“If Trump leaves, Trumpism will not disappear”

US President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time in the House of Representatives on the 13th (local time) near the end of his term. Now the ball goes to the Senate. With the inauguration of the Biden administration, another variable was added.

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To hear the prospects of whether the Senate will impeach or dismiss Trump and how impeachment will affect the launch of the Biden administration, Jonathan Weyler, a professor at the University of North Carolina, was interviewed by phone. In 2009, before Trump even entered politics, Professor Weyler drew attention by publishing “Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics,” which deals with the impact of American polarized worldview on politics.

He diagnosed Senate Republicans, Democrats, and even the Biden administration as wanting to get out of the impeachment issue quickly. As such, he predicted that “the Senate will not destroy Trump.” He also predicted that “Trumpism will not disappear even if Trump leaves.”

Will the Senate condemn it?
“I guess not. To be impeached, 17 out of 50 Republican senators must approve, but under the current circumstances, more than 10 seem difficult.”

Democrats also know that passing the Senate is difficult.
“There is nothing against the Democratic Party from political calculations. There is also a rationalization logic that the entire party wants to be impeached, and that the president who instigated the civil war should be impeached. On the other hand, it is very inconvenient and difficult for the Republican Party. As it is an easy issue for the Democrats and difficult for the Republicans, the Democratic Party saw it as worthwhile to pursue.”

Biden-elect is less active in impeachment.
“It is because I don’t want to be disturbed by the agenda of state affairs in the early days of the government. Biden has no time. We have to show the people who are tired of Trump’s four years as soon as possible that something is different. Until next year’s midterm elections, concrete results should come out. As the economic stimulus bill and the approval of the minister must be dealt with as quickly as possible, the conflict over impeachment should be minimized.”

Will Trumpism end after Trump’s retirement?
“A country that is deeply divided emotionally will be difficult to heal for the time being. Whether the Trump loyalists will move to other politicians or even more extreme, no one knows the exact answer. Another politician other than Trump could continue the ignition of Trumpism. But what is certain is that the far right within the party will not disappear.”

Biden made a pledge of harmony and healing.
“It depends on how quickly America can get back to life. If Trump was the’provider of chaos’, Biden is the exact opposite. That was the voters’ choice. Six months later, if the majority of the people were vaccinated and the Corona 19 subsided and life returned to normal, the message of harmony and healing would be more easily accepted. But otherwise, it can be very difficult.”

The world is concerned about the undermining of American democracy.
“Of course, it could be a one-time incident with a man named Trump. The problem is that the division that made Trump that way won’t go away easily. According to political calculations, there can be any number of politicians who take only their own interests. That way, it seems like their strategy to make people feel skeptical about politics. It instills distrust and angers people by making them believe that the government can do nothing. Then you can manipulate people with false information.”

Washington = Correspondent Park Hyun-young [email protected]


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