Sic semper tyrannis

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(Latin, ‘Thus always to tyrants’)

This will perhaps be our last article on the disgraced soon-to-be former president of the United States. There really will be no further point in dispensing ink on his stewardship in the White House, never mind his utterly contemptible last days. Yesterday evening, Donald John Trump was again impeached, conferring on him the dubious distinction as the only US president to have been impeached twice. The latter, for his inflammatory rhetoric encouraging his rabid supporters to “fight like hell, or you’re not going to have a country anymore,” and making untrue and misleading statements about the US election, which he lost badly. Of course, his repeated challenges to the election outcome, as well as his desperate attempt to coerce the Georgia Secretary of State to pervert the electoral process, have also been cited as some of the grounds for his impeachment. We cannot think of a single solitary area in which history will be kind to the Trump presidency.

The irony in all of this is that the man who hyperventilated about being tough on crime, and law and order, proved to be quite a lawless president. Actually, those who voted to impeach him claimed that he “Gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a co-equal branch of government.” We suggest that Trump is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanours,” never mind, treason. Inciting an angry mob to storm the seat of government, the heart of American democracy (such as it is), looks mighty treasonous to us.

We are already hearing verdicts that Trump will go down as the worst American president ever, and we suspect that one is not likely to get any argument on that score from most of the world. He took his backward-thinking Make America Great again theme to the extreme, with his selfish, isolationist policies, and his ethnocentrism. Remember the vulgar term that he used to describe the countries from which people that did not look like him hailed. He was spiteful and racist and divisive, given to separating immigrant children from their parents in detention centres. He was a science denier, removing the US from the Paris Accords and relaxing restrictions on regulations designed to protect the environment. He scrapped the Iran nuclear agreement, and arguably brought the world to the brink of another major war, what with his hostile actions towards Iran.

From his trade wars with China, coupled with him calling the Covid-19 virus, the “China virus,” to his removal of the US from the World Health Organisation, to his aggression towards Cuba and Venezuela, and so on and so forth, Donald J Trump made the world a more volatile and scarier place. With his impeachment, and his near-total lack of support from his erstwhile associates, we believe that the world can breathe easier.

Interestingly, for a megalomaniac like Trump, his bans, some temporary, from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are also rather unkind cuts. He was in love with his own ugly rantings, spending hours spewing venom and hatred. For example, he’d once tweeted to his 8 million Twitter followers that the outraged good citizens who were demanding justice for George Floyd, were “thugs.” Such were his many vile and insensitive pronouncements. Thankfully, he has been neutralised some, and its hurting him to the quick.

When Marcus Junius Brutus participated in the assassination of Julius Caesar, it is said that he uttered the words chosen as the title of this editorial – in English, translated as, ‘Thus always to tyrants.’ It suggests that haughty and abusive leaders will eventually get their just desserts. See the pages of history.

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