Monday , March 8 2021
Home / Project Syndicate / Truth and De-Trumpification

Truth and De-Trumpification

Summary:
After four years of outright corruption, norm busting, and democratic decay, the United States cannot simply move on or act as though Donald Trump's presidency was a fluke. Without a process to ensure a truthful record of history and accountability for wrongdoers, the risk of repetition is too high. BERLIN – Among Democrats and many Republicans, there is a great temptation to dismiss US President Donald Trump’s administration as a bizarre aberration. Just as Republicans may try to blame the many transgressions of the past four years on Trump, hoping that their enabling role is quickly forgotten, Democrats might want to make a show of observing democratic norms, by graciously refraining from litigating the past. If

Topics:
Jan-Werner Mueller considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Global Economic Intersection Analysis Blog Feed writes Everything Is Broken

Tyler Cowen writes The new phrenology?

[email protected] (B. H.) writes Historians and Economic Historians in Conversation

Tyler Cowen writes Saturday assorted links

After four years of outright corruption, norm busting, and democratic decay, the United States cannot simply move on or act as though Donald Trump's presidency was a fluke. Without a process to ensure a truthful record of history and accountability for wrongdoers, the risk of repetition is too high.

BERLIN – Among Democrats and many Republicans, there is a great temptation to dismiss US President Donald Trump’s administration as a bizarre aberration. Just as Republicans may try to blame the many transgressions of the past four years on Trump, hoping that their enabling role is quickly forgotten, Democrats might want to make a show of observing democratic norms, by graciously refraining from litigating the past. If so, should Joe Biden prevail when all votes in the November 3 election are counted, Trump and his administration are unlikely to be held accountable for their egregious record of corruption, cruelty, and violations of basic constitutional principles.

Quite apart from political calculations, many observers – from former Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang to distinguished jurists and historians – have argued that only tin-pot dictatorships pursue their vanquished opponents. With all-too-obvious motives of his own, US Attorney General Bill Barr has also opined that “the political winners ritually prosecuting the political losers is not the stuff of a mature democracy.” Yet these generalizations are too hasty. Trump’s “lock her up” slogan, directed against Hillary Clinton in 2016, should not be answered with “lock him up”; but “forgive and forget” is not the only alternative.

Americans need to distinguish among three issues: crimes Trump may have committed before assuming office; corruption and cruelty committed by him and his cronies while in office; and behavior that has exposed structural weaknesses within the broader US political system. Each requires a somewhat different response.

Historically, plenty of other countries’ transitions from authoritarianism – or recovery from democratic degradation – have been characterized by a willingness to...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *