Watergate journalist Bob Woodward warns democracy is fragile after Donald Trump – ABC News
Watergate journalist Bob Woodward warns democracy is fragile after Donald Trump
Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 exposure sites in Victoria
Australia and the world are right to be worried about the future of democracy after Donald Trump's presidency, according to award winning journalist and associate editor of the Washington Post Bob Woodward.
The reporter, best known for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, told ABC Radio Melbourne the survival of democracy is central to the survival of both the United States and Australia.
"Democracy really is fragile," he told Virginia Trioli.
"The expectation is that the United States is a pillar, a model of stability … and here, you read and see that it's not."
Woodward expects the future of American politics will be defined by two words: uncertainty and surprise.
For years voters have believed once there is an election and a count is made, it is a "given" that the loser will concede.
After researching his latest book Peril, with fellow Washington Post journalist Robert Costa, Woodward says Trump is proof this is no longer a certainty.
"It's a frightening prospect to Americans, and I think people in Australia and around the world," he said.
"Anything's possible on this, and that's what's so dangerous… this is, as we titled the book, a moment of peril."
Over the last four years Woodward has written three books taking a behind the scenes look at the Trump presidency and the transition to Joe Biden.
After 'living' Trump since 2016 Woodward believes there is a "high likelihood" he will run again for President and get the Republican Nomination — despite many wanting to take the party back to its roots.
"Lots of leading Republicans in the Congress … if you talk to them off the record, privately, they have immense disdain for Trump," he said.
"They see what he is but they realize he has this grip, this hold, on these tens of millions of Republican and other voters."
On the question as to whether Trump will be re-elected, Woodward says many people think it is unlikely but he is keeping an open mind.
"We have before us the history of the last five years, when so many unlikely things have happened in this country," he said.
From when Trump first announced he was running for office until today, there has been a strained relationship between his supporters and the media.
Many mainstream commentators dismissed that it would ever be possible for Trump to make it to the oval office, and they failed to listen to the concerns of his supporter base.
Woodward believes the American and international media are once again making the same mistake.
"You have to listen," he said.
"I don't want to disrespect Winston Churchill, but Trump actually has learned the cadence of Winston Churchill … of: We will not give up, we will keep fighting, we will do everything we can."
US General Mark Milley fends off direct attacks from US politicians who blasted his calls with China and his interviews for books critical of Donald Trump's presidency.
With many still cheering Trump on and loving what he has to say, Woodward says we should take note.
"I think it's quite frankly being misunderstood and we're not paying enough attention to it in this country."
Despite the difficulties ahead, Woodward says he still has faith in the American political system.
"We have our times when the seas are very rough and that's expected in a democracy," he said.
"Warren Buffett, the most successful investor of all time, said, 'never bet against America', and I think that's true."
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)