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Sandra Navidi: The Greatest Enemy of the State Resides in the White House

The United States is the most prosperous nation in the world. It has the largest economy, the most Nobel laureates and still holds the most patents. Americans like to think of their nation as exceptional. However, America’s continued preeminence is increasingly in doubt as a result of its leadership under President Donald Trump.

Since taking office, Trump has insidiously tried to orchestrate a hostile takeover of American democracy. As examples in Russia, Turkey and Hungary have demonstrated, modern-day autocracies don’t start out with military coups but with democratic elections, followed by a gradual dismantling of democratic structures, institutions and checks and balances in order to consolidate power.

Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic acts like a fire accelerant. Unable to contain the outbreak, the U.S. now has 20% of new cases worldwide, with only about 4% of the world’s population. Despite having been informed by his intelligence agencies in November 2019, President Trump first ignored, then denied and thereafter trivialized the unfolding crisis. To this day, he opposes testing, masks and lockdowns and instead calls for people to fill churches, sports arenas and his election rallies, even in hotspots. His response has been so catastrophic that it is hard to explain with incompetence alone. Indeed, it increasingly seems as if he not only failed to support rescue measures, but even worse, has sabotaged those of institutions and governors.

As a businessman Donald Trump gambled with other people’s money, as president he gambles with other people’s lives.

In the course of the escalating crisis, economic, social and political fragilities have exacerbated each other, and the resulting risks threaten prosperity, democracy and peace, not only for the United States, but the entire world. Hence, much hinges on the upcoming elections, for which the following four scenarios appear to be the most likely: (1) Trump loses, claims election fraud, contests the election, refuses to leave the White House and/or calls for violence on the streets. (2) He wins the elections based on voter suppression and fraud, social media propaganda and potential cyber-hacking of voting machines. (3) He could also try to postpone the elections based on his emergency powers due to a “national emergency” resulting from an escalating Corona COVID-19 situation and social unrest. (4) Lastly, it’s not entirely unthinkable that he gives up and quits the race in return for criminal immunity for himself and his family.

The greatest enemy of the United States resides in the White House. It appears as though Trump’s dystopian inaugural speech, commonly referred to as “American carnage”, wasn’t the status quo at the time, but the vision he had for the country. Hopefully, the United States will have a more competent president with integrity soon, who will unify the nation and lead it into a prosperous and peaceful future for all.

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