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Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:30 AM

Is American democracy already lost? Half of us think so -- but the future remains unwritten

Is American democracy already lost? Half of us think so but the future remains unwritten
New poll finds that more than half of all Americans think democracy is toast. But that's only true if we surrender

PUBLISHED JUNE 23, 2022 6:30AM (EDT)

(Salon) The American people understand that their democracy and their society are in deep trouble. But they do not agree on who or what is the cause of the problem, and do not share a common understanding of basic facts. To make matters worse there is a kind of sinister synergy between America's democracy crisis and other serious problems facing the country, which risks creating a state of collective paralysis.

During his prepared comments before the House Jan. 6 committee last Thursday, retired judge J. Michael Luttig, a lifelong conservative Republican who advised former Vice President Mike Pence before and during Donald Trump's coup attempt, issued this dire warning:

A stake was driven through the heart of American democracy on Jan. 6, 2021, and our democracy today is on a knife's edge.

America was at war on that fateful day, but not against a foreign power. She was at war against herself. We Americans were at war with each other over our democracy.

Jan. 6 was but the next, foreseeable battle in a war that had been raging in America for years, though that day was the most consequential battle of that war even to date. In fact, Jan. 6 was a separate war unto itself, a war for America's democracy, a war irresponsibly instigated and prosecuted by the former president, his political party allies, and his supporters. Both wars are raging to this day. America is now the stake in these unholy wars. America is adrift. We pray that it is only for this fleeting moment that she has lost her way, until we Americans can once again come to our senses.

In response to a question from committee chairman Bennie Thompson about the danger to the republic still represented by Trump and his supporters, Luttig elaborated further:

Almost two years after that fateful day Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.

That's not because of what happened on Jan. 6. It is because, to this very day, the former president and his allies and supporters pledge that in the presidential election of 2024, if the former president or his anointed successor as the Republican party presidential candidate were to lose that election, they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election, but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020.

If there are any reasonable and intelligent Americans who continue to doubt that this country is in the midst of an existential crisis, facing the dangers of Trumpism and a growing white supremacist authoritarian movement, Luttig's words should shock them back into reality.

A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll adds even more weight to Luttig's warnings about American democracy as it teeters on the precipice of irrecoverable disaster. The lead finding is that more than half of those surveyed, across the political spectrum 55% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans believe it is "likely" that the United States will "cease to be a democracy in the future."


This situation is undeniably bewildering, and deliberately so. But for pro-democracy Americans, inaction is not an option. That will inevitably lead to defeat. In military terms, a successful ambush is almost always disorienting, but the best option is always to fight back, not hunker down. The Republican-fascists and their allies want the American people to feel so confused and overwhelmed by their unending attack on democracy, the rule of law, the common good and basic human decency that they essentially turn away, close their eyes and surrender. In essence, the Republican-fascist movement is using their own version of a political "shock and awe" strategy here at home against the American people.

The Lincoln Project recently offered this evaluation of America's democracy crisis:

After three [Jan. 6 committee] hearings we know for certain the nation is at one of the most dangerous moments in its history. These revelations will not change the true MAGA believers mind but will cause them to double and triple down on the "Big Lie" making them more dangerous and perhaps more violent. Every single American needs to decide if they are the side of the seditionists who tried to tear down a free and fair election, or do they support our Republic and its democratic principles?

In short, the American people must act with deliberate purpose and speed if they hope to save their democracy and society. Voting is of course necessary, but by itself is insufficient. "Hashtag activism," with its "likes" and "shares" and memes, is for the most part symbolic or performative politics that accomplishes little or nothing in the long run, and may actually be counterproductive if people mistake it for real action. In the long-term struggle, substantive movement-building and organizing will be required to defeat fascism in America and around the world. ..........(more)


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Reply Is American democracy already lost? Half of us think so -- but the future remains unwritten (Original post)
marmar Jun 23 OP
Vogon_Glory Jun 23 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 12:36 PM

1. I fear that the Good Guys are fighting a rearguard action

But we should fight as long as we can.

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