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Opinions of Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Columnist: Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Donald J. Trump: Turning the USA into a Monarchy

For the longest time, the people of the United States have argued for and against kingship as a mode of government. The debate was fast and furious at the constitutional conventions of the 18th century. The colonies were products of imperial Europe and some members wanted to keep their imperial inheritance. But others had seen the dangers of monarchy. They remembered expressions like “Je suis l’état” (I am the State) as Louis XIV of France was alleged to had proclaimed. They remembered some English monarchs who had run roughshod over Britons. Therefore the latter group rejected anything monarchical.

In the end, monarchy was rejected in favour of a republic. President Washington was asked what was chosen and he allegedly replied: “a republic; if you can keep it”. And for two hundred and fifty years it seemed that the U.S. could keep itself a republic. The citizens worked hard, with their Constitution, to keep the nation a republic. There was a separation of powers and the creation of levers of powers and co-equal arms of government. There was impeachment as a tool to be used to remove a president who grows taller than the people and the constitution. The people believed that everything was under control.

In 2016, the citizens of U.S. elected Mr. Donald John Trump as president. Trump is an aristocrat who wants to be a monarch and he slowly turned the presidency into a monarchy. Nobody seemed to know where he was/is going, even when he made statements like: “I can do whatever I want”, even as he said he would build a wall in the southern border, whether the legislative body wanted it or not, and whether funds were authorised for it or not. He converted funds from the military to build the wall. Donald J. trump rewrote the immigration bill to fit into his scheme; and he refused to disclose his tax filings as it has become the tradition. And when he invited foreign countries to help keep his post, alarms began to rise. It was only then that people became aware that he had used public funds to pressure Ukraine to submit to his desire to undermine his democratic political rival.

The U.S. Senate has since exonerated Trump and the world awaits the next steps: Will congress attempt another impeachment if the Democrats win over the Senate in 2020 and Mr. Trump is re-elected? Will the public go along? Or is the exoneration of Trump the end of this transition from a republic to a monarchy?

And the Democratic Party decided to use the impeachment clause to stop him.

President Trump knew that he had one more fight on his way to becoming a monarch; a battle he has to win. That fight is on now and the president seems to be winning. If he ultimately wins, we would behold King Trump, and the U.S.A will become like Europe before the 20th century. It will not be like the present United Kingdom, which even though is a monarchy, is actually a weak version of this system. A U.S. monarch would be a very strong king with dictatorial powers; powers to get out of treaties; cancel international agreements; declare war as he sees fit; cancel the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO); dictate to the United Nations (UN), etc. Trump would be able to do this because the U.S. is the only superpower around and no nation or even a combination of nations are able to challenge the United States.

The U.S. Senate has since exonerated Trump and the world awaits the next steps: Will congress attempt another impeachment if the Democrats win over the Senate in 2020 and Mr. Trump is re-elected? Will the public go along? Or is the exoneration of Trump the end of this transition from a republic to a monarchy? Is the transition complete? Will U.S.A ever return to being a republic?

These questions will not be answered fully until a century has passed.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba wrote from Boston, Massachusetts.