Populist Politics + Liberal Democracy + Social Media = Anarchy

Following on from my recent blog Is Populist Democracy an erosion of Democratic Values much of what is anticipated played out in Washington last week. Having lived in the USA I have always found it difficult to accept the USA as a true democracy. The land of the free is a corruption of the concept of democracy especially when anyone has the right to bear arms on the street. I remember being embroiled in a shootout between police and bad guys in a shopping mall in downtown Buffalo with bullets flying around with neither side being proficient shots nor having any regard for potential collateral damage.

It is claimed that Donald Trump fanned the flames that caused a mob dedicated to Trump to storm Congress. Much for the World to understand about the state of mind of the USA not least the behaviour of the security services and police who essentially refused to confront this mob. Quite rightly much has been made about the contrast between the security deployed during the recent Black Lives Matter march on the White House and that deployed last week against a majority white mob.

And now Nancy Polosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, wants to apply her usual emotional and illogical reason to fan these flames further by screaming for impeachment of Donald Trump. No matter what her personal feelings towards Donald Trump if she is to respect democracy, she must respect the outcome of the Presidential Elections and understand that some 47% of the USA electorate voted for Trump, the second largest number of votes in US election history. This 47% have it in their heads, much through social media, that their man was cheated out of office. Their actions caused Trump to completely back off and is not totally neutered in disgrace. Why does Polosi not understand that the pragmatic approach is to allow these flames to ebb by quietly securing support from the Senate to distance themselves from Trump thus further neutralising him. There are but 10 days left before inauguration of Biden. There is no possibility of securing impeachment in this window, and I’m sure that Biden has more pressing issues on his desk. She must think about uniting the people behind Biden, especially now he can look forward to control of both Houses.

Wake up Nancy. Your personal outrage towards Trump should not be played out in your political role. If I were Biden she would most certainly lose her office. Furthermore, social media have now seen for themselves the impact of putting ‘freedom’ into the hands of the mob. I think it was Voltaire who said ‘Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. It is now time to instil responsibility into the social media platforms.