Commentators from around the world were quick to react to the news of former President Donald Trump’s acquittal in his second impeachment trial, with many saying it had shaken their faith in an already weakened U.S. democracy.
Although the acquittal Saturday was expected, it highlighted for many that Trump’s influence over the Republican Party would endure and signaled that U.S. politics would remain deeply divided.
“Donald Trump’s acquittal confirms the profound division of the Republican Party,” read a headline Sunday in Le Monde, a French daily newspaper.
An editorial in The Sydney Morning Herald of Australia called the outcome a “demoralizing blow to the ideals of democracy, justice and accountability” that “will stand for generations as an appalling instance of Republican Party cowardice.”
The editorial said that if Trump continued to dominate the thinking of the GOP, then “those who seek to defend democracy will need to remain vigilant.”
The uncertain future of the U.S. political system was a recurring topic for international observers.
The acquittal was “an unprecedented failure of American democracy” and “a triumph of madness,” said Roland Nelles, a Washington correspondent for the German outlet Der Spiegel, adding that Republican senators had left open the door for a comeback by Trump in 2024.
“The U.S. remains in a precarious situation,” Li Haidong, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University, wrote in The Global Times, a newspaper controlled by the Communist Party of China.
“The minds of ordinary Americans and even the American political elites are in a state of flux regarding how to define ‘I am American,’” he added. “This also shows that the ongoing cultural wars, identity struggles, and overall social division in the U.S. will continue to deepen and cannot be alleviated.”