If Donald Trump had succeeded in destroying US democracy, Putin might have already invaded Ukraine – Scotsman comment
As a Russian army remains massed on the Ukrainian border, negotiations between Washington and Moscow are due to take place from Monday.
But what if the US administration taking part in those talks was not led by the democratically elected president, Joe Biden? What if Donald Trump had succeeded in his efforts to stay in power despite his defeat?
Yesterday, on the anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, Biden condemned his predecessor for becoming the first US president in history to refuse to accept an election result.
“I did not seek this fight, brought to this Capitol one year from today. But I will not shrink from it either. I will stand in this breach, I will defend this nation. I will allow no-one to place a dagger at the throat of this democracy,” he said.
Trump supporters attacked the Capitol shortly after attending a rally at which he told them, “… if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore”, and then moments later added, “we're going to the Capitol, and we're going to try and give... our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country”.
He then returned to the White House and watched on television as his supporters smashed their way into the building, attacking police officers and ransacking offices.
Had some Republicans – like then vice-president Mike Pence and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state, who refused Trump’s request to “find 11,780 votes” so he could win the swing state – not taken a stand for democracy, events just might have turned out differently.
But as Republican Liz Cheney warned, “too many in my own party are embracing the former president, are looking the other way or minimising the danger… that's how democracies die”, a point echoed by ex-president Barack Obama.
If American democracy is ever allowed to die, dictators the world over would be emboldened, crushing humans rights with impunity, and there would be little to stop Putin’s tanks from rolling into Kiev, Tallinn, Riga and more on the way to building a deeply sinister and tyrannical new empire.
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