LETTER | If we Google the word “trumpery”, the meaning that came up was “attractive articles of little value or use” or “showy but worthless”.
Democracy in the US today is trumpery and it is not because its president is Donald J Trump. Trump is just the symptom of the US' gradual demise, not the cause. The cause had taken root a long time ago.
Words like democracy, freedom, rule of law, transparency and good governance have long lost their real meaning nowadays. The bastion of the world’s democracy is showing every sign of entropy and disarray. They talk hauntingly of their great institutions of democracy but they have nothing much to show in terms of principles and substance.
When power is abused routinely and when the majority is used to bully the minority, nothing good ever gets done. This is the US today. Nothing is more glaringly shown than in the way it handles Covid-19 and its trade dispute with China.
As said earlier, Trump is the symptom, not the cause of US problems. The real cause is unprincipled politicians and abuse of democracy in the US.
What hope is there for emerging democracies when the world’s most lively and enduring democracy has gradually withered and disintegrated?
Would the nations around the world draw a bad example from the US and start their own baloney in their respective countries? I think very much so.
Yes, why not, it pays to be unprincipled. It pays to switch allegiances based on “What is there in it for me”. It pays to steal and when get caught, just wrangle your way out.
It pays to abuse power because there is no need for accountability and responsibility. Losers in an election can become winners while winners become losers. While all this is happening, all the institutions of government just stand around and watch as if nothing is going on.
It pays to be corrupt because no politician ever goes to jail for this. Just make corruption big and complicated and after a while, no one really knows what is going on anymore. You see, we hardly talk about Jho Low and where he is now, am I right?
In the US it is not about Trump. In Malaysia, it is not about Najib, Mahathir or Muhyiddin. It is our truncated democracy and great hypocrisy.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.