The United States is often seen as the beacon of democracy in a world where the rights of the individual have been threatened in recent times by the continuing rise in far-right beliefs in many of the world’s best=known democratic nations. Professor Sujit Choudhry has recently published his own take on the democracy of the U.S. framed around a single Tweet by former Attorney General Eric Holder (works.bepress.com).
On December 17, 2017, Attorney General Holder posted a Tweet explaining any attempt by President Donald Trump to remove the Special Counsel Robert Mueller who has been tasked with investigating possible collusion between Trump’s Presidential campaign and Russian agencies. Holder referred to any attempt to fire Mueller as being an “absolute red line” in the call for mass protests against the Trump Administration; Professor Sujit Choudhry likened any attempt by President Trump to the development of an autocracy which would threaten the very essence of the Constitution.
By developing as an autocrat more akin to politicians commonly abusing their power in parts of Africa and Asia where term limits introduced to limit such problems are often ignored. Choudhry points out the President has yet to challenge any term limits or planned elections in a disruptive way.
Much of the focus of Sujit Choudhry is placed on the talk of “red lines” which can be seen to have many different meanings for the expert on international politics and the democratic rule of law. Initially, the “red line” would appear to simply refer to the fact the potential firing of Mueller would cross a moral and Constitutional boundary. However, Choudhry explains the Tweet also sees Eric Holder call for mass, peaceful protests which would also represent a “red line” in terms of the political power being given back to the public. For more of his views, check iconnectblog.com.
By calling for mass protests, Holder is actually calling for the people of the U.S. to take democracy into their own hands and bypass the rule of law such as the need for Congress to debate any possible impeachment of the President. In fact, impeachment itself could be seen as the ultimate “red line” because of this being the so-called last resort for U.S. lawmakers in terms of removing the President from The White House.