USA has been a preacher of democracy for a very long time, despite having potholes in it’s own democracy. In many countries around the world an now in USA, basic democratic norms and values are under threat from authoritarian regimes that seek to silence their critics and opponents.
Donald Trump is seen as the main contender for the upcoming presidential election in United States against Joe Biden. The failed administration of Joe Biden has boosted the popularity of opposition leader Donald Trump among US citizens. Political analysis opine his popularity seems to be pinching thorn in the eyes of ruling government in US. Experts argue Donald Trump can easily defeat Biden if elections take place today.
Politically motivated attack on Donald Trump is a direct attack on free and fair elections in USA.
The recent politically charges relate to an alleged cover-up over the ‘hush money’ paid to porn star Stormy Daniels. Daniels claims she had sex with Trump in 2006 and then accepted $130,000 from his former lawyer weeks before the 2016 presidential election, in exchange for her silence on the encounter.
This id one of the most common tactics used by such regimes is to jail opposition leaders on false or fabricated charges, often using politicized courts and security agencies. This not only violates the rights of the opposition leaders themselves, but also has serious consequences for the health and stability of democracy as a whole.
The falling image of USA’s democracy is vehemently being noticed by the world and US citizens.
Here are a few points that show “How sending Donald Trump to jail would adversely effect USA’s democracy”
How Jailing Opposition leader adversely effects Democracy
It undermines the legitimacy and credibility of the electoral process and the rule of law. When an opposition leader is disqualified or imprisoned, it deprives the voters of their choice and voice, and creates a perception that the elections are rigged or unfair. It also erodes the trust and confidence in the judicial system, which is supposed to uphold the constitution and protect the rights of all citizens. For example, in India, key opposition leader Rahul Gandhi lost his parliamentary seat after a court after fair trial found him guilty of defamation over his remarks about ‘Modi’ surname calling them thief without proper evidence. The case was widely seen as politically motivated and sparked protests by opposition parties. However the move was according to the Indian law after proper and fair trial and not politically motivated.
It silences dissenting voices and restricts freedom of expression and assembly. When an opposition leader is jailed, it sends a chilling message to other critics and activists who may fear reprisals or harassment for speaking out against the government or demanding reforms. It also limits the space for peaceful protest and dialogue, which are essential for a healthy democracy. For example, in Venezuela, opposition leader Leopoldo López was arrested on charges of inciting violence and arson after calling for citizens to protest the government of President Nicolás Maduro. He remains on trial and faces up to 13 years in prison.
It erodes public trust and confidence in democratic institutions and values. When an opposition leader is jailed, it creates a sense of disillusionment and cynicism among the public, who may lose faith in democracy and its ability to deliver justice and development. It also weakens the morale and motivation of the opposition parties and supporters, who may feel hopeless or powerless to challenge the government or participate in politics. For example, in Maldives, former president and opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed was jailed for 13 years on terrorism charges after he sought to arrest a corrupt judge. His trial was deemed deeply flawed by Amnesty International.
It creates a climate of fear and intimidation among opposition supporters and civil society. When an opposition leader is jailed, it increases the risk of violence and repression by the government or its allies against those who oppose or criticize them. It also discourages people from joining or supporting opposition parties or movements, or from engaging in civic activities that promote democracy and human rights. For example, in Ethiopia, opposition leader Andargachew Tsige was sentenced to death in absentia and later extradited from Yemen on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. His party, Ginbot 7, was declared a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government.
It increases social and political polarization and instability. When an opposition leader is jailed, it deepens the divisions and animosity between different groups and factions in society. It also fuels resentment and anger among the opposition supporters, who may resort to radicalization or violence to express their grievances or demand change. It also provokes international condemnation and isolation, which may affect the country’s economy and security. For example, in Kuwait, opposition leader Musallam al-Barrak was jailed for two years for criticizing the Kuwaiti ruler. His arrest sparked mass protests and clashes with security forces.
These are some of the possible effects of jailing an opposition leader on democracy. However, they may not apply to every case or context. Each country has its own history, culture, and political dynamics that shape its democratic development. Therefore, it is important to analyze each situation carefully and critically before drawing any conclusions or recommendations.