Expectedly, Donald Trump has got away unpunished. The failure of the US Senate to impeach him a second time would mean that he can still continue to mess with the Republican Party. Such a polarising figure in American politics does not augur well for the future of the most powerful country in the world.
At a time when China is challenging the US both on the economic and military fronts and bids fair to replace the US as the number one power in the next decade or so, someone like Trump dominating the Republican Party is a matter of great concern. That he intends to try and win back the presidency in 2024 is a frightening thought for anyone who holds the cause of democracy dear. Of course, such a prospect would be most welcome in Beijing and Moscow.
Even those Republican Senators who acknowledged that Trump instigated the storming of the Capitol on January 6 voted against the impeachment, for fear of being isolated by the Republican base which is still in thrall of the former president. This only shows how polarising a figure Trump is.
The seven Republican Senators who voted with the 50 Democrats have now come under pressure in their respective states from the Trumpian base of their party. Yet, the seven need to be commended for standing up for higher ideals than some of their colleagues, who, while fully aware of Trump’s complicity in the violent attack on the Capitol, stopped short of impeaching him. Such selfishness disfigures American democracy. Hopefully, under Biden, the Republican base will feel encouraged to shun Trump and his extremist politics.