Impeachment is a Red Herring
Despite the multiple scandals which surround Donald Trump, including abusive comments about women, allegations of sexual harassment, allegations of fraud, incessant and persistent lying, racism - both general and against multiple ethnic and religious groups, conflicts of interest, nepotism, allegations of blackmail and more recently ….. asking foreign governments, including China which the US is in a full-blown trade war with, to target a domestic political opponent, there is one big question which we need to engage:
Why do 41 percent of Americans still approve of Donald Trump’s presidency?i
This is not a small proportion of Americans. Barack Obama’s rating in September 2011 was also 41 percent.ii Bill Clinton hit 39 percent in June 1993.iii George H W Bush beat them all with an approval rating as low as 25 percent in October 2008.iv None of these presidents would have ever survived what Trump is walking through. Given everything floating around Trump, why then do a substantial number of Americans approve of him?
He’s listening and responding precisely to a significant number of Americans who have been ignored by the political system. And being heard, finally, is addictive.
That political system includes significant lobbying funds which dilute democratic representation – in 2018, to the tune of $3.5 billion. That system includes a federal government in which Americans had trust levels in the 60-70 percent range back in the 1950s and 1960s, and has been at below 30 percent for the last decade.v And it’s a system which most Americans believe is led by politicians, an entire creed who can’t be trusted and are dishonest.vi
With all this focus on Trump’s impeachment, we are missing the big picture. There are serious structural problems with the form of democracy which we have now, because it is not the ‘people power’ from its Greek etymology.
Our democracy is not run by the ordinary person, for the ordinary person. In fact, the ordinary person is nowhere to be seen at the centre of our democracy. And nobody seems to be talking that.