Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Stagnant Politics and Trump


Stagnant Politics and Trump
Peter Schultz

            The US political system is stagnant – it is, as Trump called it, “a swamp” – and “we the people” are seeking change, even significant change. The signs are everywhere, from the White House where Trump is president, to the Congress where a Muslim black woman from, of all places, Minnesota and another woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, from the Bronx, are serving, while such people being in office would have been inconceivable not so many years ago. Throw in Bernie Sanders and his challenge to establishment faction of the Democratic Party and it seems pretty clear that our established political order is stagnant and has lost its legitimacy.

            Just as interesting, that some of these people won electoral victories illustrates that the only way out of our “swamp,” our stagnant political order, is electorally. The kind of change that is necessary and desirable can only come about by way of elections, not by way of institutional adjustments, so to speak. And this is why the movement to impeach Trump, for example, or moves to institutionally silence and disempower Omar or Ocasio-Cortez, should be resisted. Such moves would not, could not create the changes needed to overturn our stagnant political order. Impeach Trump or indict him and force him from office via resignation and the status quo powers, those who are invested in our stagnant political order, our “swamp,” will have their power reinforced, perhaps even extended. Resisting the impeachment of Trump then should be embraced, not for Trump’s sake, but for our own and the health of our political order.