Donald Trump is great for global democracy
Trump supporters will agree with me immediately and confirm that I am right. At least, before they read till the end of this article.
Trump opponents will strongly disagree. They may not even want to continue reading. I hope they hang in and hear me out. In the end, they may also find a way to agree with me.
So, why this provoking title? Because it is true. The phenomenon of the Trump presidency is a blessing in disguise for democracy the world over. But we need to pick apart this statement before we can discuss the hypothesis behind it.
To have a fruitful dialogue and possible discussion, we need to clarify what ‘democracy’ means. As a start, let’s ask our friend, the Internet, or more specifically, our top adviser ‘Google’.
If we google democracy, we are informed that the dictionary defines it as “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives”. We are also presented with Wikipedia’s column on democracy, providing an explanation of the standard understanding of “direct democracy”, “representative democracy” and “constitutional democracy”. And before diving into 33 pages of history, theory, and other aspects of democracy, Wikipedia provides us with a nebulous sentence. One, which perfectly explains why democracy is, at the same time, the easiest and the most difficult form of government: ”Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes”.
The truth is, democracy is so abstract as a concept that we can never find a definition which would sufficiently describe its characteristics in an unequivocally acceptable way. Strangely enough, and surprisingly perhaps, this is where Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America fits in.
As the concept of democracy cannot be clearly defined, we need to fill it from time to time with meaning and periodically acceptable understanding. And the world over, we had done so in a very convenient and familiar way for decades. We loved our representative democracy concept and the bubble it created so much, we never thought about the absurdity of such a system.
‘Representative democracy’ is a euphemism. It describes a system where people can obtain political power through various means, often hardly controlled and not controllable at times. Once they have obtained such power, they can widely use it without any personal liability, neither civil nor criminal. They can use the systems in place to serve their own political, commercial and other interest as well as their political allies’ interests with no meaningful control mechanism. The only such mechanism is the elections reoccurring periodically. But a lot of irreparable damage can be done within four, five, or similar amounts of years that an election cycle lasts typically. Thus, the controls are of limited value, at best.
Donald Trump is showing us this weakness of our beloved ‘representative democracy’ most efficiently and brutally. There seems to be no day where he does not say or do something ‘unusual’ (to put it politely). As a result, millions of people the world over feel happy about their president, who ‘tells it as it is’. But also, millions of people become angry, upset and would like to prevent the consequences of Trump’s policies, actions, and Twitter politics. The reality is, they will have to wait for the next elections (and may still be in for another surprise afterwards).
The cruel reality is, future elected leaders in the current representative democracy system may even be worse than Donald Trump. Undoubtedly, he is not the worst democratically elected politician till date (in my book, a certain Mr Adolf Hitler will hold on to this title, likely forever).
Bottom line – we ought to be thankful to Donald Trump. In a way. Daily, he shows us that democracy without continuous involvement of all the people it is supposed to govern is not the best system possible. The 45th president of the USA can claim some credit for sparking and fueling worldwide, directly and indirectly, new ideas about democratic societies and movements for more just, stable and responsible government with balanced, sustainable policies. And with the emergence and rapid development of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology we can create new and better societies. The ones, where a Donald Trump character is no longer in power and can enjoy his hamberders. Cofeve!