30 June 2022
If there is something which as a function of its Deep State America has shown to possess, it is this sense of justice, a sense of right and a sense of closure, enmeshed into its polity, forcing it to undertake upheavals of the present, however unsettling it may be, to secure an unknown future. One watched the Americans turn the corner after 9/11, setting up a Congressional Committee that went into how their vaunted system had failed them. It is a subject of pulp fiction, movies, docudramas and more. What was clear was the American desire to do all that it took within its power to ensure that such a day as 9/11 would never happen again… So when DHS, draconian changes to cargo screening at container docks, air port security drills, the new TSA locks for check in luggage came in, it seemed overkill to many. Yet the change was embraced, its encumbrances were taken on lightly, and the world seemed to accept that this was what American Resolve was all about.
So I watch with equal keenness to see if the Americans who were visibly shaken over 6 January when they witnessed insurgents storm their Capitol and almost decapitate their legislature, with calls to ‘Hang Pence’, how the polity now clearly divided would go forward. The turning point is not how Trump’s attempts to destroy records failed, or how his aides attempts to dilute or discredit testimonies surrounding the events leading up to storming of the Capitol, or the general posturing the Republican Party adopted after the events, ( grudgingly declaring that it was unfortunate, but quite unwilling to condemn the perpetrators or identity Trump and his aides as their promoters), it is the Congressional Hearings. In this regard the latest testimony from the White House staffer who was an aide to Mark Meadows the Chief of Staff in the Trump Administration, Ms Hutchinson is perhaps the first that clearly laid threadbare the evidence of what most of us know.
Until now, most of evidence against the former President was conjecture or circumstantial, for the first time, we have direct evidence in form of a testimony under oath that of Ms Cassidy Hutchinson. It is a game changer in many ways, for it could open the doors for further such testimonies from staffers much closer to the Oval Office, or could goad the Committee to summon more senior aides of the POTUS at that time. Ms Hutchinson laid in her testimony clear understanding of the Trump Administration’s omissions and commissions. Of course we will not go so far for now to suggest that Trump plotted all of this. Yet, we cannot go away from this either that Trump had more than an inkling of what was happening and what was going to happen, including possible endangerment of members of the Congress, including his VP. The testimony offers glimpses of how within the White House Trump’s own camp was split three ways, how his daughter Ivanka led a camp that wanted the Presidency to act more and swiftly, while Meadows, ( her boss) shifted from blame gamer to middler opting to wait and watch. Such is the prosecutorial view, that this testimony opens the path for prosecuting President Trump for criminal offences all the way up to ‘Insurrection’!
It is early days even now, more than a year after the infamous events that blackened American Democracy that almost threatened to overturn their Constitutional Government. What is important to underscore even now is how ordinary Americans irrespective of their political affiliations in a hotly contested electoral joust, still managed to hold on to their Constitutional Mandate. These included County electoral officers of Republican denomination. Governors of Republican States like Georgia and its Secretary of State, stood up to Trump rather that fold. That is how though perilous it hung, American tryst with Democracy was not doomed, living to fight another day.
Just how impressed one is by that which has come to pass will be determined by exactly how the Americans can bring ‘closure’ to their 6 January Insurrection. Will going after Trump as a criminal conspirator be right? Would it be better to prosecute him for dereliction of duty for which evidence is pile high? Ultimately how will America achieve closure would be directly proportional to the fate of Trump.
Make no mistake. Like how the Shakespearean Caesar played out, the place of power and the ploys men(women) plot and their denouement cements polity. As the Romans discovered, their notions of democracy were premature when confronted by persona such as Caesar. Such has been Trump’s unsettling presence in American democracy that it faces an equal challenge. In Turkey, Mr Erdogan, in India, Mr Modi, in Bangladesh, Ms Sheikh Haseena, in Sri Lanka Mr Rajapakshe, are not contemporaries of Mr Trump, yet they were undeniably deep admirers of his craft and sought to bring his context to their native politics. In Britain the Brexiteers were in Trump’s camp. So by extension, the global democratic system has been under inordinate influence of one person. Therefore logic suggests that what fate befalls him would end up as a cautionary tale for the larger democratic world. Indirectly America would be offering lessons through her actions. Hope America holds up and delivers closure! That would be a day, democracy and rule of law could hold her proud!