Trump leaves office

  • But his creed is yet to be defeated

What happened in Washington on Wednesday was unprecedented in the history of the world’s oldest democracy. A mob of President Donald Trump’s armed loyalists stormed the Capitol to disrupt the final electoral count by the Congress. Not reconciled to a humiliating defeat Trump had used every imaginable stratagem to get the election results nullified. When this failed to happen he incited armed mobs of loyalists to take recourse to violence. When the trick failed, Trump was left with no option but to accept the results, albeit with reservations. The Democrats meanwhile also secured a stunning pair of victories in runoff elections in Georgia, thus gaining effective control of the Senate.

Trump may have lost the election but he won a record number of votes, and tightened his grip on states like Ohio. What is more his worldview has become the agenda of the global right. Some of the highly negative trends that he promoted remain strongly entrenched in the USA and a number of other countries. These include denial of scientific truths, conservative populism and illiberalism and a strong racist streak that discourages immigration and mistreats minorities. Trump’s legacy includes a macho image combined with strong-arm tactics.

Among Trump’s kindred spirits that still rule their countries are Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Indian PM Narendra Modi and PM Imran Khan. Bolsonaro has alarming similarities with Trump, like a far-right message, courtship of conservative evangelical churches with moralistic discourses and an identity as a disrupter. Modi shares Trump’s disregard for political norms, disdain for dissent, and a dedication to strengthening his executive power at the expense of state institutions. Modi has tested the limits of his authority in India by unilaterally revoking the constitutionally enshrined autonomy of Indian-Occupied Kashmir; establishing new limits on India’s citizenship laws that discriminate against Muslims; and imposing violent crackdowns on protests across the country.

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Mr Khan shares with Trump his intolerance of the opposition and media criticism besides possessing a sky-high ego. Both hold conservative views and exploit the deep anti-government grievances of right-wing constituencies. Both use religion for political purposes.

Trump has gone. It will however take years of hard work to defeat his ideology and macho style of governance in various countries, including the USA.

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The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].
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