Increasingly, political figures and commentators are replacing the standard words involved in political discourse, ‘our nation’ or ‘our country’, with the words our democracy. This is the magic bullet intended to clinch every argument about Russian interference. While internet capers can hardly be compared to kinetic attacks, several prominent figures have not hesitated to compare the damage supposedly done to the 2016 election as the equivalent of Pearl Harbor (seriously!). Increasingly, public figures are replacing the word ‘elections’, which identifies a specific act that should involve all adult citizens, with the word ‘democracy’, which each individual can color as he sees fit, elevating it alongside ‘nation’ or ‘country’ to convince voters that an abstract idea is more important than the free health care that it fails to deliver.
For months now, the most celebrated law professors have been hedging their bets as to whether this or that accusation against the President could conceivably lead to impeachment (the trial by Congress which is the remedy for wayward political figures), or an indictment, which send criminals to court. Until this week, both had been presented as unlikely for President Trump, even as analysts seek to imagine by-ways through which either could occur.
Yesterday, those by-ways were revealed with the sworn testimony of President Trump’s lawyer (in reality, his ‘fixer’), that he paid hush money to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump upon the President’s request. Aside from confirming peccadillos that until now had been only rumors, if the payments were explicitly ordered by the candidate, he could be charged with making illegal contributions to his own campaign, to silence accusers of moral wrong-doing just days before the 2016 election.
The cases of these two women have occupied the news for months, their brilliant lawyer now considering a run for president in 2020. However, it is only now that suppositions and rumor have become flashing red lights, the fixer, Michael Cohen, having testified to a federal court that he was ordered to make these payments by ‘a candidate’.
The sudden ‘rush to judgement’ is also linked to the November mid-term elections, which are widely expected to ‘flip’ both houses of congress to the Democrats. If that happens, voices that have hitherto remained background noise will suddenly dominate the airwaves, whether that of a black woman who rose to fame through ‘The Apprentice’ and has tapes of the President using ‘the n word’, or Tom Steyer, a Democratic billionaire whose months-long campaign for impeachment may finally be taken seriously as politicians evaluate their chances of being re-elected.
I have been writing for several years that Trump is likely to resign. People should be aware that if this happens, Trump’s well-armed base is likely to take to the streets, flanked and perhaps organized by Alt-Right Militias, while the Anti-Fa (anti-fascists) pick up where pro-testers against the 1968 Democratic Convention left off in 1968. (At the fiftieth anniversary of the violent events historians are beginning to recognize that eft-wing youth were clubbed and pepper-sprayed by Chicago police to enable the Democratic Party to continue to reject any idea of socialism.
The current references to ‘our Democracy’ are intended to prolong 1968 in the face of world-wide recognition of neo-liberalism’s abject failure. Attempts to blame Russia for the results of a democratic election that swept an ignorant populist to power serve two purposes: maintaining the illusion that ‘democracy’ works, and designating an enemy for the next step in the 1%’s takeover of the world, before it elopes into outer space with Elon Musk.
Deena Stryker is an international expert, author and journalist that has been at the forefront of international politics for over thirty years, exlusively for the online journal “New Eastern Outlook”.