Well aware as I am that what I say below may sound completely opposed to all carefully cultivated “reformational” political instincts, I yet ask:
would there be any value in us discussing how a Trump presidency might be induced to save itself, and with it the “American experiment”, by advocating a reformation of the entire system of electing a President?
Could not the ambiguities of a Trump Whitehouse, along with the institutional and social impacts, continue to mount up to such an extent that DT himself would have to become convinced that the only way of saving face would be to concede the fraudulence of the election result? In doing so, he could then refer to the complete failure of the Republican Party in that his nomination was simply the culmination of its complete vetting failures. And so he would also become the advocate of genuine reform in his own “side” of politics, instead of the multi-billionaire who made a killing on the back of increased and increasing political cynicism. But would he not first have to be convinced that the evidence is telling him of a built-in systemic fraudulence which has got him into his most uncomfortable position? Could the barbed-wire fence of the Trump presidency bring about a positive result?
Consider, could DT save his presidency by becoming the student of a political reform, even if that is something he has never before grasped, let alone considered? Could he, by adopting the humble role of student of political science, become the leader of a new wave of electoral justice reform across the USA? Could he thus induce those who voted for him, as well as those deeply opposed to his election, to keep on talking to each other in order to work for a root and branch reform of the system by which a President of the United States of America is elected?
Reflect on the election result. Think about the remarkable events after Hillary Clinton’s concession of defeat and the winner’s own comments, let alone his modus vivendi with the President whom he charged with all kinds of failures on his way to electoral victory? Is not his election due to a basic failure in the American political system and is not Mr Donald Trump, whatever his complicity in this failure in order to get elected, now best viewed as the victim of it?
So, now will the next incumbent of the US Presidency concede that the only way to save the “American experiment” is for him to become the central advocate of its reform – and in this case to repent of his summary dismissal of this own need for repentance – and simply acknowledge the fraudulence of his election win and the nation’s need for a new system of Presidential election?
I am well aware this might sound like I am making an impossible appeal to an hyper-idealistic un-realpolitik. But I do recall that with the disastrous election of “Dubbya” back in 2001, the US was then served by a White House “faith-based” initiative which, as I read it, would not have taken the form it did without the Centre for Public Public Justice’s Welfare Responsibility project during the first half of the 1990s. This was indeed a positive contribution from “a Christian political option” of justice for all.
In terms of the responses by the losing candidate as well as the US President, it would seem that these “Democrats” are more sympathetically aware of the “unanticipated consequences” that now confront DT than the President-elect himself. He now appears even more ridiculous with his back-pedalling on campaign promises, threats and other verbal garbage. His political opponents now seem, in their conciliatory tone, much more aware than the Victor of the barb-wire fence on which he is now positioning himself.
Nurturing Justice, in response to this “shock”, and with an anticipation of much turbulence, is simply putting forward the hope that it will bring with it some serious re-thinking about the taken-for-granted ground rules for representative democracy. And after all, in losing, Clinton with Al Gore before her, both outpolled their respective opponents who then each became President-elect.
After this “shock” election, the idea of a Christian political option does not seem so far away. We ask: why shouldn’t we, as Christian advocates of public justice for all, become involved in a movement of citizens who are advocating electoral justice for all? Why should not citizens of all genuine political beliefs demand the re-formation and further formation of genuine political parties? What would be unjust about a movement that promoted just representation of all citizens in the parliaments and councils of modern democracy? In fact, why have the extant political parties failed so miserably to make a clear and decisive political distance from “winner take all” forms of electing political representatives?
With all the post-modern swagger that dominates so-called “progressive” and “enlightened” political discourse these days, where are the political parties and their elected representatives who are daring to make a stand for just political representation particularly for those electors who can not accommodate their political beliefs to the opportunistic, pragmatic, end-justifies-the-means beliefs and programmes of those who in such electoral systems have been “elected” (better “delegated” perhaps) to represent them?
BCW 13.11.16 (edited 15.11.16)