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Trump is out of office but not out of mind – the legacy lingers

The stench of Donald Trump’s presidency still lingers around the United States of America, dispersing itself on the populous with a dulling effect. It is a rotten, rancid odour that inhabits not only the United States but also the world.

Would-be right-wing dictators are increasingly taking over countries that were once stable democracies. These leaders all have one thing in common: All sought power for themselves under the pretext of improving the lives of the marginalized and the poor.

Democracy is threatened worldwide by authoritarian despots or dictators who deny their people a genuinely democratic vote.

As President Biden recently said:

“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” the President declared. “We do ourselves no favour to pretend otherwise.” He went even further by saying that the Republican party under Trump was “a threat to democracy”. “I’m asking our nation to come together, unite behind the single purpose of defending our democracy regardless of your ideology.”

Even though the first two years of Biden’s presidency have seen many policy advances on climate, infrastructure, and education, the extreme right is intent on accelerating the decline in its democracy. The desire to bring down democracy is more intense now than during the Trump years.

Capitalism hides behind every right-wing leader. It invades their minds and defines them. It becomes the driving force that restricts many aspects of their policies.

Moreover, the accumulation of money has become a mantra of the right-wing leader, and the people vote for them in the mistaken belief that they might share the rewards for their labour.

Climate change denial is characteristic of these right-wing governments. Evangelical churches also have persuasive leverage on people who demand more power for themselves. The right-wing media are also a powerful influence. They don’t want anything affecting commerce and industry. Anything such as climate change is considered counterproductive to the economy and a threat to financial institutions.

The upcoming mid-term elections have become increasingly partisan and violent. People no longer trust their politicians or their institutions, and the press continues its decline in standards. The legitimacy of the courts continues its “long slide.” Decisions made by the government tend to lean towards private enterprises with whom they want close ties, often to the detriment of their citizens.

The United States is facing unprecedented pressure on its democratic norms and institutions. The threat of Trump running again hangs over America. Will he run just to gain another term to prevent an avalanche of prosecutions?

The advance in right-wing authoritarian governments around the world has been remarkable. Although the people have arrested this instability in some countries, the future cannot be assured.



It’s not confined to the USA. The following critique is taken from an article be in the New York Times; “How Democracy Is Under Threat Across the Globe” (paywalled):

Australia: Australia has recently shrugged off an authoritarian Prime Minister in Scott Morrison. With a streak of Trumpism in his character Morrison’s lying matched Trump, as did his corrupt ways. After three terms, the electorate said enough was enough.

Kenya: Once considered one of Africa’s most stable democracies, it is in periodic turmoil.

Sri Lanka: The President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, recently resigned but handed power to an ally as his replacement; that ally later formally became President.

Hungary: Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban declared in 2014 that The new state that we are building is illiberal.

Since then, Mr Orban, who casts himself at the forefront of the global populist right, has retooled the courts, the Constitution and voting rules in ways that have cemented his power.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro, who praises Donald J. Trump as a political model, has long criticized Brazil’s democratic institutions as corrupt. He has also spoken fondly of the country’s right-wing military dictatorship, which ruled from 1964 to 1985.

The Philippines: The new President is the son of President Marcos, a former dictator of the Philippines. His vice president, Sara Duterte, is Mr Duterte’s daughter. For six years, the Philippines saw political rivals and critical journalists jailed; the widespread dissemination of pro-Duterte disinformation and a wave of vigilante police violence left thousands dead.

India: Under Narendra Modi, India’s right-wing prime minister since 2014, the country has seen a sharp rise in extreme Hindu nationalism, often backed by his government’s allies; his policies have divided Indian society.

Pakistan is in turmoil. Supreme Court ruling on July 26 overturned earlier precedent and ordered the election of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, an ally of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, to the chief minister.

Turkey: In his nearly 20 years in power, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has remade Turkish democracy into a vessel for his own personal authority. Once seen as a liberalizing force, Mr Erdogan has curtailed political freedoms and centralized power so drastically that he is widely seen as a dictator.

Poland: Poland was once a shining light for Eastern Europe’s success. Poland now faces deep political polarization. It railed against the European Union, questioning whether Polish leaders uphold the rule of law. Its independent judiciary and media have been subordinated.

El Salvador: This tiny Central American country had established a fragile democracy in the wake of its wrenching civil war, which ended in 1992 but created wounds that are still healing.

A young outsider, Nayib Bukele, won the presidency in 2019, promising change. However, he curbed fundamental rights, purged judges, jailed thousands with little due process, and deployed the army in what he called an emergency measure to fight crime.

Venezuela: Once South America’s oldest democracy and wealthiest economy, Venezuela has collapsed into an economic disaster zone; many of the population are hungry and ruled under what is widely considered a dictatorship.

Democracy scholars often hold up the country as a representation of how democracies tend to decline today. The leader who oversaw much of this decline, the leftist firebrand Hugo Chávez, died in 2013. His successor, Nicolás Maduro, has led deadly crackdowns on protesters and asserted forceful control over the courts and legislature.

The Czech Republic and Slovenia: When the populist outsider and billionaire media tycoon Andrej Babis became the prime minister of the Czech Republic in 2017, there were fears he might follow the path created by Mr Orban in Hungary toward arch-conservative illiberalism. As nearby Slovenia elected its right-wing populist, concerns arose about a bloc of nations that might break the European Union from within.

Democracy is a form of governance that has served us well, giving us freedom and a form of self-government that enables us to live peacefully with every individual assumed equal under the law. It is far from perfect, and of late, these faults have been highlighted by bad leadership.

With few exceptions, the enemies of liberal democracies worldwide have been successfully promoting their extreme right-wing ideology. They have:

“… exploited our institutions’ shortcomings, distorting national politics to promote hatred, violence, and lust for unbridled power.”

The authoritarian model “will prevail” if the world’s true democracies cannot work together to help guarantee freedom for all people.

My thought for the day

The Liberal Party has always been a party of elites and would-bes. The idea that economics and society are intertwined is abhorrent to them. Economics is the domain of the wealthy and privileged, and culture belongs to those of class and privilege.


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  1. Terence Mills

    At the present time Republican Governors are chartering aircraft and flying asylum seekers out of Texas and Florida into Democratic heartland including Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts) and Delaware and then dumping them as blatant and cynical political posturing.

    This is people trafficking and is unlawful.

    Of course this is applauded by Trump and his MAGA mobs.

  2. Phil Pryor

    In a perversion of an old song, the PONG has ended but the MALADY lingers on, the sickness of forthright greed, selfishness, vanity, posing and supremacist egofixated fools ruining politics simply because it is open to loudmouthed careerists to dominate by class, networking, controls, media allies, financial parasites, military maggots, bandwagon bullies, cynics and hypocrites. It was easy and the old fascists showed that a state can be rotted out from within, monarchies or democracies alike. Those who might have discarded Adolf and Josef and all the other swine, have learned, copied, admired. The shit has become the political food for dictatorial types to forcefeed the people everywhere. Eat this, they say, and obey, believe, fight!!! If only Trump the Superturd could be rapidly reduced to a Bunnings Bag for the roses.

  3. Ross

    The giveaway is the book burning. The Fourth Reich is America and it’s waiting impatiently for the Fuhrer to rise from the ashes of its domestic neoliberal ruin and make America great again.

  4. Canguro

    Copy & paste is all well and good, and makes for easy filling of white space on pages, but it doesn’t excuse the primary requirement of any author to validate the accuracy of the information. Failure to do so just lands the exercise in those invidious quarters known contemptuously as ‘fake news’.

    The New York Times article, excerpted above, is such an example.

    Australia: After almost a decade, Australia has recently shrugged off an authoritarian Prime Minister in Scott Morrison. With a streak of Trumpism in his character Morrison’s lying matched Trump, as did his corrupt ways. After three terms, the electorate said enough was enough.

    Do you see the problem here?

    The implication that Morrison was Prime Minister for nearly a decade, three terms?

    He wasn’t of course. He became PM on the 24th August 2018, and served in that role for less than four years.

    The first error is that committed by a NYT journalist. The second by the author of this essay.

    A bit more attention to accuracy would alleviate the necessity of readers having to point out the flaw in the primary post.

  5. Michael Taylor

    I didn’t notice that, Canguro. I’ll delete the first few words.

  6. Andrew J. Smith

    A major issue is the benign influence of the US not had during the Trump administration, but offering support to other authoritarians. Also authoritarianism or dictatorship seem to go with libertarian laws or attitudes to business and related elites vs. everybody else who are subjected to the ‘rule of law’. Chile of Pinochet was a good example, using the same Austrian/Chicago School of libertarian economists, Christian conservatism and the violence of military/security services for the dictatorship.

    Related PBS Frontline (on YouTube) has an excellent doco series related to Trump with the feature being ‘Lies, Politics and Democracy (full documentary) | FRONTLINE’. As disturbing as Trumps dictatorial traits were and still are, was and is the behaviour of GOP Reps who seem terrified or intimidated by him e.g. during Presidential Primaries, Ted Cruz, his wife and father were publicly humiliated by Trump yet Cruz later rolled over and supported Trump….

  7. RoadKillCafe

    Far too much of Scotland’s finest to be doing this, nevertheless, felt I needed to share my amusement. Here we are on the edge of mass extinction and the subjects we find to divert ourselves is truly impressive. Thankyou all, yes, I know, broken record, but ya gotta larf.

  8. Fred

    RKC: keep sticking the oar in. Repetition, repetition, repetition … and eventually it sinks in. Good about Origin and Beetaloo, bad that is being divested to Tamboran Resources Limited. Really bad about Santos and the Great Artesian Basin. The list of eco travesties is long and needs ventilation – knock yourself out.

  9. RoadKillCafe

    Sorry, Michael for late reply, a surprising sherry cask Glen Moray. I found it very tasty.

  10. john Lord

    Canguro You are correct. It does seem to imply what you suggest. My slip up so my apologies.

  11. Harry Lime

    The Trumpster,AKA the Orange Fuckwit, will spend the rest of his rotten life defending criminal charges; he’s going to run out of ill gotten money,and friends of convenience.Let the avalanche of previous lies bury him for good,and let it be now.

  12. Canguro

    @John Lord [September 22, 2022 at 7:23 am]

    All good, thanks John. I once spent a lazy but well-paid year working in the head office of a major Korean bank in downtown Seoul; the only foreigner amongst 1400 staff. My duties, ostensibly were to be a proof-reader and general English language fixit guy on call as needed. More often than not I wasn’t, hence to reference to the lazy year. It had its upsides – long lunches with the office colleagues, watching them get fish-eyed on Soju after two bottles – Asians have far less of the enzyme ADH (Alcohol dehydrogenase) than westerners, hence their ready drunkenenss – but that aside, my lack of being called to action saw me forgoing a second year in the role and I went back to ESL teaching.

    The thing that remains is a relatively acute sense of how written English scans and reads. Apologies for the pedantic response earlier.

  13. paul walter

    No cavills here.


  14. pkwisdom

    Meaning of Constitution of Pakistan and what is the Article of 95 in Pakistan law .
    Article 95 of the Constitution of Pakistan is the provision that empowers the President of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly (the lower house of the Parliament of Pakistan) on the advice of the Prime Minister. This power is also known as the “President’s power of dissolution.” Under this article, the President can dissolve the National Assembly if a situation arises in which the government is unable to function or if the Prime Minister loses the confidence of the National Assembly. Once the National Assembly is dissolved, new elections must be held within 90 days.
    Read More About Constitutional of Pakistan

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