Eyewitness: Judgement Day…

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…on American democracy

Americans don’t mess around when it comes to the sanctity (or image) of their Republic! Ever since 1776, when they threw out King George III and established the first Republic in the modern world, they’ve become a beacon for democratic rule. The monarchy had been the established way to rule for millennia, and most folks never contemplated that running a government could be a “public thing” – res publica – where ordinary people could choose their government!

The Americans set an example for the world, and pretty soon France, in 1789, Haiti in 1791, and the rest of Spanish (Latin) America in the early 19th century followed like dominoes. But booting out their king wasn’t America’s greatest example; after all, over the millennia, many a Royal head had rolled, as Charles I of England discovered! It was the introduction of a written CONSTITUTION to spell out exactly how their rulers and leaders would be elected – and ejected!

And we arrive at Donald Trump and his frenzied attempts to remain in office, even though he’d been rejected at the polls. Of course, there had been constitutionally approved recourse to the courts to deal with his allegations of the Democratic dead coming out of their graves to vote, and other “anomalies”. But the courts had thrown out these challenges, and all that was left was their second stage “Electoral College” vote to confirm the winner.

And this was where Trump crossed the Rubicon between constitutional democratic governance and seizing power by force. In this day of social media and mass media, the drama of Trump inciting his insurrectionary supporters – and they invading the Capitol and five persons getting killed – played out before the entire world. And what does the Constitution say about this?

Well, in 1967 they’d amended their Constitution (25th Amendment) to clarify the order of succession when a president resigns, dies or becomes ill; is temporarily incapacitated, or is unable to execute his duties. The last would require VP Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump from office due to his inability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office”. But even though Pence had signalled that Trump should go, he balked.

And so it came down to another stipulation of the Constitution: Congress has the authority to impeach and remove the President upon a determination that he engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The Democrats, supported by some Republicans, have now impeached or charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection” and the penalty would be decided by the Senate in a trial.
Trump had already been impeached, but the Republican Senate didn’t try him.
This time they’ll bar him from running again. Checkmate!!

…on our Caribbean roots

The question of our Caribbean heritage comes up again and again – especially now that “race” has come to the fore in the US. We’ve always seemed to take our cues on this matter from our Big Brother to the North! Just because he was assassinated by the PNC, hope we haven’t all forgotten the American Black Power Movement that Rodney imported into the region a half-century ago!

Well, one nuance we’ve studiously swept under the carpet just peeped out in the wake of Kamala Harris becoming the US VP-Elect. One letter writer, Conrad Barrow, wrote that she’s “the first female Vice-President, the first known Vice- President of African, Indian and Caribbean descent.” But her father Donald Harris has insisted, “My roots go back to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrisnée Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown, who’s on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town.
Brown was white, so Kamala’s dad’s “Mixed”.
Why deny Kamala’s white heritage?

…on Climate Change

There’s no question that the tipping point on Climate Change is nigh upon us. So why aren’t these folks pushing for our oil to remain underground, not lobbying the big polluters who enjoyed 200 years of flagrant pollution?