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Living among traitors to our own democracy will never be comfortable

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The new images of the attack on the Capitol make one realize, for better or for worse, that it was a concerted action. Outlined to the smallest detail by legislators who, like millions of Americans right now, want to see justice exacted on the ex-president Donald Trump for the damage he has done to his own country and democratic institutions, these images provoke a strange combination of grief and chills.

Identifying step by step the parties involved in this historic fray turned national insult, there is no doubt that the incitement of violence and the insurrection came from one mind, sick with power, who patiently and publicly fed this scene for months when his power and influence was definitely plummeting after having opted for supremacy, racism, and xenophobia as part of his anti-immigrant policy.

And it’s strange that not even his most seasoned followers—nor the most novice, of course, who form a particularly strange and intolerant group—have realized not only the psychological manipulation the former leader conducted on them, but that “his fight” was never to change the system to benefit the common good, like other revolts in human history, but only to make dumb declarations coming from his constitutional ignorance for merely personal benefit, in order to perpetuate himself in power.

To put it bluntly, his “winter revolution” turned out to be as fraudulent as his entire presidency.

No one knows yet what the result of the second impeachment inquiry against Trump will be, although it can already be predicted, owing to the composition of the Senate (50-50) and the vehemence with which some Republican legislators —really, Republicans?— still defend he who is considered to be the worst president in the history of the United States.

But this is not the exact point we live in, in this historic moment of this nation of immigrants. Rather, it is a projection of the future that emanates from it all.

While the various pro-immigrant forces were able to place the immigration issue among the priorities for the new administration of Joe Biden, anti-immigrant forces were exposed for what they are: they did not understand the new trajectory of world history, and they did not see that neo-fascism is an unforgivable anachronism in a 21st century that tends to newly modify the correlation of forces and, at the same time, build bridges that balance understanding, between societies more than governments.

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught or shown us anything, it is the vulnerability of our political systems. Without a coordinated and more humanitarian interaction, we cannot go very far as a human race.

The greed that tried to make Trump the example of “Americanness” completely failed, putting the United States on the same level as any other country on the planet. That is, the time of hegemonies, at least the U.S. one, is coming to an end.

But while this takes place, those who aspired to achieve a democracy like that of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln—once so praised, and now so questioned—are witnesses to the precise way today’s U.S. political class is dealing with democracy: one group trying to destroy it, while the other tries to rescue it, to the extent possible.

And yet, there is a country and a world outside that needs responses, more than confrontations. They are waiting to see what will be the next step for the U.S. democracy, or what new path the country will take, after the impeachment trial. Of course, there is a new president now, with policies that are very clearly pro-immigrant, but if this time the Senate allows Trump to emerge unscathed, perhaps the entire history of the United States will have been in vain.

If we want to avoid the shipwreck of democracy as we know it, now is the time to close off all access for the supremacist movement that the previous government revived, before it is reinforced, once again threatening the values, institutions, and all that this democracy is made of… if we can keep it.

Because there’s no doubt that living among traitors to one’s own democracy will never be comfortable.

To read the Spanish version of this article click here.