Jan 23, 2020 16:23 UTC

"The impeachment battle of the United States' terrorist President, Donald Trump is part of the wider historical and global struggle taking place over democracy", says Henry A. Giroux, in a two- part article published in the Truthout website under the heading: The Battle to Impeach Trump Is Part of a Global Struggle for Democracy.

Here is the second and concluding part of the article please.

What is missing from mainstream and conservative discussions regarding Trump’s impeachment is that both Democrats and Republicans share an unwillingness to address a range of social and political issues that brought Trump to power.

These include illegal wars, state-sanctioned torture, the creation of black sites, economic policies that promote massive inequality and mass incarceration, an attack on public goods and racist policies that undermine democracy itself.

Both parties in different ways claim they are protecting the Constitution, whether in the service of defending Trump or attempting to remove him from office.

Both parties have aided and abetted in different degrees elements associated with a totalitarian state — these include political corruption, unwarranted state surveillance, support for a bloated military machine, the rise of white nationalism, the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a ruling elite, increased support for policies that promote the concentration of the media in few hands, and a willingness to corroborate with a government that is controlled by narrow financial interests. All of these issues are largely absent from the questions and issues raised around the impeachment process and the conditions that made it necessary.

Democracy in the US may be in crisis, but there is little or no indication from the media, ruling elite or established politicians that the impeachment crisis is more than a free-standing event.

We need to push back against this erasure of history and analyze Trump’s crimes within a more comprehensive politics that exposes the mobilizing passions of the fascist politics that has led to the Trump presidency and its rein of corruption, lawlessness and abuse of power.

What must be rejected is the notion that the impeachment process signals a crisis rooted in a power struggle between the two established political parties, one of which is at the forefront of the resistance to the growing authoritarianism accelerated by the Trump regime.

While there are significant political and ideological differences between both parties — especially given the fact that the Republican Party has been taken over by ideological extremists — discussions focused on these differences fail to address the ideological and economic foundations of a toxic neoliberal capitalism that has become increasingly more dangerous at home and abroad.

A discussion of these foundations would need to acknowledge that both parties are involved in defending existing power structures and the most basic rudiments of the corporate and surveillance state.

While the Republican Party and Democratic Party share a fundamental commitment to the ideology and institutional structures of neoliberal capitalism, the Republican Party is far more extreme in its attacks on the U.S. press, judiciary, labor unions and protesters, as well as in its support for reversing environmental protection laws.

Moreover, as Paul Krugman has argued, the Republican Party under Trump has become “a party of sycophants” that ignores Trump’s use of his office for personal gain; and who, like a cult, compares its leader to Jesus Christ. Ken Burns, the acclaimed filmmaker, columnist George Will, and New York Times opinion writer Paul Krugman (among others) have labeled Trump’s loyal party followers Vichy Republicans, referring to the war-era collaborationist Vichy government of France — run by cowardly French sympathizers and appeasers who gave their faithful loyalty to their Nazi German occupiers.

The Republican Party’s claim to stand for small government, fiscal soundness and national security is now palpably untrue. Instead, its most paranoid and racist elements now control the party. The Republican Party’s move to the right intensified in the 1990s under the influence of Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove, and later with the rise of Sarah Palin and the defeat of the centrist Mitt Romney in 2012.

Today, the Republican Party almost unilaterally has become a party of white supremacists, blood and soil nationalists, and political corruption, activating white panic, supporting voter suppression and defining citizenship in racial terms.

The GOP openly supports race-baiting and dangerous foreign policy strategies, regardless of the excesses and ongoing assault on the country’s democratic institutions.

This includes a racist campaign strategy, caging children, brutal attacks on undocumented immigrants, devaluing critics by calling them “treasonous,” slashing social provisions such as food stamps, a potential war with Iran and Trump’s serial lying.

Acquiescence to Trump has become a defining feature of the Republican Party, in spite of his celebration of demagogues such as Kim Jong Un, whom he called a “real leader,” and overtly fascists leaders such as Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Paul Krugman makes it clear that there are also the foreboding clouds of authoritarianism which extend far beyond the political career of Donald Trump. Krugman writes: “For whatever may happen to Donald Trump, his party has turned its back on democracy.

And that should terrify you. The fact is that the G.O.P., as currently constituted, is willing to do whatever it takes to seize and hold power.” The impeachment hearings further reinforce an image of a party that, in the face of egregious crimes by the president, either remain silent or overtly support him in a show of ideological certainty, or what Robert Jay Lifton calls an act of “absolute purification” and a cult-like totalizing vision that reproduces a politics of “malignant normality.”

Neither political party offers a substantive challenge to the military-industrial complex, or views capitalism as the enemy of democracy, if not the planet itself.

In different ways, both parties have hollowed out democratic institutions and cozied up to dictators. In addition, neither party historically used the impeachment process to indict George W. Bush for launching an illegal war in Iraq – or, for that matter, George W. Bush for illegally kidnapping, jailing and torturing what he indiscriminately labeled as “enemy combatants.”

Nor was Obama charged with a war crime when he “gave the executive branch of the government the right to act as judge, jury and executioner in assassinating U. S. citizens.” There is more at work here than acts of bad faith; there is also a thread of moral hypocrisy and a flight from social responsibility on the part of both parties.

One indication of a collusion between both parties is obvious in the fact that as the Democrats were railing against Trump’s abuse of power, they approved the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, which are deeply reactionary laws that attack individual privacy and civil liberties, while criminalizing protest in the interest of “national security.” Moreover, they have given Trump $1.4 billion for his border wall, and supported a $738 billion bloated military budget.

This is a party defined by a sordid ruling class politics, an imperial foreign policy and a culture of war.

The politics of impeachment should be a rallying cry to put on trial both the Republican and Democratic Parties and the naked brutality of the political and economic system they have supported since the 1970s.

That is, impeachment should become a call to arms for a massive protest movement that moves beyond the ritual of trying Trump for an abuse of power.

Instead, impeachment should become a call to battle to put on trial the capitalist system while fighting for structural reforms that will usher in a radical and socialist democracy worthy of the struggle.

AE/SS

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