POP SEMIOTICS

Published February 2, 2021

The second impeachment of Donald Trump as a semiosis event: a prediction

by Jojo Soria de Veyra

The Wikipedia article on the second impeachment of Donald Trump

       HE second impeachment of Donald Trump occurred on 13 January 2021 in the United States House of Representatives, with the written charge delivered to the United States Senate on 25 January. The Senate thereafter scheduled the trial to commence on 9 February.
    What of this second impeachment?
    Well, members of the US Democratic Party (and a few Republicans) in the US House referred to the act as simply something that they needed to do as part of their obligation as leaders of a democracy. The Democrats in the US Senate would undoubtedly agree. The crucial objective? To put on record the charge of incitement of insurrection against the now-unseated President, Donald Trump, and then to ban him from holding any public office of trust in the future.
    Here's the thing, though. During the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol on 6 January, it is true that even members of Trump's White House staff were alarmed by what was happening, so much so that one of them nervously went to Twitter to quickly inform the President's supporters in real time that we did not win, that we lost, and that these supporters should all go home in peace. Thereafter, some Trump apologists, including Senator Lindsey Graham, who earlier had been endorsing Trump's claims of widespread election fraud, walked back his support for the theory/lie during the resumed electoral vote count and final confirmation of Joe Biden's win. More significantly in America's plutocratic system, a number of major corporations instantly halted their political contributions to the Republican Party in response to the incited storming of the Capitol and the continued objections by a number of Republican legislators to the certification of the December 2020 electoral vote count.
    What all that latter signified was this: corporate support for Republicans (including the alt-rightists among them, whose numbers had been increasing in the party) had been deemed by these corporations as a worthwhile endeavor, in terms of getting from it certain desirable tax breaks that would amount to millions of dollars as well as a more deregulated atmosphere for dirty money moves, . . . but only until now. The storming was not going to make any of these corporations happy, because firstly public outcry against it was quick and large, even among Republican voters, and so therefore harmful for these companies to have their brands associated with the seemingly new and instant Republican direction they were seeing on their TV screens, a direction that they likely feel threatens to lead the country to an unpredictable form of bigger insurrection. Secondly, no corporate interest would welcome a possible eruption of civil war, either pocket or widespread, and would naturally be fearful of their own continued financial support getting channeled to such a gruesome effort, not to mention the fact that a civil war would simply lead Trump's fine people to cause Wall Street's overnight collapse.
    But here's what needs to be seen. A few days after the storming of the Capitol, more and more Republicans, as well as members of the right-leaning media, went back to the peddling of this or that lie about the election, either directly or indirectly. These were the very lies that motored the act of insurrection of January 6.
    This return to lying form only signifies two things. One, these Republican politicians and movers likely realized (after some polling, for instance) that Trump's lies' believers still had the majority among their base, and traditional politicians being what they are, fears of either losing future support or harassments at airports became more important than any need to patriotically keep a democracy at status quo. Two, the more diehard alt-right members of the party, who (again) have been increasing their numbers through the years since the birth of the Tea Party faction and with the advent of conspiracy theory movements within the party, seemed to have pondered a bright potential for their agenda in what transpired on January 6, and thence found it necessary to immediately walk back their post-January 6 distancing of their voices from the Trump lies.
    And so this is what the second impeachment of Donald Trump, and the oncoming trial, is finally giving us as a sign. It is sending us signals that what shall be in the process of progressing shall be a Republican Party acquiescence by consensus to the notability of a Trump return, and along with it a return of alt-right politics (whose rise had always been motored by a post-truth culture) as the ruling politics of the nation. It looks very much like the party realized that a civil war that many in the party initially feared might be ignited by their continuation of Trumpian post-truth rhetoric . . . is, wait a minute, actually and precisely what the new majority of the Republican Party had been wanting to see happen in the United States in the first place!
    Now, whether it'll happen in the near or far future, it doesn't matter, but this new party majority sure hopes it happens in its members' lifetime! Why? Here's why. Alt-rightists (along with the Christian Right and their flat-earther cohorts) would want nothing more than to have a region of their own and a Constitution of their own independent of intrusions or influence from the US blue states and their politicians! Sure, having the entire country under their rule would be quite the treat, but they also know that this will only prove to be continually frustrating, so separation would naturally be higher in their platform's priority list.
    So, those real desires post-storming of the US Capitol are what will be brought to light by the results of the impeachment trial, in fact have already been brought to light in the period between January 6 and today before the trial's start, articulated through such stalwarts from the new right as Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, etc. And while the Center and the Left continue to see the storming of the Capitol as the turning point that might lead the nation towards the realization that US democracy is truly as fragile as any democracy elsewhere on the planet and thus must be fully guarded, the Right now actually see that very storming as a signal of good things to come for their Confederate flag-sporting separatist agenda. Is it possible that many Democrats are failing to see this rightist view of things, or are dismissing it as an implausible future? We'll see.
    But, of course, we don't know if the new Republican right themselves realize that they will have to go through big hurdles in the attainment of their currently-progressing fascist-romantic dream. For success definitely won't be a breeze. As we speak, the neoconservatives of the Republican Party under such big names as Liz Cheney, along with Republican movers of The Lincoln Project, may likely be preferring a party schism to having it overtaken by the party's differently-violent alt-right wing. Finally, the biggest hurdle that the near-sighted alt-right may themselves not be seeing presently is the impossibility of actually dividing the United States into red states and blue states, i.e., into two separate federations, even if it's going to be coursed through a series of peaceful referendums, or especially if it's to be coursed through peaceful referenda. For one, almost all red states except Kansas and one other state have blue urban areas. And while it's true that the red rural counties of these states may have more heavily-armed citizens and militias, it will not be long before the blue-leaning urbanites in the red states realize that they cannot be at a disadvantage against the red-leaning rural rightists who would want to prevent their states' urbanites from joining the blue federation.
    But all those are still going to be in the (near or far) future. At the moment, most Republicans of the US Senate are simply wanting to abide by their base's leanings and desires, leanings and desires they may truly subscribe to themselves and did not merely use, and thus would largely vote to acquit Donald Trump. They would allow the possibility of Trump's return to the national government's helm, whether they like it or not, and nothing will bother them beyond this need for a base support.
    The rest of the world, however, who are seeing the signs from a distance and have been seeing them for a long time now, appreciates the second impeachment of Donald Trump as simply the start of a new dawn for the United States, or dusk as it may be, thanks to a culture long been hampered by deep interpretations of the Bible, high devotion to bullets, and a great fear of blackness. The United States defeated Germany's Adolf Hitler during World War II, but the country as one has yet to defeat the Adolf Hitler that had long been living inside its people's hearts, and this Hitler has only just begun to enter the American cultural mainstream. A second American civil war is not anymore an issue of possibility or probability, it's one that's already presently scanning the nearest possible time of occurrence, and Republican movements and mouthings at this juncture are already signifying all that boiling desire for attaining the impossible.
    Meanwhile, Democrats and CNN tag Greene and her admirers in the new Republican party of the House as "Q crazy," virtually dismissing post-truth politics as mere insanity, essentially failing to recognize the serious fact that post-truth politics is first and foremost a Machiavellian strategy. And that is why Machiavelli will win here. At least in the ignition phase of things that the other side will unlikely ever be able to prevent from happening. [d]

 

 

 

Jojo Soria de Veyra is a painter, poet and social/cultural criticism blogger and the editor of diskurso art magazine

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