Tags: donald trump | boris johnson | conservatism

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson Are the Avatars of the Future

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson Are the Avatars of the Future
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with newly-elected Conservative MPs at the Houses of Parliament on December 16, 2019, in London, England. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 04:05 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There were two momentous occurrences last week, one in the United States, one in the United Kingdom.

One was the vote in the Judiciary Committee of our House of Representatives to advance two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, and the other was the landslide victory of the Conservative Party and its leader, Boris Johnson, in the elections for Parliament.

These are two watershed events in the struggle of Anglo-American politics to determine what the basic values of our two countries have been and ought to be. They should also be seen as two aspects of a continuing historical conflict between left and right on the political spectrum, a conflict that has been with us at least since the eighteenth century.

On the left in Britain was the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbin, which, at least in the minds of the British voters who decidedly rejected Labour’s platform, stood for internationalism, for redistribution of wealth, and for transformation of Britain into something closer to the utopian socialism favored by progressive ideology.

On the right in the United Kingdom were the Conservatives who favored accomplishing Brexit, the notion of Britain becoming more independent of the European Community, and of preserving the traditions of the British nation, including the great principles of the English common law, such as respect for property, monarchy, and Judeo-Christian religion.

The Democrats who sought to begin the process of seeking to remove President Trump from the White House also act in pursuance of the left’s progressive project. As the campaigns of the Democrat candidates for president such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and even Joe Biden make clear, like Labour in the UK, they also want to transform society through the redistribution of wealth, at least to provide healthcare, college education, and perhaps even a guaranteed income for all.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and her chief impeachment lieutenants, Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler, all three of whom are committed to progressive ideology, understand that what the Trump administration has actually been all about is repudiating that ideology.

Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” was a brilliant appeal to the conservative traditions of the American nation, traditions that we share with the UK, and that Boris Johnson successfully invoked to secure his Parliamentary landslide.

The impeachment effort, built on the flimsiest of foundations, and doomed soon to fail in the Senate, is, actually a naked political ploy, designed to tarnish President Trump, and thus to weaken him in the upcoming 2020 elections.

In pushing for the removal of this president, the Democrats argue that he abused the powers of the presidency for personal political gain by threatening to withhold military aid to the Ukraine unless the leaders of that nation investigated the purported interference in the 2016 American election by Ukrainians, and unless the Ukrainians also pursued an investigation of the possibly corrupt ties of the Biden family to Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company on whose board Hunter Biden had a valuable sinecure.

A second impeachment charge is for asserted obstruction of Congress, essentially the White House’s reluctance to allow its officials to participate as witnesses in the House’s impeachment investigation.

Both of these charges are insubstantial — the first, if taken seriously, would set a precedent that would undercut the president’s plenary powers to conduct foreign relations and to ferret out corruption, and the second would fundamentally alter the Constitutional balance of separation of powers, which provides for the independence of the executive branch from Congress.

Unlike the attempted impeachments of Presidents Nixon and Clinton, there is no allegation that President Trump committed any crimes, and, thus, it seems better to understand this impeachment as a raw political effort to overturn the election of 2016, and to attack the policies of the Trump administration by any means possible.

It is sometimes difficult to understand what Donald Trump has accomplished, given the leftist leanings of the mainstream American media, which accord with the progressive tenets of the Democrats.

Nevertheless, and to an extent remarkable in recent American politics, Trump has kept the promises he made when running as a candidate, to reform the judiciary along conservative lines, to reform the economy by reducing taxes and regulation, and to transform foreign relations by putting American interests in front of internationalist concerns.

The president’s economic successes in job creation, in the reduction of unemployment, particularly among minorities, and in the rise of the stock market, all reinforce the appeal to Americans of the conservative elements of the Republican Party.

Boris Johnson’s triumph suggests the doomed nature of the House Democrats’ efforts against Donald Trump, and, further, that the Conservatives in the UK and in the U.S. are the party of the future.

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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There were two momentous occurrences last week, one in the United States, one in the United Kingdom.
donald trump, boris johnson, conservatism
Wednesday, 18 December 2019 04:05 PM
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