The clarity of the wrap-up report by the 1/6 Commiittee on December 19 was like a present placed under America’s Christmas tree. In the darkess of winter there was the light of certainrty that an American president had actually orchestrated a coup.
America has been criticized over its near-250 year hidtory for misdeeds and missteps, including the installation of dictatore\s and collusion to foment coups. Never has the beacon of democracy ever tried to overturn its own hard-won system of government, not for a better way of governing but for the simple criminal wiles of on opportunistic grifter intent on keeping the mighty powers of the Office he cornered.
Nobody knows how Donald Trump became president of the US but the whole world knows that bad things happened in the rich West beginning in 2016. Democratic countries were dismayed by the Trump presidency, as were developing countries, immigrants and women worldwide. Britain voting to #Brexit leave the European was a step backward for a global world. Then came Covid to cement the global gloom followed by social turmoil over economic woes in wake of the pandemic. Most unsettling was the American near-coup when Trump lost the next election to Joe Biden.
For two years after that election, Joe Biden rebuilt global democracy while Trump tore it apart at home. The fight for democracy on both fronts was synergistic, one helping the other, a relationship that couldn’t be known until midterm elections in the US.
Russia invaded Ukraine when Trump still had a stranglehold on the country’s conservative Republican party by the bamboozling of an adoring fan base of voters. By assuring global allies that American democracy was strong as ever, Biden solidified support for Ukraine’s fight in defense of democratic values. At home, the 1/6 Committe painstakingly laid out the steps to the sedition that a third of Americans didn’t believe had actually happened. The Committee’s final report with recommendations for judicial actions is now in the hands of the Judicial branch of the American government. For the American people weary at this holiday season, the wrap-up is like a breather after a hurricane has passed.
America has a slew of problems to face in the new year, but it also has many friends around the world ready to share lessons learned from their own experiences with advancing the economic engine of democracy. Perhaps the greatest in kinship is Europe, the ancestral home of America’s forebears.
As a leader in the Western hemisphere, America is a natural magnet for the downtrodden climate and political migrants of its immediate troubled neighbors. Longer term solutions can be pursued with global agencies such as the UN office of Migration, but the immediate big problem is that Americans are overwhelmed. Opportunistic politicians stoke resentment and discord over managing the southern border, leaving the country split and weary. A more uplifting approach to American woes can come from our kinfolk across the Pond defending our noble values.
Europe may be more stodgy than America in many ways, but it is also more stable and secure. European counties have laws to protect people against predators like big corporations stomping on the rights of people-friendly small businesses. Europe also has a healthy gusto for cultural diversity that keeps it lively in the arts that sustain the spirit. Most important of all, Europe knows how to share.
Packed together on a small continent, European countries have benefitted from good times and bad in rivalry with each other. Connected to the other large land masses of Asia, Europe will be of great help to American firms partnering with African countries to extract resources needed for new technologies. And based on experience, Europe can help America tame the megalomaniacal power-grubbers aiming to take ownership of opportunities abounding in the land full of them. Thus, the big takeaway from the American Trump era is a benefit to the entire globalizing world.
Democracy is the economic engine of growth. Democratic values are the moral engines that lead humans toward the unattainable ideal of perfection here on earth. Perfecting that ideal feeds the economic pipeline in a feedback loop manner that keeps evolution humming. To smooth the process, we the people around the world are faced with a big ask.
Like Ukraine demonstrates now with its blood and moral best, democracy as rule by the people is not for the lazy, faint of heart or empty blow-hard. Yes, democracy makes room for the happy worker bees but its survival depends on the active engagement of those interested in promoting good over those who would shake its foundations with threats of harm or with trickery. Good governance calls for good people to carry out up-keep. When threatened, it calls for unity in protecting the national treasure.