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Who would ‘fall’ with the US president?

On January 6, we were dumbfounded at a television “show” typical of an action movie or an ex-Soviet republic; but it happened in the most powerful nation in the world: U.S.

It was about the taking of Congress, the sacrosanct place of the oldest and most consolidated democracy in the world. He assault on the Capitol, as it will go down in history, it was prompted by the harangue of the US president himself, Donald Trump, during his rally before thousands of fanatical followers, in front of the White House, while congressmen debated the validity of the electoral votes sent by each state.

The reaction of the media was immediate and prestigious newspapers such as the Boston Globe They did not hesitate to describe the irresponsible action sponsored by Trump as “criminal.”

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It is very likely that such an accusation will finally be settled in court, but beyond the criminal consequences for inciting the protesters to “walk to Congress” asking them to be “strong and courageous”, the matter is of full interest to the political arena.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, has announced that it will immediately begin the second process of impeachment against the still president.

Undoubtedly, what happened in the legislative offices is of a verifiably greater gravity than the scandals that the president Bill Clinton kept with the fellow Monica Lewinsky at the end of the last century, and that led to such a shameful procedure.

During his four years in office, or rather, since the magnate Trump announced his participation in the Republican primaries in 2015, the scandal has been his inseparable traveling companion.

Accusations of a sexual nature, of complicity with the Russian secret services, of shady economic dealings within the family… that would have meant the defenestration of any other politician, have become irrelevant anecdotes in his political biography.

However, what happened just a week ago is a turning point, a before and after in his controversial, erratic, political career. For many, even before these regrettable incidents, Trump was considered the worst president in the history of American democracy.

An impeachment process, either by constitutional means in application of the Amendment 25, or through the referral impeachment, would mean revalidating the democratic principles that have governed the country for two and a half centuries, and would confirm the revolutionary maxim established in the Declaration of Independence regarding the “equality of all men”, ratified by “We the people”, start of the text constitutional.

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It would mean the well-deserved climax to four years of political arrogance, media bravado, contempt of his adversaries, humiliation of intimate collaborators whimsically dismissed via WhatsApp, disparagement of his traditional allies … to name just a few reasons for his ill-fated presidency.

However, the repercussions of a impeachment they go beyond the personal realm and interest both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Democrats are in danger of being carried away by their social democratic tendency, with Bernie Sanders at the head, and fall into nonsensical sayings similar to those that have characterized the Trump presidency, only concerned with governing for the most radical Republicans and not for the entire nation.

The postulates and principles of social democracy, rooted in Europe, are as familiar to American society as the “String theory” for a puppeteer.

Beyond overshadowing the inauguration of their president-elect, they would torpedo the political program of Joe Biden, whose most urgent and peremptory mission will be to heal the deep wound that segments North American society like never before since the Civil War.

Republicans are in a more complex dilemma, as recovering the White House for one of their own, and even the future of the party itself, will largely depend on how they solve such a convoluted situation.

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The acceptance of Trump by Republican voters is beyond question. During the moments of its lowest overall popularity rating, below 40 percent, it reached 90 percent acceptance among its voters.

For Republicans, whose support is essential to move the motion forward, what Pelosi offers is a ‘poisoned candy’.

In case of accepting it, the party would split, I have no doubt: either because of the disaffection of its voters who support the 45 percent takeover of Congress, or because its still president created a new party. Hypothesis, the latter, that could well occur in any of the cases.

Let’s not forget that the Republican Party rose from the ashes of the old Whig Party, which came to have four presidents, born in turn from a split in the Democratic Party, led at that time by Andrew Jackson.

In these chaotic times, it is unpredictable to venture who Trump might drag into the ‘grave’ he dug by encouraging mobs to take over Congress.

The original note can be found here.

By José Antonio Gurpegui, Professor of North American Studies, University of Alcalá.

* The Conversation is an independent, non-profit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

It may interest you:

Republicans begin to ‘turn their backs’ on Trump in the face of new impeachment

Preventing Trump from Running in 2024: What would impeachment mean in his final days?

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