Opinion: Boris Johnson’s political demise teaches American Republicans a lesson

A cascade of resignations by British officials calling for the resignation of ethically unethical Prime Minister Boris Johnson eventually produced the desired result. After an endless string of scandals and repeated vows that he would not give up, Johnson finally announced his resignation on Thursday.
It looks like democracy has triumphed in the United Kingdom. Of course, it was a bit of a circus, befitting Johnson’s premiership and most of his life (not to mention his hair). But, in the end, the process worked, and Britain stepped back from the abyss.
The man whom former President Donald Trump claimed people called “British Trump” ended up resigning in disgrace for lying, breaking rules and trying to get away with it yet again.
Looking across the Atlantic, British mayhem was both satisfying and unsettling. Americans, whose democracy barely survived four years of Trump, reflexively drew comparisons between the crimes that caused the UK Conservative Party and much of the UK to turn their backs on Johnson and the far more murderous and dangerous actions of the former US president, who remains to this day. the most powerful figure in the Republican Party and looks set to run for president again.
Both Johnson and Trump came to power with long records breaking the rules, dishonesty and cheating. Their supporters knew whom they were electing. Their lifetime models continuation in the office.

However, by Trump’s standards, Johnson’s lies and misdeeds when he was prime minister hardly fit the evening news.

The Tory leaders thought it was a tribute to British democracy.enough is enough,” after Johnson was caught in a lie. The incredible final straw, the one that broke the spine of a notoriously overworked camel, fell after he appointed Chris Pincher to a senior position after he was accused of sexual harassment. (In Johnson’s resignation letter, Pincher did not directly acknowledge the allegations, writing, “I drank too much last night” and “embarrassed myself and other people.”)
Then, in light of his resignation, other allegations of Pincher’s past behavior resurfaced. For some unknown reason, Johnson kept changing his story about why he nominated Pincher. Instead of admitting his mistake and moving on, he stated that he was not aware of the specific allegations.

Imagine this under Trump. He is unlikely to enter the first thousand scandals.

For Johnson, this was layered on top of other high-profile controversies. Most notable was “Partygate”, a months-long series of dodges about Johnson’s many parties on Downing Street while the country was under strict Covid-19 lockdown. The lies were debunked by photographs of the Prime Minister and his celebratory guests with booze in hand, even after Johnson feigned innocence, stating that he “believed implicitly that this was a work event”.
He became the first British prime minister to be fined for breaking the law and apologized “unreservedly” to Parliament. But he remained at his post and continued to play with the truth.
Johnson’s behavior and his disregard for the truth, which helped him getting to the office were shocking by ordinary standards. By the standards of Trump, who spoke mind-blowing 30,573 lies and misleading statements while President, and did not stop after leaving office, it was a feeble effort.
Opinion: Republicans, look across the pond and take note.  It's time to quit Trump

After all, Johnson was and remains a powerful, charismatic politician who felt that the rules were made for others and made up stories without remorse to get his way. Almost every time he got away with it. But he was not a darkly vicious figure of the caliber that threatened American democracy. He was more of a small-caliber, one that gradually undermines norms and values ​​- more of a long-term threat than an immediate threat.

When he resigned as leader of the party, the completely unshakable Johnson blamed not himself, but the “herd instinct”. If it was herd instinct, then it was very useful, a revival of respect for decorum; a belated recognition that leaders with an empty ethical core are dangerous to democracy.
Americans weren’t the only ones who automatically thought of Trump when they heard that Johnson had finally been brought to justice. Throughout Europe, many have drawn the analogy. Guy Verhofstadt, longtime Belgian prime minister and now a prominent member of the European Parliament, tweeted: “Boris Johnson’s reign ends in disgrace. just like his friend Donald Trump. The end of the era of transatlantic populism? Let’s hope.”
But Americans aren’t so sure that Trump’s reign has finally come to an end. Majority Trump better go. But he won’t. Not after two impeachments, not after he allegedly led a failed coup attempt, not after an election that he decisively lost but still insists on winning.
Although it was not easy and they waited too long, it was easier for British Conservative leaders to turn their backs on their boss than for American Republicans. In the UK, they supported him and mostly tolerated Johnson’s misdeeds. In the US, countless elected Republicans have done much more than tolerate Trump’s lies. They have hugged themstrengthened them cast your lot with lies and liars.

However, last week’s events in London open up the possibility of allowing a glimmer of hope that those who promoted, defended or quietly tolerated Trump will one day decide that they, too, have reached their limit. And that enough of them will say it out loud so that they can force this most undemocratic of players off the stage and move on to healing a divided and debilitated country – and its badly battered democracy.

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