Decay of US Empire Threatening Its Fragile Democracy: American Commentator
- January, 14, 2021 - 08:42
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst said the decaying US empire is threatening its already fragile democracy.
“The decay of the US Empire is another threat to an already fragile democracy. Besides the trillions of dollars spent on unnecessary wars, the attitudes and equipment used to enforce the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan are now being used on the streets of the US against demonstrators and those accused of crimes. The blatant hypocrisy of US foreign policy and the lies told by the government to justify their actions have destroyed confidence in the government and the media,” Charles Dunaway told Tasnim in an interview.
Dunaway is an American radio host and journalist who runs an online political forum. After a career as a systems analyst, Charles began a new career in radio journalism, joining the staff of a local station and becoming News Director. In 2016 he began producing his own program focused on international affairs called Wider View.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: A push by Democrats in Congress to impeach Donald Trump for a second time is running into resistance in the US Senate, with senior lawmakers on both sides of the aisle voicing their opposition. Democrats introduced a motion to the House of Representatives on Monday calling on Mike Pence, the vice-president, to strip Trump of his office following last week’s violence by the president’s supporters in Washington. If Pence fails to do so, they plan to vote to impeach Trump later this week, making it likely he would be the first president to be impeached twice. Do Americans support impeaching Trump?
Dunaway: A CNN poll released on January 10 shows that 56% of Americans support impeachment. That’s considerably more than were in favor when he was being impeached over the phone call with the Ukrainian President. The proposed impeachment resolution released today accuses Trump of inciting the riot at the US Capitol on January 6 and also cites his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger asking him to “find” enough additional votes to put Trump in the lead in that state.
The symbolic impact of Trump supporters in wild costumes and waving flags, particularly the Confederate battle flag, was sobering to many Americans who may have been tolerant of Trump and his movement before. That scene, however it is characterized by partisans on either side, was frightening to many Americans.
An impeachment by the House is certainly going to happen this week. Whether the Senate will conduct the Constitutionally-required trial and vote to remove him from office is highly questionable. If convicted in the Senate, the Constitution only provides for the removal of the President from office. He will no longer be in office after January 20 so the process would be pointless after that but may have some political value by giving Mr. Trump his comeuppance.
Tasnim: Americans’ confidence in their democracy has been eroded for years by a system that has, at various junctures, delivered victory to Republican presidents who lost the popular vote, permitted industrial-scale gerrymandering of electoral maps, and is built around a Congress rigged in favor of conservative states. But faith in the conduct of the presidential election itself has collapsed among large numbers of voters amid Donald Trump’s onslaught after he lost November’s presidential election to his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, by a record 7m ballots. Inequality, racism, and polarization ravaged US democracy. Then came Trump. What are your thoughts on this? What do you think about the fragility and vulnerability of western democracy?
Dunaway: I think it is clear at this point that the US is a failed state. The government, being a wholly-owned subsidiary of the corporations and banks, is unable to meet the basic needs of its people or provide modern infrastructure. The root cause is the nation’s Constitution. The American Revolution was not a revolt of its people, it was a revolt of the merchant and landowner class against a remote government that restricted their profits. As a result, the Constitution was primarily designed to protect property, including slaves, and property owners.
We now have a situation where corporations control the political process and Congress. So much money is available to support or defeat individual representatives and senators, that those who step out of line jeopardize their jobs. Laws are often written by corporate lobbyists and designed solely to serve their interests.
The decay of the US Empire is another threat to an already fragile democracy. Besides the trillions of dollars spent on unnecessary wars, the attitudes and equipment used to enforce the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan are now being used on the streets of the US against demonstrators and those accused of crimes. The blatant hypocrisy of US foreign policy and the lies told by the government to justify their actions have destroyed confidence in the government and the media.
The coronavirus pandemic caused unprecedented changes in voting methods and in the process of counting the votes. With President Trump being unable to accept the validity of his loss, his fantasies of fraud amplified by the right-wing media eroded what faith had remained in the political process.
The question now is whether confidence in the political process, the government, and the media can be restored. Clearly, the answer is no. The nation is almost evenly divided by partisanship and any movement by one side will be countered by the other. Any attempt to alter corporate control over the political system or end the Empire will be strongly opposed by those who profit from it. Without those two critical changes, the United States cannot move forward. Like a wounded beast, it will rampage angrily about until something ends its life - war, environmental collapse, or an economic crash.