It is apparent to me the USA is backsliding into fascism and authoritarianism. We can say American idealism regarding freedom, democracy, rights, peaceful transition of power, political comity, equality, justice and liberty are decreasing. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say American idealism is dead.
– At the highest levels, the 45th President wanted to seize voting machines, declare martial law, and install a flunky at the top post of the Department of Justice to further his failed coup. This is thanks to the January 6th hearings, showing all the evil ways the former President looked to stay in power.
– Election workers and elected officials were threatened for doing their jobs to safeguard elections and the peaceful transition of power.
– 6 Republican House members asked the former, disgraced President for a pardon. A pardon is an admission of guilt. Who else will join the list? Some Senators seem to have legal liability.
– A wife of a Supreme Court justice was actively working with the former President, seeking to overturn a free, fair, and legitimate election.
– The not so Supreme Court has devastated women’s rights to control their own bodies and their own futures. This is the first right to go. Guns have more rights than women. Next includes LGBTQ+ rights, same sex marriages, IVF, contraception, and privacy. You’ll note interracial marriage is safe for the moment, since Clarence Thomas has an interracial marriage. The lies and hypocrisy abounds. If they could, they’ll roll back voting for women too, since a document 200 years old doesn’t mention them. If you think this is an exaggeration, look closely at the TX party formerly known as the GOP’s platform.
The not so Supreme Court has no army or enforcers. However, it does have willing state governors and legislatures that see empowered women and minorities as threatening old, rich, white Christian males.
It’s a dire stretch for American democracy, no doubt. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank called what the Supreme Court did Maximum chaos (subscription required, but for this opinion piece alone and others it is worth it). Who benefits from chaos? Putin, Murdoch, Koch, other billionaires hell-bent on destroying American democracy. If things get out of hand, there will be calls for an autocrat or the military to restore order. We know how that goes in other countries, it’s the road to dictatorship.
Therefore, in the face of maximum chaos, the best thing we can do is remain calm mentally and maintain our hope for a better future. This has taken decades of methodical planning by anti-democracy ideas to get here. It may take decades to get out. We need a plan and diligently work it to safeguard freedom.
When I first saw Texas going backwards, I thought, let’s leave the state for another state. Then, the TX GOP proposed secession. I laughed, and said it might be better for Texas to leave the union. When things got serious, I imagined leaving for another country that is saner might work. All of these approaches have their pros and cons.
The issue is, if fascism establishes a beach head, they will do everything in their power to remove freedom in places that have it, first in other states, then nationally, then across countries. Without a strong sense of community and support, we would be easy pickings. United, the people of the world have to secure their freedom. The human devastation of Texas seceding or fascism winning would be hundreds of millions to billions of diminished lives. The human rights crisis would be unprecedented in all of history.
We need to make our voices heard, through peaceful protests, lobbying our companies and institutions, using our collective buying power, sincerely and diligently voting out state executives and legislators that seek to remove our freedoms and stoke hate, moving away from hostile states if we can, helping those without the means to help themselves, and supporting those that support freedom, tolerance, compromise and democracy. Without hope, everything else fails. In the following days, I’ll discuss some reforms we need to take to strengthen our democracy. Vigilance is key to secure liberty.