MOSCOW, 24 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
Lead Columnist for the Washington Post, Robert Kagan, wrote a landmark article, “Our Constitutional Crisis Is Already Here“. Against the background of many frightening alarmist articles about Donald Trump’s re-coming to power, this material should receive special attention because of the attempt to analyse the processes taking place within American society.
In addition, Kagan is the spouse of Victoria Nuland, who recently visited Moscow, therefore, based on his presentation, one can imagine how the “hinterland” of the American state apparatus, including the security forces, the “deep state” of the United States, thinks about this.
Robert Kagan’s article begins very provocatively: “The United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three to four years of incidents of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into warring red and blue enclaves.”
He further writes that regardless of the background in the form of a pandemic or global crises, Donald Trump will try for re-election in 2024, and Republicans are already preparing to challenge the 2022 midterm elections. The author accuses Republicans of the fact that at the state level they remove from office those who “effectively saved the country from disaster by refusing to falsely announce the facts of fraud.”
Here it should be clarified that in the political and media mainstream of the United States, controlled by the Democrats, the narrative that there was no fraud in the 2020 presidential election on the part of Biden is being held with all its might. In the USA such a saying is widespread, it is also called a duck test: “if something looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck.”
However, the US population has not yet seen such obvious fraudulent activities as in the 2020 elections, and this allows the central media to feel free to declare that the observed anomalies and irregularities in the 2020 elections are not fraudulent.
In his article, Kagan accuses Republicans of passing laws that increase state legislators’ control over the electoral process, and also criminalizing electoral violations. In his opinion, in this way they create a background for chaos, when representatives of both parties will declare victory and accuse each other of unconstitutional attempts to seize power.
Will the governors call the National Guard? Will Joe Biden enforce the Rebellion Act and send troops to Pennsylvania, Texas or Wisconsin to quell violent protests? I personally have no doubts about this, since we saw almost the same reaction after the events of January 6 at the Capitol.
Then Kagan, for some reason only known to him, compares Trump with fascist leaders, before whom the constitutions of different states were powerless, as a result of which such people seized power. The current system of checks and balances in the US Constitution does not work, the author believes. In his opinion, as shown by two impeachments against Trump, if members of Congress are willing to defend or ignore the president’s actions simply because he is the leader of their party, then his removal becomes almost impossible.
Kagan believes the addictions driving Trump supporters are very old. Mistrust of the federal government, racial hatred, preoccupation with attacks on religion and traditional morality, class tensions, mistrust in Europe, have all been around since the anti-federalist era. Therefore, Liberals and Democrats need to distinguish between fighting the usual Republican politics and the challenge that comes from Trump.
The author himself writes about the uniqueness of Donald Trump’s movement. “It is the fact that for millions of Americans, Trump himself is the response to their fears and resentments. This is a stronger bond between leader and followers than anything seen before in U.S. political movements.”
However, Kagan does not want to recall that the liberal media themselves made Donald Trump a “martyr” by their initial accusations of collusion with Russia, his homophobia and racism. Not a single liberal publication has apologised to the 45th President of the United States for the lies that they poured on him for many months. But the people have not forgotten this.
Kagan goes on to say, “His charismatic leadership has given millions of Americans a feeling of purpose and empowerment, a new sense of identity. While Trump’s critics see him as too narcissistic to be any kind of leader, his supporters admire his unapologetic, militant selfishness. Unlike establishment Republicans, Trump speaks without embarrassment on behalf of an aggrieved segment of Americans, not exclusively White, who feel they have been taking it on the chin for too long.”
When analysing the Trump phenomenon, the author draws a key conclusion, which suggested itself before, but was not seen in the liberal media: “In his professed victimisation by the media and the “elites,” his followers see their own victimisation. That is why attacks on Trump by the elites only strengthen his bond with his followers”.
This situation undermines the usual role of political parties in the United States, Kagan said, when political figures did not play a decisive role in the party.
Trying to show his ideological difference from Trump, Kagan puts forward the following thesis: “Liberal democracy requires acceptance of adverse electoral results, a willingness to countenance the temporary rule of those with whom we disagree.” However, the entire history of Trump’s presidency shows that the US “deep state” was not going to put up with his rule and by all means tried to deprive him of power or freeze his initiatives, as in the same detente with Russia.
Kagan believes that although it did not start as an insurgency, the Trump movement became so after the events of January 6 at the Capitol. For Trump’s supporters, the January 6 events were not a shameful fiasco, but a patriotic attempt to save the nation.
Although most of them are quite normal people, they zealously defend their own rights and freedoms, caring less about the rights and freedoms of those who are not like them. At the same time, this is precisely what democracy requires, Kagan writes, the obligation to abide by laws enacted by legitimate democratic processes.
To make such a statement against the background of apparently wild episodes of the “culture of abolition” imposed by the elite and the forced promotion of “critical race theory” in the United States, the author clearly does not hesitate, ignoring the current situation in American society.
Further in the text, Kagan goes on an ideological attack, saying that Trump and his most staunch supporters are ready to challenge constitutional and democratic norms, just as revolutionary movements in the past have done. Today’s Americans are no different from Europeans who joined fascist movements in the 1920s and 1930s. Therefore, the events of January 6 will not only repeat themselves, but there is every reason to expect more such episodes, the author believes.
Kagan then attacks the Republican Party, which allowed Trump to run for president of the United States. However, this caused significant damage to the party establishment, which had to go into the shadow of Trump, and those who openly resisted ended up with political careers.
The author believes that Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party has gone beyond the level of political leadership and extended to the media and party sponsors. Some intellectuals have defended Trump and developed political doctrines to justify his rule, filling in the gaps in his ideology of “conservative nationalism”.
The Republican Party today is a zombie party, Kagan concludes, the political leadership does not control it, power has passed to Trump. On the one hand, the party fights the Joe Biden administration as a typical hostile opposition, and on the other, it goes beyond constitutional and democratic competition, carrying out activities to undermine the electoral process.
Whatever the legitimacy of Biden’s criticism, there is a fundamental Republican insincerity in it all, Kagan writes. In his opinion, this is a gimmick. Republicans focus on China and critical race theory, but avoid any mention of Trump, even as the party is working to hold the next election in his favour.
It is not difficult to notice that in other last passages Kagan regards ordinary political activity as, if not criminal, then immoral activity. This means that he ran out of arguments and therefore followed such analogies.
In the following paragraphs, Kagan tries to intimidate the reader altogether: “The world will look very different in 14 months if, as seems likely, the Republican zombie party wins control of the House. At that point, with the political winds clearly blowing in his favour, Trump is all but certain to announce his candidacy, and social media constraints on his speech are likely to be lifted, since Facebook and Twitter would have a hard time justifying censoring his campaign.”
“But this time, Trump would have advantages that he lacked in 2016 and 2020, including more loyal officials in state and local governments; the Republicans in Congress; and the backing of GOP donors, think tanks and journals of opinion. And he will have the Trump movement, including many who are armed and ready to be activated, again. Who is going to stop him then?” asks Kagan.
Trump’s contempt for the rule of law is evident, the author continues: “His exoneration from the charges leveled in his impeachment trials — the only official, legal response to his actions — practically ensures that he would wield power even more aggressively.”
“Only total loyalists would serve at the head of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and the Pentagon. In such a world, with Trump and his lieutenants in charge of all the levers of state power, including its growing capacity for surveillance, opposing Trump would become increasingly risky for Republicans and Democrats alike. A Trump victory is likely to mean at least the temporary suspension of American democracy as we have known it.”
After these words, Kagan writes that the United States is already in a constitutional crisis, and although the destruction of democracy may not occur until November 2024, legislation to change the electoral process is being adopted now, and even “good Republicans” in Congress do not want to change the situation with election procedures at the federal level. However, Democrats need to give anti-Trump Republicans a chance to do the right thing.
At the end of his article, Kagan asks the question: “One wonders whether modern American politicians, in either party, have it in them to make such bold moves, whether they have the insight to see where events are going and the courage to do whatever is necessary to save the democratic system. If that means political suicide for this handful of Republicans, wouldn’t it be better to go out fighting for democracy than to slink off quietly into the night?”
As you read this article, it becomes clear what fear the Deep State has of Trump, as well as attaching its own behavioral patterns and labels to him.
The author does not hesitate to present changes in electoral procedures in a legitimate manner, but contrary to the wishes of the Democratic Party, as the basis for chaos in the upcoming elections. He himself prepares his readers not to recognise the victory of Trump and his supporters in any case.
The entire article shows that the Democratic Party has no confidence in a victory. For 9 months of Joe Biden’s presidency, he has nothing to brag about. Kagan expresses hope for a handful of anti-Trump Republicans who will help change electoral laws at the federal level for the Democratic Party to win.
However, from the experience of the last election, it becomes clear that the Democratic Party will not give up the victory voluntarily, and it will stop at nothing, neither before falsification, nor before the use of force. Therefore, not only 2024, but even 2022 may become not just a test for American democracy, but also for the very statehood of the United States.