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Is Our Democracy Still Worth Fighting For?

June 12, 2018

Something bewildering has taken hold in this nation which should concern all who call themselves a citizen.  Regardless of which political party we call home, there must be a larger, over-riding calling to make sure our democracy is not under-mined.

Each intelligence agency in this county has issued their finding that the 2016 presidential election was the focus of a Russian attempt to foster division and confusion.  Not only were there efforts to put a finger on the electoral scale, but also a desire to infuse skepticism about our political institutions.

I am under no illusions about ever having some realistic way to assess the poisonous results of Russian meddling.  We will never know how much impact the racial messaging had on white male voters.  We will never have a true measure of the way white resentments turned into Trump votes.

But in the light of the findings of our respected intelligence agencies there is left the yawning absence of meaningful responses.  Instead, we have more than too many tweets from Donald Trump about his view the FBI are being too aggressive in pursuit of law and order.  With too much concern about his legitimacy of being elected, Trump has tossed aside the national need to buttress the foundations of democracy.

But the lack of national priorities only starts with Trump.  His fellow Republican office-holders are equally unable and unwilling to stand up for the demands that come with living in a democracy. Those members of congress are too scared of the under-educated rabble who can be whipped into a mindless frenzy by Trump, and therefore timid to stand up for the nation.  They, instead, show their concern for re-election surpasses the calling of the Founders, who knew we needed to defend this greatest experiment of democracy.

And what should we make of those conservatives in our communities who call for an end to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller?   What does that tell us about the role each citizen must carry to ensure our nation is protected? Why would they be most eager to fight a military force if it landed on our shores, but reluctant to demand accountability from a foreign power hell-bent on destabilizing our political infrastructure?

Blasting the FBI and Democrats plays to a segment of the nation, but should not the most important goal be the fight to make sure the integrity of the political and electoral processes are not simply tools for those who have no regard for the nation, or what it stands for?

We have a person in the Oval Office—in spite of information showing the gravity of the situation—who never once has voiced concern for our electoral system, or offered ways to prevent future foreign governments from meddling.  “Preserve and defend the Constitution” are not just words to be spoken when taking power, but must be words steadfastly adhered to without pause once in office.

The absence of norms is something that has bothered many of us who track the actions of Trump.  But now it is most sad to admit that the growing list of damaging effects Trump has created, has also caused a willingness to not fight for democracy.

One Comment
  1. Mark E. Bye permalink
    June 13, 2018 10:21 AM

    I’d certainly think twice about putting on a uniform and laying down my life for what passes as our democracy these days. I can’t even, in good conscience, recite the Pledge of Allegiance given the prevailing winds in the country. If I wasn’t so old and broke, I’d leave.

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