The process of politicians undermining American Democracy is as old as the republic itself.
Many politicians over the years, and decades, have attempted to rig elections in one way or another. Some have been successful, and some not, but some of the latest attempts are attacking the democratic process in a more insidious way.
These latest attempts include the totally new approach of ignoring the results, and declaring yourself the winner, regardless. Obviously, the champion of this strategy is Donald Trump, but many State legislatures in the U.S. are trying to encapsulate his heretical ideas into laws that could easily outlast him. Laws that try to inhibit the “wrong” people from voting are one thing. These are blatant, and probably won’t last, or be significant. However, introducing legislation that takes away powers from election officials, allows prosecution of election officials who don’t follow orders from the President, or orders from political parties that control legislatures, are far more dangerous, and possibly longer-lasting.
Most of us who follow politics, are aware of Donald Trump’s attempts to coerce the Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, into fraudulently generating additional votes to support the incumbent president. Many State legislatures are now trying to instill that strategy in new laws. They include laws allowing the State legislature to overturn the decisions of an election, with no requirement to provide evidence in support of their actions. In one case, a law has been introduced that will simply allow the legislature to take over the election process entirely by allowing it to invalidate the results, and appoint who they want as the winner. That’s a dictatorship, thinly veiled as democracy. Donald Trump must be smiling at the rot he has started.
Even Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader is quoted as saying “if an election could be overturned by fact-free allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.” However, his party’s politicians are trying to install laws to achieve exactly that.
How do we stop these blatant attempts to corrupt democracy, disenfranchise at least half of the American people, if not all of them, and install a totalitarian governance system in its place? What happened to the will of the people, democratic compromise, both of which were embedded in the system by the Founding Fathers, and what happened to the whole concept of democracy.
Ironically, the system of democracy is the only one that could allow such abominations to happen, without a revolution. In a strange way, it is almost a democratic process. A dictator would never permit even the whiff of such a dangerous idea to exist. Catch 22. Do we introduce draconian measures to prevent such things happening, thereby lowering ourselves to exactly what we are trying to prevent, or so we let it happen, and end up with Emperor Trump anyway. A conundrum that is difficult to resolve.
Perhaps Winston Churchill was right when he said that democracy was the worst form of government ever invented. Although he did qualify that opinion by adding, except for every other. However, he didn’t anticipate a situation in the U.S. where elected officials actually tried to invalidate elections, and appoint who they wanted, thus totally undermining American democracy.
The media are highlighting the Republican attempts to disenfranchise certain blocks of society by making it difficult for them to vote. Hopefully, that will just encourage those blocks to vote in greater numbers than normal, as a frustrated response. However, the introduction of laws that blatantly allow the invalidation of elections altogether, is far more dangerous and must be stopped, regardless of what it takes to defend this fundamental tenet of democracy. Time to rally the troops.