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Coup Attempts Happen In Other Nations…Right?

January 6, 2021

The enormity of the events that unfolded this afternoon as Congress was undertaking their Constitutional role of counting the electoral college votes, which will lead to the inauguration of Joe Biden as our next president, brought the nation to their television sets. It was very clear that the dangers to our democracy, which many have warned about over the past four years of the Donald Trump presidency, are very real.

I have written continuously since the start of 2017 about the dangers of illiberal democracy, and how the autocratic moves by Trump were fomenting dangers to our nation. Trump (who never gets a title on this blog) fawned over strongmen and autocrats who ushered in illiberal democracy in their countries, and in so doing thwarted the will of their people.  Trump was doing his utmost to achieve the same in America.

One of the tools used by Trump and his ilk to further illiberal democracy was the undermining of facts from the very start of Trump’s campaign for high office. We have witnessed, time and again, how the undermining of facts was used as a tool with the use of erroneous phrases. When he was called out for his lies Trump worked to smear the Fourth Estate. The efforts were aimed so that some of the electorate would be uncertain if what they read and heard from professional journalists were indeed facts.

Such attacks on the foundations of democracy are most concerning. Today we saw what happens when a sizable number of under-educated and highly unstable people are swayed by reckless language from the White House. There is no need to question if the rhetoric is having a detrimental effect on our nation.

Steps towards illiberal democracy have taken place in nations far and wide.  From Turkey, Poland, Italy,  Brazil, and the United States we have witnessed attempts to roll back reforms and undermine democratic foundations.  Time and again when it comes to these actions I have called for the checks and balances to weigh in so as to address the chaos.

Today we have crossed a bridge in the nation that will require from all sides of the political divide efforts to undo the Trump stain upon our land. If we thought the crisis of 9/11 seemed daunting, or the pandemic almost akin to a Biblical plague, all that pales to the absolute dangers to the very fabric of our democracy. There must be a determined and bi-partisan pushback against those who would undermine due process and rip at the foundations of democratic institutions.

Upholding the rule of law is no small thing in these times. But we can look to history to see the way forward. I often use history as a lesson and reminder for the future. I end this post in like fashion.

Defeated presidential candidate Stephen Douglas held Abraham Lincoln’s hat while the new President gave his inaugural address in 1861. The leader of northern Democrats, who had polled 1,375,000 votes for President as against Lincoln’s 1,866,000 reportedly made a most American move.

The foundations of our nation must always triumph over partisanship.

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