Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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US Democracy Faces Gravest Danger — Global Issues

  • Opinion by Alon Ben-Meir (New York)
  • Inter Press Service

Right the wrong

On January 6, Trump was planning to hold a press conference in which he was to repeat for the hundredth time lies that the 2020 election was stolen, that the insurgency a year ago was in fact peaceful. and that he – and not Biden – is the duly elected president.

He canceled the press conference at the request of the GOP and is now expected to spread those lies at his rally in Arizona next week. He will, needless to say, stay true to himself and deny any wrongdoing and blame the Democrats for consistently undermining his presidency as well as for all the evils America faces today.

Trump is particularly dangerous; he wants to consolidate his absolute control over the Republican Party, awaken his supporters, instill hatred for Democrats and of course raise enough money for his reelection campaign if he decides to run again.

Additionally, the rally in Arizona will be its first foray into the midterm elections aimed at awakening the base of the Republican Party to reclaim the House and Senate as a precursor to the 2024 election.

The tragic aspect of the Trump phenomenon is that elected leaders of the Republican Party continue to follow him religiously, regardless of whether he is corrupt, was defeated on re-election as incumbent, has been impeached twice and faces to several criminal charges. .

Indeed, no former president in American history has been able to maintain his grip on his party like Trump has. And no Republican party has abdicated its moral and constitutional responsibilities and has willingly succumbed to a deranged, misogynistic, liar egotist. How could this have happened, and why? The answer is the ravenous lust for power of Trump and the Republicans.

The Republican Party has become a minority party and there is no circumstance in which the party can win nationally in free and fair elections. Demographically, black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and other minorities currently make up over 40 percent of the U.S. population, and it is estimated that by 2045, they will become the majority, who overwhelmingly vote Democrats.

Collectively, even now, they can prevent the Republican Party from taking over the White House again if they come out and vote en masse.

The Republican Party is faced with two choices: one is to adapt to the changing demographic reality and to develop socio-economic programs that meet the needs of people of color (POC) without sacrificing much of their conservative ideology.

This includes tax cuts, especially for those earning less than $ 200,000 a year, immigration reform, which the Republican Party has long recognized needs and will help educate especially Hispanic voters, and supporting minority small business owners with tax breaks and other financial incentives, which will not result in additional government spending.

The second choice is to prevent or make extremely difficult the exercise of its right to vote by the POC by various deplorable measures. State after state passes discriminatory rules, including racially-based electoral districts, restricting early voting, disproportionately affecting black Americans who are more likely than any other ethnic or racial group to vote early ( whether in person or by mail and correspondence) ballots), enacting voter identification laws even though identity theft fraud is extremely rare and those without valid ID are disproportionately POC, and allow state lawmakers to reverse their own elections and manipulate the constituency to their advantage.

Unfortunately, if not tragically, the Republican Party opted for the latter option. Many Republicans simply believe that POCs are illegitimate citizens and should not be able to vote and have the power, as they fear with precision or not, to enact laws against whites, in the same way whites enacted laws. discriminatory laws against POC. America, in their view, was founded by whites, and the idea that the United States is getting darker and darker with each passing day scares them deeply.

They needed a fanatic, shameless and rude, unscrupulous and unethical, yet daring leader – an artist capable of influencing a large audience with his lies and sneering face. Republicans need him to promote their agenda without fear of public repercussions, and he needs the party to satisfy his ego in order to exercise raw power, and also give him its full support if he decides to run again.

We are still in the shock of the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6 to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Trump, who instigated his supporters to attack Capitol Hill, was only prepared to shatter our democracy to take advantage of its authoritarian impetus.

What does this say about the Republican Party, which has largely ignored or played down the insurgency in its determination to seize power and preferred chaos and violence to voting, even at the cost of tearing our democratic institutions apart? How ironic and deeply disturbing that 52% of Republicans say the insurgents were trying to protect democracy.

The most disturbing note that needs to be repeated loud and clear is that the party under Trump’s leadership will incite violence if it does not win the 2022 election, as anyone who listens carefully to the many statements spat by reckless Republican leaders can discern it with clarity. .

In this context, while Trump at his rally will not openly encourage his supporters to use violence to overturn the election result, the message will be loud and clear to them.

It’s hard to overstate the transformation of the Republican Party since Trump’s rise to power in 2016, from a patriotic party that defended democracy to a white supremacist party willing to destroy it to stay in power.

Several thousand Republican leaders should follow in Representative Liz Cheney’s footsteps, who spoke out against Trump and for the truth, and continue to save our democracy by embracing reality and being honest with their supporters.

Biden’s election gave the country hope to preserve our democracy and deal with the political and social unrest that has swept the nation, especially during Trump’s tenure in the White House. But to address these evils, Democrats must spare no effort to retain the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections, as they will be the most important in more than a century.

Indeed, if Republicans manage to win back both houses of Congress, our democracy will slide down the precipice of disintegration as authoritarianism sets in and Biden’s agenda is shattered.

Democrats have their work cut out for them. They must stand up in unison, which is still sorely lacking, stop at nothing to strengthen the right to vote, prevent the nomination of supporters to overthrow the election, fight against political corruption at all levels, restore power policy less and less dependent on money, get out the vote, and remove the filibuster to get the voting rights bill passed.

In addition, they must hold accountable the traitors behind the January 6 insurgency, including Trump.

Democrats and millions of law-abiding Republicans should sound the alarm bells before it’s too late and never hesitate to preserve and protect the 244-year-old American democracy that has served as a beacon of hope and freedom. to the global community.

Dr. Alon Ben Meir is a retired professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University (NYU). He has taught courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies for over 20 years.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service





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