SA analysts weigh in on Donald Trump’s impeachment victory
Durban - AS former United States president Donald Trump survived yet another impeachment last week when a two thirds majority was not reached for him to be impeached and never hold public office again.
The Democratic Party -even with the assistance of some Republican Party members- was not able to get the two thirds majority for the second time.
This came after last month there were rioters who entered the Capitol Hill and destroyed and stole property after there was a rally who had been railing against what he perceived to be unfair elections where the Democratic Party presidential candidate, Joe Biden won. South African political analysts expressed their takes on the developments in the US.
Political analyst professor Sipho Seepe said: “The first that can be said is the issue of accountability. Normally the impeachment proceedings are sitting presidents. Trump's impeachment trial is precedent setting. Second, the bar is set high for impeachment to succeed. It requires a two-thirds majority. Third, most Republicans stuck to their guns. To have voted in favour would result in their having to answer to their constituency, which remains intact. About 70 million Americans voted for Trump. If you are a career politician, you don't easily shrug off that number. Already Republicans that voted to impeach Trump are now facing a backlash. Fourth, the outcome means that Trump can run again if he so chooses. He can rely on the same grouping to support come next elections.”
He said this was an uphill battle if one considered the images that were broadcast to US citizens during the impeachment trial.
But this itself will be an uphill considering the images that were shown to the US citizens during the impeachment trial. For many the attack on Capitol Hill is seen as an attack of the American democracy.
University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Dr Lubna Nadvi, said: “The Republican Senators who voted to acquit former President Trump were largely acting out of self interest. Their role in the Republican party and term of office as Senators would have become severely compromised if they went against the man who for all intents and purposes still heads up the Republican party. However the fact that Trump was acquitted by a matter of a few votes does not diminish the reality that the case against him was presented very effectively and his role in inciting the mob that attacked the Congress on 6 January was proven beyond a doubt, given all the evidence that was brought to light.”
She said the consequences for democracy in the United States was that it had become clear that the Demcratic party was the only main political structure of government that still believed in ensuring that processes were followed and the will of Americans was respected and maintained.
“The Republican party on the other hand has gone down a very slippery slope where by supporting and enabling Trump and his behaviour over the last 4 years, it has lost credibility and any sense of authority and respect for the rule of law that it may once have had,” she said. While this was happening, the world watched this spectacle with shock and disbelief that American politics had been reduced to such a state of affairs.
“The only real redeeming factor is that under a Biden presidency, there is a strong attempt being made to undo the disasters that have unfolded over the Trump presidency and to resume some sense of political normalcy after the farce of the last 4 years,” Nadvi said.