The decline of American democracy, not likely to be halted anytime soon

By Ivory Phillips

When an anonymous article appeared in the New York Times last week many became optimistic that the sure decline of American democracy as we have come to know it under Donald Trump would soon end. This was because the anonymous writer indicated that he/she was part of a resistance group inside the White House that was working to prevent many of Trump’s worse ideas and policies from being expressed or implemented; that they are working to protect American democracy and American interests.

What careful observers can note, however, is that much of the same, in terms of expressions and actions, keeps emerging. They also note that the so-called resistance group is likely to be less effective if not completely crushed, since its exposure, and that Trump’s core supporters are not moved, and may become even more determined to uphold him in his worse actions.

In addition to those possibilities, there are other factors that make it difficult to halt the decline of American democracy anytime soon.

(1) Thousands, if not millions, are hopeful and pinning their hopes on there being a “blue wave” that transforms the U.S. house and perhaps even the senate to Democratic control. While the writer hopes that is the case and urges all who are dissatisfied with Trump and Trumpism to get out and do whatever is necessary to bring about that positive change, it is no sure thing. The Republicans may maintain control of one or both houses of congress. As long as more state governments are controlled by Republicans the integrity of the electoral process is not guaranteed; and as long as Russian leaders freely operate to influence American elections the outcome can be questionable. Furthermore, if the Republicans lose in the mid-term elections they have a clear path to getting things overturned. If the Democrats lose there is much less of a clear path for redress or getting things overturned. Republicans have the Supreme Court on their side as well as the power of the executive and the majority of the current, sitting congress. Democrats have neither.

(2) If the Republicans keep control of congress, there is little to no chance that there will be any serious investigations of corruption, wrong-doing or voting irregularities. Everything will be swept under the rug and democratic rule will decline further into one-party, if not complete dictatorial rule.

(3) Despite who controls the senate and the house, there is a good likelihood that Trump will likely ignore any subpoenas from congress, the courts or the Mueller team of investigators. Not only that, he would probably attempt to pardon himself and any of his henchmen, if and when they are exposed. In all of these endeavors, Trump may have the backing of the Supreme Court.

(4) Despite the make-up of the congress, Trump could continue to rule through executive orders, depending upon the Supreme Court to uphold the orders, no matter how bad they are.

(5) Although many people are depending upon the Mueller report to guide what happens with the Trump administration, his lawyers are already exploring ways to prevent the report from being issued. With the backing of the Supreme Court they may get away with that. (Of course, the report could be leaked to the press and/or it could be brought up later if and when there is a change in congress and/or the presidency.)

(6) The Supreme Court is extremely crucial in most of these matters because it will perhaps be the arbiter in most cases. It becomes even more of a crisis since there appears to be no easy way to even get around the fact that appointments to the court have and will continue to be made on the basis of helping Mr. Trump obstruct justice. These judges will only be able to be removed through impeachment, which requires a two-thirds vote in congress.

(7) The other Constitutional way to deal with Trump as a president who has engaged in corruption, obstruction of justice and treason is through impeachment. But impeachment requires a majority vote in the house and a two-thirds majority vote in the senate. Needless to say, it is a very tall order to get that many senators to vote for impeachment, even if the Democrats take control of both houses in 2018 or 2020.

When all of this is considered, the writer reaches three conclusions. The first is that citizens all over the country must mount a campaign to get out to vote and see that all of their friends, relatives and acquaintances vote AND monitorthe count following the close of the polls. After all, we should not just give up and play dead. The second conclusion is that the people must be willing to alter or abolish the present government and establish a new government that will fairly and adequately protect their human rights. The third conclusion is that without either of the first two being effective, the decline of American democracy is not likely to be altered anytime soon.

This article provided by NewsEdge.