Crucial lessons from American institutions

Trump supporters

Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Photo credit: Alex Edelman | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Trump is going home a disgraced man because of institutions that believe in the service of a country rather than tribe, party or man.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump may have brought disrepute to the world’s largest economy, but it’s the strong institutions in America that the world should borrow a leaf from.

In many parts of the world, dictators find strength in government institutions like the police and the army to cling to power or change presidential term limits. Not the case with the US where Republicans have put aside party politics and told the embattled Trump to his face that his actions are detrimental to the unity of their country.

A sitting president being suspended from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, came as a shocker to nations given to tyranny whose citizens continue be blocked by the state for merely holding divergent opinion.

We’ve seen former US presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama pillorying Trump for his assault on US democracy. In Africa, retired Presidents are won't to pander to the whims of their successors as security for the economic crimes they committed while in office.

The chaos witnessed on Wednesday at the US legislative house may be synonymous with Africa and many authoritarian states, but it shouldn’t give strong men and their legion of supporters the leeway to perpetuate abuse of power “because after all it's happening even in the US”.

There's a lot we can learn from Americans who have told a sitting president in no uncertain terms that his time his up no matter the power of the Nuclear Button he wields.

Trump is going home a disgraced man because of institutions that believe in the service of a country rather than tribe, party or man

Joab Apollo, Nairobi

Last Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the US Capitol, resulting in a confrontation with law enforcement, which resulted in the deaths of four people.

The riots were condemned worldwide as an assault on democracy. However, calling the US a banana republic is unfair. Democracy is more about strong institutions and less about individuals.

We saw election officials standing their ground in battlefield states like Georgia and counting votes as they should. We saw their courts make fair and just rulings without favouring those in power.

The President tried to challenge the results but failed. Invasion of the Capitol and incitement of followers to violence was the low moment in the process and should not have happened.

Trump must be condemned for this in the strongest terms possible but America must be praised for upholding the ideals of a democracy.

As a result, even the incumbent has bowed and promised a peaceful transition. That’s what democracy is all about.

Job Momanyi, Kisii


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