The initial conclusions reached by the congressional select committee on the events of Jan. 6, 2021, are far from surprising. What is astounding, however, is that Donald Trump is still enjoying the support of almost 43% of American voters, pretty much the same approval rating as Joe Biden.
Vice President Kamala Harris has only a 37% approval rate. The rest of the potential candidates for the U.S. presidency, Republicans and Democrats alike, remain below 30%. As for Congress, it is hard to see how it will avoid being dominated by the Republicans at the midterm elections in November. Short of something extraordinary happening, the United States is getting ready to enter a fundamentalist Republican era — a catastrophe for the country, and for the world.
Has the Committee Really Revealed Anything?
The coup that Donald Trump attempted has been analyzed over and over again. The select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 has only confirmed what every U.S. political analyst already knows: Trump did, indeed, try to remain in power by bypassing democratic institutions, which makes him a would-be dictator. Unfortunately, Republican voters, particularly those within the party’s activist base, believe the coup was justified. Officially, because the elections were rigged. Unofficially, because the country’s demographic changes place white rural voters at a disadvantage and risk annihilating any chance they may have to gain power democratically without manipulating election results.
What Might the Next Election Bring about?
The rise of religious fundamentalism in the U.S. and its links with libertarian groups within the Republican Party have become obvious. The recent decisions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court have merely been in response to puritanical religious and libertarian obsessions. A minority of 40% of the population approve of those decisions. It is clear that with a Republican Congress and president, this fundamentalist religious minority will become even more powerful in the country.
What Will the Consequences Be for the United States?
This religious fundamentalism and libertarianism go against the majority of American voters, especially in larger cities and in the coastal regions. Those run the risk of considerably weakening federal power. In return, the individual American states will be called upon to vote on laws covering a plethora of issues, which will highlight the legislative and social discrepancies between the states and make pressure from local lobbies even more efficient. In short, factors for disunity across the country will increase.
What Can We Expect at the International Level?
No democratic country can claim to replace the United States at the international level. The U.S., through its military power, will no doubt continue to play a major part globally. But what would relations between Trump and Vladimir Putin look like? Might we see the two leaders shake hands at the Kremlin, like two good pals? Might a puritanical and libertarian American government launch crusades against those countries that have legalized abortion or those that have generous social policies?
How Would Canada Be Affected?
Canada can expect nothing good from the fundamentalist and libertarian drifts of the United States. Already Conservative candidates, both at the provincial and federal levels, are attempting to adapt our local reality to the far-right ideology which is becoming dominant south of the border. They have found a powerful ally in the ravings of the multicultural and woke movements which have been steering more and more voters toward their side. Between one raving and the other, which is the lesser?