America Is the New Center of Global Instability
Following the storming of the US Capitol, President Donald Trump is desperate for an exit ramp that will preserve both his fragile ego and his future political influence. Unfortunately, that conundrum leaves him with few options other than to foment even more chaos both at home and abroad.
NEW YORK – Whether the storming of the US Capitol was an attempted coup, an insurrection, or an assault on democracy is merely a question of semantics. What matters is that the violence was aimed at derailing a legitimate transition of power for the benefit and at the behest of a dangerous madman. President Donald Trump, who has never hidden his dictatorial aspirations, should now be removed from power, barred from public office, and prosecuted for high crimes.
After all, the events of January 6 may have been shocking, but they were not surprising. I and many other commentators had long warned that the 2020 election would bring civil unrest, violence, and attempts by Trump to remain in power illegally. Beyond his election-related crimes, Trump is also guilty of a reckless disregard for public health. He and his administration bear much of the blame for the massive COVID-19 death toll in the United States, which accounts for only 4% of the global population but 20% of all coronavirus deaths.
Once a beacon of democracy, rule of law, and good governance, the US now looks like a banana republic that is incapable of controlling either a contagious disease – despite spending more on health care per capita than any other country – or mobs incited by a wannabe dictator. Authoritarian leaders around the world are now laughing at the US and scoffing at American critiques of others’ political misrule. As if the damage done to US soft power over the past four years was not immense enough, Trump’s failed insurrection has undermined America’s standing even more.