Authoritarianism creeps into a nation gradually, through hundreds of small, imperceptible actions; festering within a healthy democracy for years before being detected. Today our democratic institutions are under assault by a derelict republican congress protecting an appalling president, who possesses a small intellect and a fragile psyche bordering on the verge of madness. This malfeasance is wreaking havoc with our democracy. It threatens to plunge the nation into an economic abyss and reshape the world order. The fundamental question therefore, is whether our institutions are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of this madness.
The reality is we have invited fascism to our doorstep, by ignoring the warning signs of privatization, perpetual war, inequitable taxation and the empty promise of returning to a time when white males were socially dominant, financially prosperous and politically strong. The result is a blind allegiance among republicans who have a limited understanding of history or government, in support of a president compromised by a foreign adversary. Republicans don’t see the people poisoning their air and water as the enemy. They don’t regard the people caging refugees and separating immigrant children from their parents- then forcing babies to stand trial alone as the enemy. They don’t view Russia as the enemy; even as Putin continues to attack our country. They don’t perceive those who restrict food, housing and healthcare from the elderly, the disabled and less fortunate as the enemy. They don’t regard the people who support voter suppression; purging over sixteen million from the voter rolls as the enemy. In fact, they cheer all of this on and remain convinced that immigrants, minorities, women and gays have compromised their way of life. They believe those of us who are advocating for social, environmental and economic justice are the real enemies. The disturbing truth is, republicans have become convinced they cannot win democratically and instead of abandoning conservatism, they are simply rejecting democracy. When the dark chapter of this presidency is written in history, the harshest criticism will be reserved for the republican party, who refused to defend our institutions and the rule of law when they were most at risk.
Democracy doesn’t work if you don’t vote. Therefore, if you’ve ever wondered when the right moment to get involved is, that time is now. The mid-term elections in November will be the most important vote of our lives. The moment when we either reclaim our freedom or loose it forever. It’s time to understand the difference between those who seek to expand our liberties and make government better, and those who want to tear government down and take away our rights.