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Trump’s democracy

Jul 02,2019 - Last updated at Jul 02,2019

US President Donald Trump’s contempt for democratic rights recently became a subject of debate. Trump has run a transactional foreign policy based on his understanding of mutual benefit. 

This kind of policy is anchored in his strong belief that the United States should turn inward so that it can maintain its greatness. For this reason, many observers point out that President Trump is not concerned about human rights violations in the world.

If you examine Trump’s Tweets and speeches, you cannot but notice that his Tweets, in style and content, are off for an American president. Put differently, it is the language of populism. Of course, there is nothing more threatening to democracy than populism. The American press is full of articles addressing the president’s disdain for democracy and liberties in general.

As a president of the strongest nation on this planet, he failed to live up to the American ideals and values when he did not see the alleged Russian interference in the last US presidential election as a problem. For a long time, the president has kept defending the Russians, accusing his opponents in the United States of spreading fake news. He once said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was better than former president Barack Obama. Let us also not forget the way he talked about the Korean president. Instead of standing up for American values, Trump praised the Korean president, saying that he sent him beautiful letters!

Implicit in Trump’s style is the president’s Machiavellian instinct. In his dealing with foreign leaders, Trump looks for opportunities to gain economic and financial rewards for his country. On various occasions, President Trump made it perfectly clear that he sought other countries to pay for the United States.

His disdain for democracy surfaced one more time when he recently joked with Putin asking him not to meddle in US elections. The editorial article of the Washington Post on June 28 reads: “When it comes to American democracy, the attack on the presidential election in 2016 is no joking matter, and no mystery. Russia’s military intelligence service stole campaign e-mails and leaked them to help candidate Donald Trump, while streams of incendiary social media posts and online ads were paraded before American voters. After all that, Mr Trump on Friday kissed off the concerns, once again.” Of course, President Trump is most likely to snub the editorial article and to underscore his accusations of the media for spreading “fake news”.

It remains to be seen whether President Trump is going to get reelected. Yet, he does not seem worried if his reelection will come at the expense of democracy itself. In brief, the American democracy is the victim of the style and content of what the American president says and does.

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