Donald J. Trump and the Politics of Democratic Dysfunction

  • Cary Fraser Appalachian State University
Keywords: Trump, Democracy


The United States has entered a profound crisis of governance and governability following the impeachment of Donald Trump by the House of Representatives and, after a parody of a Senate trial, was acquitted - to remain in office by the Senate controlled by a Republican majority. This essay seeks to analyze both the origins and context of the contemporary conundrum where one of the world's oldest representative systems of government has entered a phase of democratic dysfunction. Donald Trump is an elected President – on the basis of a minority of the popular vote cast in 2016 – who has sought to redefine both the power of the Presidency as the supreme authority in a system originally designed to create checks and balances among the three branches of government – the Presidency, the House and the Senate as the legislative branch, and, the Judiciary with powers of adjudication and resolution of disputes. The Trump administration and the Republican party are seeking to redesign the structures and principles of governance – at considerable variance with the design of the Founders who sought to prevent the emergence of authoritarian/monarchical rule in the American Republic.

Author Biography

Cary Fraser, Appalachian State University

Cary Fraser is currently an Associate Professor in Government and Justice Studies at the Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina. He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at the University of Geneva and his work has been published in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies. His publications span American foreign policy during the Cold War, the international politics of the Middle East, Race and Citizenship in the Atlantic World, the history and politics of decolonization, and Caribbean history and politics. 

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