The first moments of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial were enough to recall his authoritarian nature, his democracy, and his incompetence.
The result of Trump’s test is approximate. His responsibility for instigating the violent 6 January uprising would be demonstrated, but not enough to get 17 Republican senators to approve him.
This test misses a disturbing truth. Despite his democratic totalitarianism, Trump could return to power, not by an immediate coup, but by an election he lost only because of his incompetence.
A revealing test
It took a few minutes for representatives of the House of Representatives to demonstrate that Trump acted like an autocrat by instigating a violent January 6 rebellion against Capitol Hill.
For months, the ex-president has conditioned his supporters to believe that only a rigorous election can defeat him. From election night, he sowed the “Big Lie” of massive electoral fraud in his mind with no evidence.
He ordered his supercharged supporters to go to Capitol Hill and “fight like hell” to reverse the election result. They believed it. They went to fight. There have been deaths. It was not long ago among senior politicians among the victims.
The test confirms what we already knew: Donald Trump is an autocratic person who believed he could hold office by lying.
At this trial, Trump’s attorneys were remarkably incompetent. His written statement was full of mistakes, his rare attempts to construct a legal argument filled with contradictions and errors.
This amateurishness is a reflection of the Trump presidency, which has repeatedly demonstrated its incompetence and tendency to lie. Exactly a year ago, Trump – who knew the danger of coronovirus – announced that the virus was no worse than a small flu and that it would magically disappear in the spring.
This incapacity, exposed to lies and aggravated by his refusal to listen to his own scientists, caused havoc which largely contributed to his electoral defeat.
A disturbing question
It is almost certain that Republican senators will not dare to condemn the former president, despite irrefutable evidence that he incited his supporters to revolt on the basis of a big lie. Best of all, his defense can be so formidable that some Republicans will be forced to plead guilty.
However, 17 Republican senators are unlikely to have this courage. Trump will likely be acquitted and continue to poison his party and his country.
It is sad that neither voters nor senators rejected Trump because of his lies or his authoritarianism, but only because of his incompetence.
What if a democracy, a liar and an autocratic, other than being Donald Trump – if only minimally capable?
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