Unprosecuted? Why rulers who commited a crime remain unpunished
The question of whether or not to judge the first persons guilty of serious crimes still remains in the political consciousness as debatable
Coronavirus presents another opportunity - to talk about the responsibility of the first government officials. About their responsibility for decisions that led to crimes, numerous deaths, to the activation of suicidal or simply wrong political trends.
It is clear that Russia is a bad example here: this is despite the fact that its history is rich in examples of first-person killings, coups, attempts, conspiracies. Or, as in the case of Stalin, a posthumous condemnation, demonstrative removal of the body from the Mausoleum (symbolic deprivation of the right to eternal life), reverse renaming of numerous cities, collective farms and factories. These are all non-judicial decisions, and even when, as in the execution of the imperial family, Bloody Sunday looms for punishment and what is called political mistakes , the court itself, like, say, the English King Charles I, does not know Russian history.
After the death of a political leader, the successor may rage, but this is all a political storm in a glass of water, not having the potential for dramatic changes in political culture, except that after the death of the leader everything changes for some time from white to black, and then returns to the usual black and gray scale, there is no other lesson.
It would seem that in American history everything is different and, at the same time, it seems. There are murders of presidents, political leaders, but there are also attempts to punish top officials through the courts: these, of course, are the stories surrounding three impeachments, one of which ended in vain a couple of months ago.
But in fact, the very idea of political responsibility in American society is almost not worked out: in the opposite historical perspective, the crimes of former and current presidents are spoken about, but by and large they remain beyond jurisdiction.
Say, we talked a lot about the responsibility of Bush Jr. for deceiving the cause of the war against Iraq, and this war cost hundreds of thousands of lives and disappointing political consequences like the creation of ISIS (another chain of crimes: ISIS was a reaction to the change of the ruling denomination under the pressure of the Americans - the Americans, along with Saddam, overthrew the Sunnis, replacing them with Shiites, after which the Sunnis, which consisted mainly of the officer and general corps of the Iraqi army, raised a rebellion under a religious banner).
But Bush’s responsibility could only be discussed in a rhetorical sense, and Obama, who was called to try the Bush trial, responded with full clarity: even if the first-person crimes are obvious (as they are in the Bush case), the court should be put into political practice over the first person is too dangerous: then a political leader, reasonably afraid of retaliation after resignation, will not be so careful when making political decisions, but to come up with reasons to stay in power forever.
In other words, a fork appears: on the one hand, the political impunity of the first person, which is fraught with the spread of the zone of impunity deeper into the legal, legal system of society, on the other hand, the creation of conditions for the collapse of such an important line of political stability as a voluntary and periodic change of power in elections.
The fact that the supporters of both the first and second political fork in society remained, is evidence and political struggle around Trump. His rejection of many and seemingly routine rules of political conduct, which results in numerous allegations of lies, causes not only opposition from political opponents, but also a constantly emerging topic of trial over him. Despite the fact that impeachment did not lead to Trump’s removal from power, examples of actions for which he could be called to account (now or after the end of his presidential term) only multiply and are sorted.
The same coronavirus only lasts a list: for a month and a half, Trump tried to pretend that his Democrat opponents are fanning the topic of coronavirus, but in fact this is nonsense like seasonal flu. As a result, America missed the time for preparation, there are still not enough masks, protective equipment, mechanical ventilation, hospital beds and other things, the testing itself was launched very late, as well as the search for drugs and vaccines, and the pandemic has developed more than in many countries, which turned into thousands already dead from infection and possibly hundreds of thousands in the near future.
The question of political responsibility will certainly arise, especially since Trump continues to multiply reasons: for example, he advertises a medicine for coronavirus with unproven properties, but from a company in which Trump himself is interested (he has stocks in this company) and his inner circle, possessing in it something like a controlling stake.
That is, the Trump case, of course, confronts the American system with a fork: whether to bring to justice the president who has committed (possibly committed, has not yet been proven) criminal and crimes, or will this court be again poached as a dangerous precedent for the political system with the prosecution of the first political person after the end of his term? For the political system, this is a huge stress, which is fraught with a series of consequences and the practically transformation of society, making it more unstable. It is clear that the election of Trump itself is evidence of a malfunction in the political system, the democratic traditions of which did not protect her from the election of a completely (or little - the opinion of opponents) unprepared person.
Any political system is under pressure from crimes (alleged, of course, until they are proved by the court, but they too often remain unproven) of the first state officials. But this unprovenness and, at the same time, the presence in political memory is an additional burden, like, I do not know, sand or even stones in the fuel system. The history of numerous wars, declared or starting with a rigged pretext, various types of suppression of attempts of revolutions in one's own country or another country, suppression of civil rights movements, brutal suppression of attempts of political terror, when the number of victims of this suppression is tens, if not hundreds of times higher than the number potential victims of the attack itself (real or imaginary).
All this contributes to the instability of society, the multiplication of the painful sensations of its injustice and erroneous development, the growth of civic solidarity around the desire not to wait for the least possible judicial ending, but to kill the first persons, as the Russian Narodnaya Volya and Social Revolutionaries did, although the positive influence of such strategies is doubtful that the Russian post-revolutionary history has demonstrated.
But the question: to kill or not to kill, to judge or not to judge the first persons - remains in the political consciousness as debatable, in a formulated, discussed or legally and politically unformed form.
The same example of Trump with his dictatorial, authoritarian manners is additional evidence: no democracy is immune from a turn to dictatorship, and a cure for the appearance of authoritarian or totalitarian plot twists in a seemingly stable democratic trend is even more difficult to find than a coronavirus vaccine.