Trump’s presidency is coming to an end. With which the narrative about its supposed populism, authoritarianism, enemy of democracy and the republic, neo-fascist, adversary of press freedom and human rights, and many other similar characterizations should conclude.
The parallels and equivalences with Chávez, Castro, Mussolini, Putin and whatever autocrat has ever ruled will also give us a break. That there have been few in history, by the way. A pearl that illustrates the point was that of The Economist in February 2017: “A Peronist in the Potomac.” I quote it only because of the absurd extemporaneity.
From journalism, then, but also in academia, literary essays, NGOs and other pulpits, not to mention social networks, thousands of pages and hours of air time were wasted with the script that “democracies succumb to leaders like Trump ”; “Trumpism is authoritarianism”; “The United States is in a pre-authoritarian scenario”, and many more similar pronouncements.
Namely, that he was going to break the normal sequence of constitutional democracy, that he appointed like-minded judges in the Supreme Court to remain illegitimately, that he was not going to hand over power in the event of an adverse outcome and other similar predictions with little evidence and analytical logic. but with a lot of free association. If not of irresponsibility; let the reader choose the language and the most “creative” place on the planet on this topic.
The point is that three institutional decisions of the current post-electoral stage dismissed any dispute, ratifying the end date of Trump’s presidency, according to the constitutional calendar, and exposing the myth of his dictatorship. The reality is that everything is happening as planned and without any trauma..
On Friday, December 11, the Supreme Court rejected a complaint from the Texas Minister of Justice (Attorney General) that sought to block millions of votes in four states in which Biden won. The motion sought to invalidate the results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin. The court order was issued unanimously.
This is how the way was paved for the Colleges to meet on Monday 14 Electoral. State by state, the process lasted all day, beginning with New Hampshire at 10am and ending with Hawaii. In it, Biden’s victory over Trump was confirmed by 306-232 voters. With the votes certified and sent to the Senate, the Electoral College was dissolved until 2024.
The third institutional fact carries a special political significance. On Tuesday 15, Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican majority, spoke in the Senate. He congratulated President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, both of his colleagues in the Senate at different times. He highlighted the many years that Biden dedicated to public life, while praising the “great achievements” of Trump in his presidency.
With this, the most important Republican Senator, the great conservative legislative strategist of the South, paves the way for the last two links in the institutional chain: the confirmation of the Electoral College vote in Congress on January 6 and the inauguration of two weeks then.
Note, the arch-conservative judges Trump himself appointed left him without legal backing. His party gave the blessing to the opposition President-elect. Rutilant demonstration of separation and independence of the powers of the State, the Founding Fathers would be proud. Not only is there a separation of powers, but it is stronger than any party ideology and identity.
That certainly does not look like a dictatorship or any of the characterizations used and abused without evidence. The most compelling evidence in this regard is “on the contrary”: the Supreme Court ruling and the words of Senator Mitch McConnell. Ignoring all this and being left alone with the rhetoric of the “Trumpian utopia”, which has been clearly illiberal, is pure myopia.
The speech, which matters, matters less than the actions of government. If not, Obama’s rhetoric on immigration, for example, would be enough to hide that he deported more people than Trump. Myths tend to spread quite easily.
Democratic stability also does not depend on the conviction of a president, which helps if he has it, but is based on institutions that set the parameters of what the government can do and not do. It is that at a minimum power seduces and at a maximum it corrupts. The temptation to stay longer than stipulated, and thus erode these institutional boundaries, is always important. In Latin America there are plenty of examples in this regard.
It is not Trump, however, at least so far in the United States, the most salient example of that “not wanting to leave.” In fact, the only one in history who stayed longer than he should was Roosevelt, four terms. The Democratic Party considers him the best president in history but the truth is that he forced to make explicit the until then unwritten rule that sets a maximum of two terms in the White House, the 22nd amendment.
Ultimately, the United States is the same old nation. A democracy that misrepresents and chooses through a system that cycle after cycle reproduces and deepens polarization, whether there has been fraud or not. By the way, only 40,000 votes that would have gone to Trump instead of Biden in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin would have reelected him.
The Founding Fathers would have been proud of it too. To neutralize sheer majority rule and avoid its most dangerous deviation — the “tyranny of the majority,” in James Madison’s exquisite metaphor — is that the Electoral College exists.
And all this together with a solid republic, precisely, where the Constitution rules through its interpreters, the judges, and the political power obeys. Difficult perpetuation, stark populism, fascism and dictatorship in this institutional framework. And that’s the lesson for doomsayers around the world.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.