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The impeachment of former President of the United States, Donald Trump, will not only make the climactic climate of the last electoral campaign lengthen, but it is already impacting at more imperceptible levels.RELATED
This is the opinion of Pablo Scuticchio, an Argentine political scientist at Cornell University, who proposes to get away for a moment from all the information and controversies of television ‘prime time’, and take a closer look at what is happening inside the Republican Party.
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“This trial is something like a first Republican intern. Remember that Trump, so far, could run for a next term, and, in fact, he has indicated that this will be the option, “he adds.
How will the natural candidates for the presidency in 2024 deal with this situation? Scuticchio puts the magnifying glass on them.
“I imagine that several of them are ready to present their own campaign. There’s former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and several others. What will they do? If the president is free from impeachment and stands for election, they will surely want to remain loyal. But, on the other hand, they may be interested in Trump being found guilty, ”he notes.
He adds: “This trial is pitting Republican leaders, and they are going to have to juggle their individual presidential ambitions, and the interest of accompanying the former president if he is to run for office again.”
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From there another problem arises: To what extent is it feasible to defend Trump publicly? “That can play for or against in the next election. And if we assume that he is not going to run or they are not going to let him do it in 2024, we would have to think about how independent voters, those who are neither Republicans nor Democrats, can decide the future, “adds Scuticchio.
As everything indicates that Trump will emerge unscathed from the ‘impeachment’ – it would take 17 Republicans to change sides – several of the Republican leaders are back to support him.
An explosion caused by the police as supporters of Donald Trump gather in front of the Capitol. REUTERS
And in the midst of all this debate, a contradiction appears: Donald Trump is not a good candidate. “It has been quite mediocre, in the sense that it lost the elections in the middle term, and, in 2016, it did not win with the popular vote but rather electorally. He doesn’t have such an impressive record, ”says the specialist.
His ability, Scuticchio claims, is to have won the loyalty and support of Republican and Conservative voters.
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The fact is that the polarization that the ‘impeachment’ adds to Congress is undeniable, but for Yamilé Guibert, a Peruvian political scientist at Cornell University, it should not be understood as an isolated event, but rather how it is nurtured and impacted on the electorate.
Guibert proposes an example: the rise to power of Marjorie Taylor Green – controversial congresswoman for claiming that the California fires were caused by a laser operated by Jews and calling for the death of Nancy Pelosi – elected by Republican voters.
“And we could also talk about how some of those voters have responded to the riots on the Capitol: there are those who began to see the party with different eyes, while others reinforced their ideas. This invites us to think that the division seen in Congress is not particular to that institution, but rather comes from what the electorate is looking for. And vice versa. There is feedback ”, says Guibert.
THE ROLE OF BIDEN
Guibert highlights the silence of President Joe Biden. The reason: he would be under the sword of Damocles: “His image is that of the senator who at some point could build bridges with the Republicans, who is even a friend of some of them. The question is whether he can compromise with people who are supporting someone who was against democracy, ”he says.
To this must be added its message of unity. Will you bet on justice or on making peace?
The specialist notes: “It is a very complicated situation because either he chooses to defend democracy and hold everyone involved accountable, which is what every president should do, or he chooses to turn his back on all Republicans.”
That is why, until now, he has been very cautious on the subject. “While you may have an opening speech in which you try to promote unity and friendship, the reality is more complex. And his silence tells you a lot. The question that arises from this situation would be how much that position is going to guarantee that Republicans will want to compromise with him, ”says Guibert.
Scuticchio adds to that look. “One of the main stakeholders in making this impeachment happen and ending quickly is President Biden himself. This not only distracts the senators from approving the items on their legislative agenda, but it continues to give publicity and visibility to a president who surely would like to play golf at his Florida resort. “
REPERCUSSIONS IN THE WORLD
Scuticchio notes that Trump’s trial reminds Latin American politics of the last decade and a half. “Presidents who finish their mandate and who, shortly after, have to go back to court because they face trials. And if South American politics is any indication of what is going to happen in the US, we could conclude that the result is going to be very divisive. “
Former President Donald Trump in front of the Western Wall. REUTERS
In a similar vein, Guibert says that ‘impeachment’ invites us to reflect on the state of democracy. If it is deteriorating in the United States, how can it affect or serve as an example to Latin America, which always had a dependent relationship with them?
She maintains: “I believe that concerns about the survival of democracy and its consolidation in the region are growing. At some point they tried to make a parallel between Trump and Bolsonaro, due to their authoritarian government styles and their conservative rhetoric, so this situation can be negative if the power and attractiveness of this type of political figures is taken into account.
Another detail emerges from this topic. “We could discuss how congresses use their powers to control presidents. Although they are different processes, in the case of Peru, we have seen it in the last vacancy attempts. But insofar as it is a type of limitation from the legislature to the executive, they are similar, ”says Guibert.
“But, again, it is a subject with which you have to be careful because it is not the same. And just as the Peruvian case has shown that congress sanctions against executive figures can be used for good or for evil, it says a lot about the state of democracy in the world that this issue is so in vogue “, he adds. the political scientist.
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