The US is in an ‘unfolding’ constitutional crisis in the wake of the 6 Januarie aanval op die Capitol, Jon Meacham warns
A campaign to regain the presidency by Donald Trump in 2024 could lead to a constitutional crisis or even a civil war, Vanderbilt University professor and occasional Joe Biden adviser Jon Meacham has warned.
Mr Meachem, 'n voormalige Nuusweek editor-turned-Pulitzer Prize-winning-historian who assisted Mr Biden’s speechwriting team during the 2020 veldtog, told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday that the US was in an “unfolding” constitutional crisis in the wake of the 6 January attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
“I think we came as close to losing the Constitution, and when we say democracy, America is not a democracy, America is a republic. So let’s call it American democracy. We came as close that day as we had since Fort Sumter," hy het gesê, referring to the 1861 attack on a South Carolina fort that marked the start of the American Civil War.
Die Jefferson: The Art of Power author explained that the Republican Party’s turn towards extremism in the Trump era is the outcome of decades of GOP politicians promising their base voters extreme policies – abortion bans, withdrawing the US from the United Nations, restoring mandatory Christian prayer in public schools – and being unable to deliver them because of the democratic nature of America’s system of government.
Asked about “Republican rage” evidenced by a recent poll which found a significant majority of Americans believing that a second civil war could happen soon, Mr Meacham replied: “I think it’s about the Republican establishment from Eisenhower through George W Bush not fundamentally delivering to the base. Who created the Warren Court? Eisenhower. Who appointed the justice who wrote Roe v. Wade? Richard Nixon. Who would campaign on anti-abortion amendments and school prayer?”
“That creates a trust deficit," hy het gesê. “I think one of the things that’s happened to the Republican Party, the party of Eisenhower and Reagan and the Bushes and the party that nominated John McCain and Mitt Romney 20 minutes before they nominated Donald Trump, is the will of the power”.
“Democracy again is not the natural state of things. We are emotional creatures. The insight of the founding [of the US] for all of its failings was that if we had a chance to do something, most people would do the wrong thing’.