It looks like Donald Trump will be impeached – again.

Federal prosecutors have informed him that he is a target of their investigation into the January 6 riot and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

This would be Trump’s third criminal indictment and counting. Prosecutors in Georgia are still considering charges.

It should feel like the fulfillment of America’s commitment to justice that Trump finally faces some accountability for his recklessness and ruthlessness, for his denial of constitutional concerns and apparent contempt for the law.

So why does it feel so anti-climatic? Why does the feeling of foreboding remain? Why is there no sense of finality in the air?

It feels that way because there is no guarantee that we are reaching the end of the Trump era of menace. On the contrary, there is every indication that he has no intention of bending or breaking — that he would rather destroy our democracy than be responsible for it.

America is undergoing an extreme stress test, and no one really knows how it will turn out.

It is the chronic optimists who hold the shameful view that America can defy history and not be subject to the well-recorded and almost universal rise and fall of empires. Not me: I recognize the fragility of the United States. I see the soft, fleshy spots where a shiv could be plunged and do the most damage. And I’m not alone.

For too many Americans, however, hearing someone say that our democracy is in danger sounds like partisan exaggeration, a sky-falling attempt to sway public opinion. They doubt Trump will fundamentally and permanently change what our country says it stands for.

But Trump continues to indicate that a unraveling democracy is exactly his plan. Just this week, The Times reported that if Trump were re-elected, he plans to “reshape the structure of the executive branch to concentrate far greater authority squarely in his hands.”

And many of the people who follow and support Trump either know this and enthusiastically support it or turn a blind eye to it. Either way, they’re all in.

Some political observers naively believed that a critical mass of Trump supporters could be released from his spell when they were confronted about his corruption.

They failed to recognize that Trump had infected the trust of his followers. They believe in nothing more than they believe in him. They wanted their prejudices confirmed rather than challenged, and Trump filled the need. He became a symbol, an inspiration and an aspiration. He became an idea, which is far more dangerous than an individual.

Trump achieved this by capitalizing, to an almost unprecedented degree, on Americans’ addiction to celebrity culture. He is not the first president to acquire and hire a celebrity: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have also done so.

But each of these men married his celebrity to our politics; Trump has used his celebrity to pervert our politics. He sensed the fragility of our political system, its over-reliance on precedent, norms and decency and its inability to foresee chaos – chaos he could weaponise.

Trump recognized that for many Americans celebrity was more powerful than character or citizen. That celebrity allowed for a vicarious reality, one that acknowledged the flower but hid the thorns.

In this environment, some people’s desire to belong and to be affirmed and validated has transcended truth and reality. And in that space, he could be the captain of their team, the leader of their group and the minister of their church.

For them, Trumpism has become a form of identity entertainment, a carnival for like-minded people led by an impresario who mixes amusement with anger, fear and grievance.

In this environment, it is also easy for Trump to fend off challengers who appeal more to the mind than to the soul.

His closest rival for the Republican nomination is Ron DeSantis, whose campaign is struggling as Republicans continue to rally around Trump. DeSantis possesses no magic. Never have He’s dull and boring, a beta-male cosplaying bravado.

DeSantis thought his provincial trifle would scale to the national level without change or adjustment. He thought he could take down the MAGA oracle with his state level report card.

But Trump needs the nomination more than DeSantis wants it. For Trump, re-election would be the most effective protection against prosecution and possible imprisonment.

Trump understands that the political calendar and the legal calendar can be played against each other.

Unless the country denies Trump re-election – an outcome still too early to predict – the country is judging its own doom.

Trump has three things working for him: the fact that America’s accountability systems have not yet adjusted to his newness, a die-hard set of supporters, and time.

Time may prove to be the most important of the three because time is what the country itself is running out of.

By admin

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