Author Topic: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?  (Read 4108 times)

Sun_Worshiper

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How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« on: January 06, 2022, 05:36:19 PM »
Today is the one year anniversary of the insurrection on the capital, which was egged on by Trump (and other Republicans), who told lies about voter fraud that predictably fostered distrust in the electoral system. In the last year, we have seen new policies in several Republican controlled states to make it more difficult to vote and to allow partisan legislators to overturn election results. While the Republicans are certainly the more dangerous threat to democracy at the moment, Democrats have also contributed to distrust in democratic institutions by claiming Trump was an illegitimate president on various occasions.

Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.

So how are you feeling about the state of American democracy? Is the danger of authoritarian collapse overstated or are we headed toward another attempted coup (or whatever you'd like to call it) on January 6, 2025? How much depends on Trump running again? What solutions do you see?

dismalist

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2022, 05:53:21 PM »
Today is the one year anniversary of the insurrection on the capital, which was egged on by Trump (and other Republicans), who told lies about voter fraud that predictably fostered distrust in the electoral system. In the last year, we have seen new policies in several Republican controlled states to make it more difficult to vote and to allow partisan legislators to overturn election results. While the Republicans are certainly the more dangerous threat to democracy at the moment, Democrats have also contributed to distrust in democratic institutions by claiming Trump was an illegitimate president on various occasions.

Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.

So how are you feeling about the state of American democracy? Is the danger of authoritarian collapse overstated or are we headed toward another attempted coup (or whatever you'd like to call it) on January 6, 2025? How much depends on Trump running again? What solutions do you see?

There is not a problem, so there are no solutions needed.

The structure of the founding was to make a tyranny hard to establish, both of a minority and of a majority. No majoritarian democracy. That is still the case.





We have met the enemy, and they is us.
--Pogo

Parasaurolophus

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2022, 06:23:56 PM »
I'm pretty pessimistic. It looks to me like the death throes of a democracy, and I don't see it getting better any time soon, short of some kind of monumental short-term change.

I think that giving Trump a second round might accelerate it somewhat, but at this point it looks like irreversible climate change to me: it's inevitable.
I know it's a genus.

dismalist

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2022, 06:38:21 PM »

...It looks to me like the death throes of a democracy ... .


A beautiful death! :-)
We have met the enemy, and they is us.
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mamselle

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2022, 06:52:12 PM »
I'm glad to see this thread, I've been thinking of this issue all day between necessary tasks, teaching, etc.

Yes, it's like a juggernaut on the loose.

But I do see some encouraging points, like the ongoing congressional inquiry, and the upswing in participants with info to share...it might have been nice for them to have come forward earlier, but their input is important and needs to be heard in the quest to determine accountability and mete out due consequences...

   https://youtu.be/6N9nWf6CBwg

Another encouraging moment was Ari Melber's calling a coup a coup, last night, in his call to Navarro....

   https://www.businessinsider.com/ari-melber-challenge-peter-navarro-says-describing-coup-2022-1

...as well as today's announcement by former staffer Stephanie Grisham that she and 15-20 other past Republican WH staffers, both above and below her in rank, plan to meet to discuss how to stop the rolling behemoth threatening to take over their party before it crushes the electoral process next fall:

  https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/06/politics/stephanie-grisham-trump-officials-meeting-cnntv/index.html

There are never-Trumpers who've made inroads, and now formerly-avid-Trumpers are burning their MAGA hats....so there may be a bit of sanity surfacing, even in that camp:

   https://youtu.be/DhbjTiQ6zJU

Individuals with purpose and clear, good intent, like ants, can make a difference, I think.

At least, that's where my hope lies.

M.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 07:28:19 PM by mamselle »
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quasihumanist

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2022, 07:06:45 PM »
Automation is going to make half of our country effectively disabled, and the half that aren't disabled aren't generous enough to actually care for them.  The interests of Americans will simply end up too divergent to make democracy work.  We will have civil war, which will go nuclear, so that our technological society will collapse and all the about-to-be-disabled people find themselves useful again - if they aren't dead.

I estimate about a third of my county has no future in our society, and their genes would already be better off with a nuclear war.  Their way of life is as obsolete as that of Native Americans 400 years ago, and our society if it continues on its current path will treat them the same way.

dismalist

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2022, 07:20:06 PM »

Automation is going to make half of our country effectively disabled, and the half that aren't disabled aren't generous enough to actually care for them.  The interests of Americans will simply end up too divergent to make democracy work.  We will have civil war, which will go nuclear, so that our technological society will collapse and all the about-to-be-disabled people find themselves useful again - if they aren't dead.

I estimate about a third of my county has no future in our society, and their genes would already be better off with a nuclear war.  Their way of life is as obsolete as that of Native Americans 400 years ago, and our society if it continues on its current path will treat them the same way.


No worries! We can always go back to the galleys as transport. Would even mitigate global warmiing:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galley#/media/File:Galley-knightshospitaller.jpg


Plenty 'o jobs there.
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mahagonny

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2022, 08:02:03 PM »
Quote
Today is the one year anniversary of the insurrection on the capital, which was egged on by Trump (and other Republicans), who told lies about voter fraud that predictably fostered distrust in the electoral system. In the last year, we have seen new policies in several Republican controlled states to make it more difficult to vote and to allow partisan legislators to overturn election results. While the Republicans are certainly the more dangerous threat to democracy at the moment, Democrats have also contributed to distrust in democratic institutions by claiming Trump was an illegitimate president on various occasions.

Mighty charitable of you. [snort] The basis for believing Trump was not a legitimate president could have been:

1. He sometimes had a rude way of expressing himself
2. Hillary deserved the gig. She fought for it, she waited for it, she put up with Bill, and she's a woman, dammit!
3. The electoral college stinks

all of which amount to nothing, even together.

whereas in the wake of COVID chaos, many rules were changed (2020) at the last minute, some legally questionable. George Soros, Mark Zuckerburg and the liberal media that people like them bought suppressed stories about Biden's depraved family and their shenanigans. Now they've used their outsize wealth to insert district attorneys into our lives (not theirs) who refuse to uphold their sworn duties, putting many, especially the poorest, in mortal danger.
 The election was not stolen; it was bought by people who knew exactly what they were doing. So between the two answers to 'was the election stolen or was it squeaky clean?' the more correct answer is 'it was stolen.'
 So no, the right is not the bigger threat. The left is.
We have loudmouths on the left today who are claiming the KKK is coming back. REALLY?


I would have hoped for a reconciliation some time ago, but at this point I'll settle for people with bad ideas being put out of business. And it looks like this can be accomplished simply by people using their right to vote.

ETA: The ideal modern day free republic --- someone comes to your home and holds a scanner up to your forehead and records your vote. You don't even have to get out of bed. The 'wealthy' pay for the staff and equipment. No more voter suppression!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 08:26:38 PM by mahagonny »

nebo113

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2022, 06:12:10 AM »
Now they've used their outsize wealth to insert district attorneys into our lives (not theirs) who refuse to uphold their sworn duties, putting many, especially the poorest, in mortal danger.

Kinda like the DA who refused to charge the murderers of Ahmad Arbery, sheltered those very murderers, and who is now charged with "not upholding her sworn duty".  And lost her bid for re election.  Guess Soros didn't pump enough $$$ into her campaign.

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2022, 07:14:43 AM »
My own take is that American democracy is certainly not in a healthy place. Putting aside structural issues that give outsized power to the political minority and issues like money in politics, the much more urgent issue that the last president tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election and, in his efforts, convinced much of the Republican party that the election was fraudulent. There is a social contract in democracies, whereby losers have to acknowledge that they lose to their voters, and we have lost that on the Republican side and to a lesser extent on the Democratic side (Stacy Abrams in GA race comes to mind). Republicans at the state level have gone the next step, in some instances, by trying to give themselves the ability to interfere in the certification process.

In terms of solutions, there are no great ones on the table. Passing some voting rights legislation could help prevent partisans from interfering at the state level, but it is not a good idea to pass voting rights rules with a strict party vote. Republicans in the senate might be willing to do something to clarify the role of the VP in the certification process, which would be good, but rather marginal given the state of things.

Overall, it is hard to be optimistic.



marshwiggle

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2022, 07:15:59 AM »
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

It takes so little to be above average.

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2022, 07:42:54 AM »
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

Respectfully, that is not a good way to check the health of democracy. It is a good way to check on the optimism of individuals, but has little to do with the health of the democratic system.

You are right though, that polarization has reached a very unhealthy place in this country and finding common ground on issues would be helpful.

downer

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2022, 07:57:09 AM »
When I was young, I used to think how awful it must have been to live in the Soviet Block, without democracy. But at some point I figured that although there were problems (lack of choice in the supermarket was the one that got most press) life went on for most much as it does for most in western democracies.

In the US, it's long been clear that democracy is very limited, and money rules. Although my faith in national and state elections is not strong, it's not much less than 10 years ago. Things are precarious and may well get worse, especially if the economy collapses, international warfare increases, and the refugee problem impinges more on the US. It's look like China will have huge power over the US not too far from now. One thing that the Trump years made clear is that a significant proportion of people in the US don't give a crap about democracy, and mainly care about power.

But with the looming climate and ecological crisis, all these concerns pale in comparison.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”—Sinclair Lewis

notmycircus

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2022, 08:07:27 AM »
We are so fortunate to live in this country.  My husband is quite ill and I am compromised, so while you’re free to express any opinion you want, it’s good to live in a state of gratefulness. 

mahagonny

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2022, 08:30:18 AM »
Against this backdrop, there have been several polls revealing that Americans are worried about the state of democracy. This sentiment is shared by Republicans and Democrats, but they disagree on the nature of the problem. Additionally, the US is on a democratic backslide according to several popular measures of democracy.


An easy check on the health of democracy would be to look at polls about how optimistic people are about their lives, NOT about how they feel about politics. Identitarianism from both the right and left do a good job of making people enraged, but do nothing to make people feel good about the future. (Pretty much by definition; the way to get people enraged is to make them thing things are hopeless, or almost hopeless.)

Unless and until the emphasis shifts to being on peoples' common humanity, and how we are similar, rather than on how we are different, things will get worse.

I wonder. People on this thread are mostly left-of-center politically, which is their right. Their president is hurting in the polls. It makes things appear gloomy. They are looking for a path forward in which they have input. What's more likely (according to polling today) is a path forward where their priorities are rejected at voting time. That's how democracy works. Tyranny of the majority. Current leftist fetishes like 'anti-racism'  a supposed need for anti-voter suppression legislation, treating minorities first for COVID because they suffer more in greater numbers relative to their share of the population (obesity makes you more at risk but some white people are obese too, what about them?), southern border enforcement = bigotry, wokeness invading corporate rank-and-file life, neglecting the safety in urban neighborhoods, etc.   The democrats have a portfolio of vividly expressed ideas that the majority doesn't like.  Wait and see. There may be a perfect storm of repudiation coming.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 08:34:03 AM by mahagonny »