Eroding The Foundations of Democracy

Many of us have always worried about Trump’s threat to Democracy and yet people mock us and roll their eyes at us like we’re scared of monsters under our bed that doesn’t exist. But what Trump is doing to trust in the voting institution on his way out the door is my nightmare.

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House – a nongovernmental, nonpartisan advocacy organization established to study Democracies around the world and their rise and fall – did a great interview on the Post Reports podcast on October 30th describing how Democracies can fall. She says “Democracy is something that needs to be cultivated and something that needs to be cared for. And our democracy has not been cared for over the past number of years.” If you’re worried I suggest you listen and pay close attention to when she talks about how norms erode before institutions, and what norms have changed recently in the US.

If you don’t have time or energy, basically she talks about how these norms and their change shakes the footing of democracy. She talks about how this has happened in other countries and what *could* happen here. For example, when Trump attacks ALL press that criticizes him as “fake news” – people start to distrust the media. When Trump criticizes medical and science professionals that aren’t delivering the messages he wants – people start to doubt non-partisan experts that can protect our health and environment. When Trump openly references “his judges” and expresses disappointment when “his judges” don’t rule the way he wants…people doubt the judicial system.


(Sorry. I’m really angry.)

Hell, they’re not even letting the election end. They are stoking fear and doubt in the very system that we depend on to allow people to feel like they have power. They’ve been doing it for years with gerrymandering and voter suppression, taking away power and opportunity to vote from marginalized communities. But now they’re just attacking it on a wide scale across the entire country. If confidence crumbles in voting, no one participates and then only the people in power will ever make the decisions. This is not a f*cking joke and it pisses me off.

Pompeo was asked yesterday about the transition and he said, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” (video here) Even though every news outlet (including Fox News, video here) is reminding viewers there is no evidence of widespread fraud, Trump and his supporters are still spouting off about it every chance they get. So this fear? It is not bullshit. If tens of millions of Americans doubt the results of this election, then that is one more hack at the legs of the institutions holding up our Democracy.

Granted…he’s been hacking at those legs for the last 4 years. He’s been causing people to doubt Environmental Scientists about the dangers of ignoring climate change, causing people not to trust medical experts during a pandemic, categorizing every journalist who criticizes him as “fake news” and “mainstream liberal media.” He’s done so much damage to the public’s perception of trusted norms in the last four years that I’m not sure it won’t take twice that to stabilize it all again.

So pardon me for getting angry when people roll their eyes at my fears over a faltering Democracy and continue to help spread his messages of non-existent election fraud.

Donald Trump may be a joke, but what he’s done and continues to our Democracy in the last days of his Presidency – is not.

4 thoughts on “Eroding The Foundations of Democracy”

  1. russwinn – Huntsville, AL – "Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.
    Russell says:

    You’re not alone in your anger.

    “If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.”

    Hannah Arendt, 1978

  2. I am so very angry. And the conservative people i know genuinely believe that the Democrats cheated and there was all sorts of voter fraud, and I’m like, how, exactly did we cheat? By showing up and voting for the other candidate? Biden wasn’t my first choice, or even my fifth choice, really, but I voted for him because he’s going to be so much better for our country than Donald Trump. (I’m pretty sure I said here, months ago, that I wouldn’t vote for Biden, but in the end, I did. I had to.)

    Meanwhile, in delusional land, my conservative family still thinks Trump is great, that he actually won, and this will be proven and also that the pandemic is not serious. I’ve been doing a lot of yelling. Not that it is getting me anywhere.

  3. Kim – Mama. Fur mama. Daydream believer. Weather nerd & pluviophile. Etsy seller. Fascinated by things that go bump in the night. Vintage & kitsch enthusiast. Music is my boyfriend. Sweet tea flows through my veins. Loud music and the open road soothe my soul. I love to lose myself in books. Storms and stars are two of my favorite things. No longer actively blogging, but always thinking about returning. You can find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/h.e.y.k.i.m/
    Kim says:

    I’m like Sara – agree 100%. His supporters believe him no matter what he says, and with no proof whatsoever. It boggles the mind.

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