When Trump tramples US values and nobody cares, we’d better all wake up
The chilling disregard for institutions that underpin freedom paves the way to post-democratic apocalypse
The great political question of the moment in America is not if Donald Trump will be convicted in the Senate impeachment trial. (Answer: almost certainly not.) Nor is it: will the proceedings themselves damage his chances of re-election? (Answer: almost certainly yes, but not very much.)
The question is actually, why do so few American voters seem to care about the incident that provoked the impeachment, or, for that matter, about any of the countless instances of the president’s outrageous behaviour?
To answer that query – or even to begin to understand it – requires a wider examination of not just this individual presidency, or even just that particular country. There is a transformation taking place in the political cultures of many developed societies which may be of historic significance for the West, of which the Trump personality is simply one very notable manifestation. But let’s look at the American example first because it is so stark and because, as is frequently claimed, what happens there often anticipates what will occur elsewhere...