Trump’s long arm threatens democracy in the United States

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Loaded with disinformation, supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol a year ago. Believing that it was not Joe Biden, but their husband had won, they tried by force to get their representatives to destroy the outcome of the election.

Now, twelve months later, it’s clear that this wasn’t a random mess, automatically triggered by a speech by Trump. Hearings of the so-called “select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol” show that the attack was discussed by several protesters weeks ago. That senior Trump officials participated in the preparation of it. The committee will publish its findings this year.

What’s painfully clear is that whatever these results are, some Americans don’t want to believe them. Because the storming of the Capitol did not unite the United States – as one might expect after a major and shocking national event that struck the heart of democracy.

exactly the contrary. The lie that Trump has been robbed of his presidency has taken root: 71 percent of Republicans believe Biden was not legally elected. Even more alarming, nearly a third of independent voters think so. 74 million Americans voted for Republicans.

Also worrisome, the lie has taken over the Republican Party. Conservatives who do not support the Trump line are marginalized. They are treated as dissidents. We realize that they have no chance of being re-elected without a declaration of support from the former president. In November, elections to the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate seats.

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Even more worryingly, Republicans are making legal attempts to influence future election outcomes. Steps have been taken in nineteen states to limit the right to vote: voting by mail – according to Trump “dangerous” – is no longer possible, the number of polling stations has been reduced, registration rolls have been cleaned up, but voters have not. They were told that they had to register again as a result. This particularly affects those who vote for the Democratic Party given their background.

In a number of states – the republic – it is organized that the incumbent majority party can determine the outcome of the election. This makes voting meaningless. A Vikings baseball helmet and bat are no longer necessary as democracy is eroding.

It is a shame that a party lends itself to this. In a healthy democracy, the loser would ask himself what went wrong, and how to convince voters in the next election. In a healthy democracy, the public interest always comes first, and democracy certainly does.

The United States is no longer seen by many as a model country, but it is often followed. When the United States sanctioned torture with the opening of Guantanamo Bay, other less democratic nations saw it as encouraging. Trump’s attacks on the media have also been repeated. The term “fake news” is used even by Dutch politicians.

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Developments in the United States should be of concern to all. Hopefully, the way America promotes democratic values ​​in the world will not be permanently damaged.

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