Opinion: Trump’s malign influence

Jan 13, 2023

To the editor:

Trump’s lies and democracy defying antics, for which he is yet to be held truly accountable, has not only emboldened American legislators, but has inspired leaders and aspiring politicians in other countries.  Brazil, Germany, Hungary and Italy come to mind as we read about the voters who are supporting politicians who spout the same anti immigrant, pseudo-populist, nationalism that won  Trump millions of votes, and dollars.

The attack upon the Congress in Brazil, by grieving Bolsonaro supporters, claiming that the election was rigged, so very close to the anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, is not coincidental.

Even in the face of jail sentences, meted out to the rioters in the U.S.,

the Brazilian copiers stormed the Brazilian Congress,  having ingested the lies of Trump - inspired Bolsonaro, Steve Bannon and other Trumpian allies.  Courting arrest, prosecution  and possible imprisonment, these enraged and misguided rioters were instigated and provoked prior to, and after, the Brazilian presidential election.

And just as Trump sat out the attack in the U.S. Capitol in a comfortable and protected position, Bolsonaro was in Florida thousands of miles from the attack undoubtedly comforted and encouraged by this outpouring of misdirected devotion from his supporters.

If ever the criminal prosecutions and indictments of Trump  were necessary as a message to the world that his reckless  and democracy defying actions are not approved by the majority of Americans, and that the rule of law is not just an exportable slogan, but has meaning in this country, it is now.  

An exonerated, or immunized from prosecution Trump, will pose an international threat as leaders, in democratic nations, who anticipate losing elections claim fraud and rigged voting, sending disgruntled voters to violent protesting and the storming of governmental institutions. And the Trumpian pandemic will be unstoppable.

Betty Ussach,