An attack on democracy: Trump fires Comey

May 25, 2017 — by David Koh

Sophomore's opinion on Trump's termination of FBI director, James Comey. 

History shows that some of the world’s best-known dictators have sought to wipe out those who posed a threat to them. Hitler had Kristallnacht and Stalin had his trusty secret police to crush his opposition.

Though on a significantly more benign scale, President Donald Trump recently tried to undermine the opposition by  firing FBI director James Comey. Notably, Comey was heading an FBI investigation into the Trump administration’s alleged cooperation with Russia in interfering with the 2016 elections.

Trump has also tried to tar the media, the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration in a slanderous Tweets and public statements in an effort to alleviate the intense opposition he has been receiving since coming into office.  

Fortunately, Comey’s termination has not led to the end of the investigation. However, Trump’s firing of Comey speaks volumes in terms of the future of American politics.

Comey’s termination is nothing short of juridical obstruction. Even though it may not have put a dent in the ongoing investigation against the Trump administration, Trump’s efforts to impede the investigation should be a reason for major concern.

One of democracy’s largest selling points has been its ability to reflect the opinions of the general population. But democracy can’t function without an attempt at transparency by the leaders of democracies. The fact that Trump is seeking to undermine the legal process should give every American pause and could be reason for impeachment.

As members of a democratic country, Americans must ensure that their access to accurate information about the government is never compromised. Trump’s shunning of  media outlets like CNN and The New York Times in press conferences is symbolic of his contempt for the role of journalism in a functioning democracy.

Furthermore, Trump’s firing of Comey is a direct threat to democracy. If Trump is able to fire anyone who poses a threat to him within the government, then he too is an effective dictator. Politics itself revolves around debates, conflicting ideologies and ultimately compromises — none of which exists if Trump is able to remove opposition.

Given Trump’s tendency to leak national secrets to his BFFs in Russia, drop bombs in the Middle East and insulate himself from legal jurisdiction by firing those who seek to expose him, all the while angering the international community. The American people should demand better and should seek justice.

Although the details to Comey’s termination are slowly coming to light, we must remain vigilant about all breaches or potential breaches of democratic ideology to ensure that we are living in a place that is truly representative of American opinions — and not the inclinations of a leader who has autocratic leanings.

 

 

 
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