A country, especially a democracy, is judged by its practice of smooth transfer of power of leadership with the verdict of the people. Trump has tarnished and trampled this glorious tradition of the United States of America.
In my post-graduation, I had a unique subject, Western History, of which a substantial part was American History. Studying American history was an experience of treading into adventure and romance. America framed a bewildering constitution based on human freedom. However, it was not great because it had golden principles in its constitution, but because the spirit in which it was followed.
The first president of America, George Washington declined to remain in power after his two terms in office. On September 19, 1796 before relinquishing presidency, Washington published ‘George Washington‘s farewell address’, making one the first peaceful transfers of power in American history ( rare even in world history) and cementing the country’s status as a stable, democratic state.
American revolution threw away the oppressive British rule. But this was not only a transfer of power to revolutionaries but it was building of a nation based on lofty ideals. On 4 July, 1776 the ‘Declaration of Independence’ was issued by the revolutionaries, signifying the human dignity- “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
After twelve years of this Declaration, the Constitution of America was adopted with the approval of the nine states. The framers of this Constitution were all great stalwarts, like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. They were all very highly educated and inspired by the liberal political philosophers of ‘Enlightenment’ specially John Locke, Thomas Paine, Montesquieu and Rousseau.
This constitution was a remarkable document of only seven articles. Its main principles were, first it creates a national government consisting of a legislative, an executive, and a judicial branch, with a system of checks and balances among the three branches. Second, it divides power between the federal government and the states. And third, it protects various individual liberties of American citizens.
The efficacy of this constitution was maintained and augmented by generations of sane leaders, judges military-men, and above all, the people by following it in letter and spirit.
Trump has left no stone unturned to ruin and defile this tradition. Even before the election, he declared not to accept the verdict, if it goes against him. After the verdict, he spread lies, tried to misuse judiciary, explored the military options and finally instigated his uneducated supporters to subvert the proceedings of the Congress (Parliament) which sat for confirming his defeat. Trump, many fear, is a man of unstable mind which created many societal delusions. His red-hatted followers were mostly white supremacists and diehard racists. It is to the credit of the strength of the institutions of America and conscience of most of its public figures, that democracy has been saved. Trump is going in disgrace, but only after trying a futile insurrection which will not be hidden by his colossal mendacity.