Ah, thank you!
Last sentence: aye, there's the rub. To be uncool again and quote myself, I'm more and more convinced that what I wrote a couple of weeks ago will turn out to be the case:
I think that the reason why the GOP have gone in so deep with Trump, and are so reluctant to dump him, is that they're betting everything on the belief that if they just hang tough they'll never have to worry about another fair and democratic election in their country - and, clearly, a very sizeable percentage of the US population is complicit and even willing them on.
It feels like the flipside of the attitude to Trump over the last 3+ years by otherwise sane and sensible media types and Democratic politicians, who should know far more about this kind of thing than I do: they genuinely hoped/believed that he'd rise to the great responsibility of the presidency, when I never believed that for one second. You don't spend your entire life being an utterly loathsome and despicable human being then suddenly see the light when you get the top job to end all top jobs. Quite the contrary: you become even nastier and crazier and more corrupt than you've ever been, because - well, because you bloody well can.
And, big surprise, that's exactly what happened. Every step of the way, time and time again, Trump and his appalling cabal of cronies have left the media, the Democrats and much of the country (and the world) utterly aghast at their complete lack of morality and their willingness to do absolutely anything to get their own way and to stay in power. (And, I'll say again: just imagine all the things that have been going on in the shadows that we don't
know about, and most likely never will.)
I suppose that the sane and sensible Americans suffered from one big disadvantage that I don't share: they are Americans, and as such they've spent all their lives convinced (with some justification, it must be said) that their system is the best, and is immune to serious corruption thanks to the Founding Fathers' foresight, and as such they couldn't see Trump and the presidency from an outside perspective, believing (naively, as it turned out) that either Trump would, against all logic, suddenly come over all presidential; or at worst that the Constitution and the many checks and balances it provides would guarantee that even a deranged and senescent criminal like Trump would be held to account somewhere along the line. Instead Trump, with the craven, venal collaboration of the party that still calls itself Republican, is on the brink of effectively destroying nearly a quarter of a millennium of (small r) republican (small d) democratic history in the blink of an eye. He is now within a whisker of becoming an autocrat, a dictator, a king. If that comes to pass how ironic it will be, bearing in mind why the United States even exists in the first place.
I know it could be argued that his impeachment has finally held him to account; but if he slimes his way out yet again when it comes to the Senate trial (which he almost certainly will, barring some last-minute revelation on a scale akin to the Watergate tapes, or at least four GOP Senators voting to compel John Bolton and others to testify, and then those witnesses actually telling the truth under oath, which is by no means a given) then he'll become worse than ever - and, god forbid, if he goes on to win again next year then that will truly be the end of what passes for American democracy. Don't forget that he won't even have to worry about pandering to his rabid base by that point, because they will already have re-elected him. He'll do literally whatever he likes, as he already believes he can - except that he can't, quite, just yet. (And doing whatever he likes will, I fear, include making himself President for Life, with royal-esque, or Kim-esque, family succession thereafter.)
America, even more than Britain, has always been deeply conservative and profoundly racist just beneath the surface (witness all the demons that Trump's manic scratchings have unleashed, such as this very recent example
) and has been more or less a police state for many decades anyway; but just wait to see what happens if Trump gains a second term - or, as per my earlier post, if Don Junior takes over from Daddy, which could be even worse in the long term.