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Opinion: What Trump Has Revealed About The Fragility And Power Of U.S. Democracy


Whereas we will repeat again and again that Joe Biden was elected president of america and will likely be sworn into this highest workplace in our land subsequent January 20, for a lot of Individuals and even media pundits, it’s tough to say the decision is in. Nervousness persists, and it’s intensely palpable. Simply watch the media tracing each little motion Trump and his attorneys make on this drama; and hear because the speaking heads insist Biden’s inauguration is a foregone conclusion whereas throughout the identical breath typically posing the query, with a slight tone of fear, “Is there something Trump can truly do to steal the election?”

Whereas that anxiety-ridden query is of the second, to make certain, we additionally want to listen to in it a bigger query that probes simply how invulnerable are our democratic processes and buildings to subversion. This second, through which we see a sitting president overtly, shamelessly, and brutally difficult democracy in refusing to acknowledge the selection of eighty million Individuals, hopefully, if nothing else, will push Individuals to study extra about and likewise interact in a form of S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Alternatives, Threats) evaluation of U.S. democratic establishments.

In some ways, now we have witnessed the strengths of each our democratic processes and establishments and a supporting tradition. For instance, take Georgia. Each the Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Republican Governor Brian Kemp licensed Biden’s win in Georgia in opposition to what we all know to be great stress from the Trump workforce and state Republicans.  Republican Senate candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loefffler had known as for Raffensperger’s resignation earlier this month.

Raffensperger, similar to Republicans in Michigan, merely insisted on following processes as dictated by their state legal guidelines and by the U.S. Structure.

And we noticed this identical angle state by state, for probably the most half. In probably the most essential battleground state of Pennsylvania, Secretary of State Josh Shapiro, albeit a Democrat, constantly held a agency stance that each one the votes can be accounted in accordance with Pennsylvania election legal guidelines. He was clear, stating in a NPR interview:

Donald Trump can get on the market and say regardless of the hell he desires on election night time. However the one factor that issues is once we’ve counted up all of the authorized eligible votes right here in Pennsylvania. And because the lawyer normal of Pennsylvania, I’ll shield the need of the individuals.

Up to now, these legal guidelines and processes appear to be withstanding Trump’s assault.

Or are they?

The silence from congressional Republicans is deafening, suggesting the probability {that a} good variety of our elected officers, perhaps even a majority of the Republican celebration, don’t share a dedication to democracy however merely wish to maintain on to energy by any means vital.

And regardless of the actual fact, as I wrote about final week within the pages of PoliticusUsa, that the media has lastly been realizing its function in democracy and stopped giving air time to Trump’s mendacious rants about election fraud, still 77% of Republican voters consider election fraud performed some function in Biden’s victory.

And right here we see the most important and really actual risk to democracy in America: individuals’s actions and beliefs.

A while in the past I noticed Ben Rhodes, former Deputy Nationwide Safety Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting beneath President Barack Obama, talking on a cable information present. He mentioned one thing relatively hanging to me: that our founders, in crafting the Structure, by no means fairly imagined somebody like Donald Trump or the eventualities which have occurred previously 4 years.

Give it some thought. Our founders did think about a corrupt president who may fall beneath the affect of international powers. So that they developed a system of checks and balances and an impeachment course of. However they didn’t think about an entire celebration or an entire department of Congress would abdicate its function as a test and stability and support and abet the undermining of democracy to cling to celebration rule.  Or {that a} supposedly unbiased Legal professional Basic would do the identical. The Republican Senate and William Barr did simply this through the impeachment proceedings in opposition to Trump.

And take the Republican mission, beneath Trump, of packing the U.S. courts. Mitch McConnell’s Senate has appointed over 200 judges to federal benches, lots of whom maintain ideologically excessive views and lots of of whom are white males. Each demographically and ideologically, these appointments are at odds with the American majority; and many have deemed simply unqualified, making clear they had been appointed for ideological causes primarily—to impose and implement views at odds with the bulk. As The Brennan Middle for Justice opines, “These judges are nonetheless going to be fouling up the legislation when your kids and grandchildren care in regards to the courts.”

And who may have imagined a caravan of Trump supporters making an attempt to drive a Biden marketing campaign bus off the freeway, as occurred in Texas because the election approached?

That’s, who may have imagined a whole lack of reverence for, curiosity in, dedication to the fundamental components of democracy?

Properly, okay, this nation’s historic commitments to and practices of racism, sexism, and labor exploitation definitely show a penchant for undemocratic habits.

And that is the risk.

Positive, there are structural threats, too, of which we should be conscious. In a latest Politico piece titled “May GOP states ignore voters and ship Trump delegates to the Electoral Faculty?” Zach Montellaro lays out the “unlikely” eventualities by which this might occur. Irrespective of how distant, there are prospects, cracks and loopholes we must always deal with and be cognizant of.

However, as Rick Hasen, a distinguished election legislation professor on the College of California, Irvine, wrote in The Atlantic, the true fear lies elsewhere: “The hazard, then, is much less about whether or not Biden takes workplace in January and extra about whether or not the American individuals will maintain believing that this can be a nation that may settle its disagreements peacefully and thru a authorized course of.”

Will individuals’s love of energy prevail over a dedication to truthful play and democracy?

This American drama remains to be unfolding.