his presidency.
The insurgency was well crafted by Trump using the Hitler six tactics of “demonization of the opponents” through his personal attacks on the personality of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He called the Democrat a socialist party to rubbish their image across the US states. When this tactics failed, he resorted to “ruling by executive order”. In the last two months Trump has signed and churned out more than a hundred executive orders. He also “undermined elections” by making allegation of fraud claims when he lost both the popular votes and the Electoral College to his opponent. Then he “makes the rule of law irrelevant” by disobeying court pronouncement of insufficient proof to criminalize the election. Thereafter, he “created crisis” as the last straw in order to “declare state of emergency.” Therefore, Donald Trump and his supporters should be held accountable to face retribution for their insurgency, insurrection and coup attempt against the state.
Strangely, the US citizens did know what to do while the crisis was raging and all past leaders could do was just to comment in condemnation of the action. The Mayor of Washington’s prompt response of deployment of police and security personnel saved the Capitol and the Washington inner city from impending further destruction. The event was similar to what most third world countries always experience from their leaders who behave in autocratic ways to overturn election results.
The glaring political lesson here is that no country, including US, is immuned to the likely emergence of a modern-day dictator like Trump who may likely masquerade themselves with garments of populism and political benevolence to appeal to narrow-minded fierce supporters like the MAGA Maniacs. The saving grace for America is the strong political institutions and non-partisan military and security apparatuses whose loyalty lie with the constitution and not to any king or ruler as was clearly stated by the US Joint Chief of Staff (General Mike A. Milly) sometimes ago when Trump beckoned to him for a possible support to regain his lost presidency.
Not only that, the vehement stand of Democrat party members, the US citizens, the press (specifically CNN unflinching coverage of the event) and the political class of all suasion led by the Vice President Mike Pence and other strong Republicans members who rallied round the constitution against the party’s sentiments of few rapacious members who lend their support to the befouling of US democratic ethos and values to save the US democracy in particular and global democracy in general. The significance of all this unfolding drama to the third world countries and emerging democracy (and Nigeria in particular) is that a nation needs strong apolitical institutions, not strong president. The loyalty of the people should be to the state and constitution and not to oligarchy, president, regional power, ethnicity, traditional rulers, tribe, or clique of individuals.
The second impeachment touted by the Democrat is a good move to humble Mr. Trump and others with similar inclination to the fact that the state is greater and permanent while the government changes periodically. Trump did not only ridicule US democratic values but himself, his family and the Republican Party on which stable and political template he contested the election. This is a bad legacy for GOP; a great political miscalculation that will hunt the party for a long time to come. Similarly, this is a bad way for Trump to end his ever controversial presidency. His last days in office will be miserable as he is being reduce to nothingness in the White House fortres. He has been cutoff and permanently suspended from all major social media, and majority of his appointees have already resigned in solidarity with the state to show that they are aversed to his dictatorial tendencies of incitement and insurrection against the state.
Rotimi S. Bello wrote this piece from Abuja via email@example.com