Trump has admitted on live television to the crimes for which he’s being investigated by the House in their impeachment inquiry. Mike Pence appears to be complicit. Giuliani seems to have been critically involved in an effort at pushing a foreign power to investigate Trump’s main political rival. This is America; the same country that, for at least most of the 20th century, had been a leading example of democracy and the efficacy of a strong central government united by a common mission. Looking at the same government today, that thought seems laughably sanguine. We’re through the looking glass. But we would be very wrong to lose hope.
Yes, our system gave birth to Trump, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Since the Reagan years, industry has had an extraordinary reach into political influence. An edifice that once stood as a temple for public service and bipartisanship devolved into a playground for corporations to run roughshod over public policy. Devolution continued and brought us to where we are today: a hyper-partisan wasteland, victim to a barrage of corruption, demagoguery, system abuse of the highest order, and policy for the elites to the detriment of the 99%. We have become the dystopia we all fear in movies; it just isn’t stylized like in Blade Runner. After Trump was elected, the elites began to see opportunity in him. He’s malleable and his worship is to the almighty dollar. Thus, the system established during the Reagan years now prospers.
And yet somehow, the system established by our founding fathers, which was improved through most of the 20th century, seems to be robust enough to handle an attempted dictator. The many safeguards and redoubts established by countless bureaucrats through the past couple centuries are, amazingly, working. The vast majority of other nations, had Trump happened to them, would not have fared as well as us. Trump has ruined a lot things. Domestic and international policy has shifted the wrong direction, administrative agencies have been reduced to their skeleton crews, and regressionist agendas like climate denial and the war against science are highly, highly damaging — especially as the climate crisis becomes less and less likely to be ameliorated.
But the moment we get a new president who isn’t a rampaging imbecile, all of these things can be reversed in short order. That’s the beauty of our system. The will of the people is not set in stone, and the system is adaptable to our changes. Just over 51% of Americans polled want the impeachment inquiry, which is more than wanted the Nixon impeachment inquiry at its outset. Support for Nixon’s impeachment only grew as the investigations continued, and you can expect the same here. And there’s your hope.
Democracy thrives in snarkiness