US Citizens Can Either Be Loyal to Trump or to Democracy and Freedom, Not Both

Every day of Donald Trump’s reign as US President seems to bring a new drama, with the details of his misdeeds being poured over. Public scrutiny and the rule of law are, of course, crucial aspects of a healthy democracy. In this case, though, there is a grave danger of missing the wood for the trees.

Clearly, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia must continue unhindered to its conclusion. But the legal process is also inadvertently diverting political attention from what is already known about Trump’s actions.

The US law enforcement agencies established beyond doubt a year ago that Russia interfered massively in the 2016 Presidential election. The Kremlin’s covert activities were aimed exclusively at helping Trump and harming his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Various senior Trump campaign officials had multiple meetings and other contacts with Kremlin representatives in the run-up to the election. These officials include campaign manager Paul Manafort, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, Trump’s first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, and son Donald Trump Jr. At least one high-ranking advisor, Carter Page, met with known Russian intelligence officers.

This level and frequency of contact between a US presidential candidate’s team and an enemy power dedicated to damaging US interests is unprecedented. No other campaign has ever been involved in anything like it.

Trump’s actions are not those of a man who believes he is innocent

As Donald Trump Jr. has made clear, these connections may go back several years. When the Trump businesses were struggling in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, he said “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of our assets….we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia”. Indeed, the existing evidence strongly indicates that the Trump organisation was kept afloat by Russian money, much of it from dubious Kremlin-connected figures.

Trump’s gratitude, at a minimum, for this business and political help is clear. His praise for the KGB veteran and Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, is effusive and consistent. Simultaneously, Trump regularly does Putin’s bidding by abusing America’s long-standing democratic allies and reducing the US’s global power in the process.

As President, Trump is openly defying the US’s democratic institutions by refusing to implement sanctions against the Russian regime and the mafia state it runs. Trump’s refusal comes despite a near unanimous bipartisan vote in Congress to enact the sanctions (419-3 in the House of Representatives, 98-2 in the Senate).

Trump has not offered any serious defence against the substance of the investigation into him. Instead, he has repeatedly abused his Presidential powers by trying to stop the inquiry and to sack the respected public servants running it.

He is now undermining America’s forces of law and order by accusing them of bias against him. This is a dangerous step to take for the President of a nation built on the rule of law. At the very least, Trump’s actions are not those of a man who believes he is innocent.

Trump’s continuation in office ought not to depend solely on the legal process managing to overcome his desperate attempts to block it. The information already publicly available shows that Trump has helped an enemy state to damage America’s democracy and national interests. This existing evidence should be more than enough to make it politically impossible for him to continue as President.

The only truly essential question now for patriotic US citizens is whether they are loyal to Donald J. Trump, or to freedom, democracy and the United States of America? They cannot be both.



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