The day has come, and it will be a watershed moment for what happens from now on, not only for North American politics, but undoubtedly for world politics too. The investigation into the possible criminal acts relating to the Trump campaign have reached an inflection point, and the accusations that have arisen today are not only the start of a process that shakes the foundations of American institutions but will have repercussions that are felt way beyond its own borders.
Donald Trump is a seriously wounded animal who is in the clear sight of the hunters. This warning was previously written in this very same column space back in April: “Trump and Putin seem to share shameful interests, but the tangle has begun to be unraveled by the security and intelligence services, as well as by the fine hard work and dedication on the part of the media outlets which Trump has branded a danger. The links are increasingly evident, and point to a mutual collaboration aimed at fulfilling the economic interests of Trump and the geostrategic interests of Putin via a U.S. presidency that was never an objective but rather a means to an end. This, in simple terms, is called treason against one’s country.” (“Trump Seen from the Seychelles”; Swimming among Sharks, Excelsior, April 10, 2017).
A treachery that, nonetheless, would be very difficult to prove. The accusations that we have heard today are merely the first link in a chain of fireworks that Robert Mueller’s prosecution plans to detonate in an effort to get closer to the real target. A target that has almost total power and carries with it the codes of the nuclear warheads 24 hours a day. A target that is open to anything in order to satisfy its ambitions, as has been demonstrated over time − the U.S. president is an expert in media manipulation, and the increasingly incomprehensible, cutting remarks and the increasing frequency with which they are broadcast have coincided with the advances in the investigation that today awakens his greatest fears.
Fears that will be translated into grotesque acts aimed at diverting the attention of his electorate and reinforcing their fanaticism. The accusations of Mueller are nothing but the first in a long and delicate process, while Trump is the maestro of the ruse and can count on the backing of a public that only has ears for him. This is a perverse game that has us as one of his potential victims while he finds a more incendiary issue. What we can look forward to this week can range from the cancellation of NAFTA right up to a declaration of war against North Korea. It could be anything, always and when it is convenient for his own aims and serves to distract attention from what actually really troubles him. A boasting that diverts attention.
The game is for power and Trump knows it. The game is for liberty and he knows it too. The game is for ambition and for fear, for having more and conserving what has been obtained. He who has not hesitated to manipulate public opinion in order to feel satisfied will also not do so when he feels threatened. He who has lied to achieve power will not hesitate to lie again in order to conserve that power, especially considering the polarization in which he has immersed a society just so he could square up against his own neighbors.
Trump is a seriously wounded animal whose nature does not accommodate the instincts of fleeing or freezing: He will respond by attacking, and on the way he will carry millions of people who will lose their health system, get deported, or die in a meaningless war before he actually goes before the court. On the way, also, he will take with him the prestige of democracy, the strength of the institutions and the respect for the figure of the president. A prestige, strength and respect that could start to shake in other ways too. Be prepared.