Vladimir Putin was a young KGB officer, stationed in Dresden, then part of the communist German Democratic Republic, in late 1989. At that time, he looked on in despair at the unstoppable events of Eastern Europe throwing off its communist yolk and the subsequent final death throes of the Soviet empire. The West had won the Cold War.
Washington, with ample help from London, had secured the triumph of the Anglo-American post-War model – individual freedom, free trade, and democracy, backed up with the guarantors of NATO and the growing European Union in Western Europe. It was a Soviet defeat that left a lasting impression upon Putin.
Fast forward 31 years to 2020. January 31 st to be exact. That same Putin, post-communist Russia’s autocrat-in-chief, looks on with glee in his eye as two further events roll out before him. The UK finally departs the European Union, fundamentally weakening the structure - a long
held aspiration of Putin’s Russia. Across the Atlantic, Republicans in the Senate finally confirm their place in infamy by refusing to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Putin’s eyes are so full of joy
because he is seeing the irreversible decline of the Western post-War experiment in democracy and freedom descend further into the mire.
Putting aside the UK’s Brexit woes, recent events in the impeachment hearing of Trump have served only to confirm to us what we already knew. And that is the Republican party has absolutely, lock, stock and
barrel sold its soul to Trump. Like some ghoulish first dance at a zombie wedding, they waltz with him as he waltzes with them. McConnell, Graham, Paul et al never had the remotest intention of holding Trump to account – hence the visceral objection to having witnesses called.
What they are however concerned about holding on to are their Senate seats. And to do that, they need to keep Trump’s ruby-red “base” as sweet as possible. So, here’s to electoral expediency and to hell with truth, justice
and doing the right thing.
The fact that Trump is a stone-cold sober bet to be acquitted by the Senate in coming days is the biggest proof yet that the Republican party, and Trump, only care about the Republican party and Trump. They simply don’t give two hoots as to the country at large, America’s
international standing and prestige and, quite brazenly, the law and truth.
Trump is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they devised the impeachment process. No man, including the President, is above the law. To deny that is to par the President on a level with the very same monarch that the American colonies fought to overthrow in the Revolution.
Trump is an ignorant, racist, misogynistic and xenophobic wannabe- autocrat. The Constitution is only important to him in that it exclusively serves his purpose. If he doesn’t like it, such as his call to change the First Amendment, guaranteeing free speech, because the press said
“mean things” about him, he will put it on his long list of perpetual, simmering resentments.
Heaven help us all if this fraud of a President gets a second term in office. All bets will be off as to how far Trump will then go. If you thought his first four years were bad enough, you won’t have seen anything yet.
Despite the pending acquittal of Trump by his GOP lickspittle buddies in the Senate, it still needs to be said loud, proud and over and over again – his conduct with Ukraine (alone) was undoubtedly in the “high crimes
and misdemeanors” category. His actions were absolutely unbecoming of the Presidency and in direct contravention of the principle that American Presidents (and politicians) should not be in any way reliant on foreign / overseas powers.
That was a fundamental, guiding principle that drove the Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Great Republic. Trump has trampled rough-shod all over that principle, with Ukraine, Russia and no doubt others yet to be discovered. That the Senate GOP are content to allow him to do that, and seemingly go on doing that, is to their eternal shame.
Trump is paving the way for the Presidency becoming an American tv- reality pseudo-monarchy, with scant regard for due process and democratic norms. Trump’s speeches, if they can be called that, are noticeably devoid of the very word “democracy” – something that every
other prior President has been keen to utter when they can.
And guess who else rarely if ever mentions the word democracy?