Thursday, May 06, 2021

Democracy at Risk

 Historically, the United States is in troubled waters. It seems that the very core of our democracy is at serious risk of being torn asunder. This is due to the enactment of a plethora of laws by various states with the goal of curtailing the process that lies at the very heart of a viable democracy – that being free and unobstructed access to the fundamental right to vote. It has become obvious that these laws have been geared to target the most vulnerable voting populations, especially people of color. The insidious nature of these laws is reflected in some of the particulars of this kind of legislation – one of which involves making it a crime for others to provide food and or water to those waiting on prohibitively long lines to vote. The shear callousness of this kind of regulation is reminiscent of the dark days of Jim Crow.

The disturbing reality of this constellation of laws is that those who design and encourage this kind of legislation intend to impose minority values upon not only individual states but the entire nation. The proponents of this kind of legislation realize that the philosophical basis of their belief system is not shared by the general population, especially the young. This belief system is sustained and nurtured by hatred and bigotry. This belief system clearly embraces the erroneous notion of white supremacy, as embodied by the behavior of the mendacious and mentally disturbed former president, and blindly refuses to accept the widely held and scientifically-supported understanding that all humans are clearly members of the same species and deserving of the same benefits, rights and privileges regardless of their place of origin, or color of their skin, sexual orientation or particular social and religious beliefs.

The fact that this particular distorted view of reality has gained so much traction even in the face of reality itself, is very disturbing, for it portends a dark future in which hatred, bigotry and ignorance become the model for accepted behavior. This kind of future is not to be wished for; it is a declaration of the ascendency of the lie over truth. This kind of future would necessarily place ignorance and stupidity at the forefront of government and policy. The disastrous way the COVID-19 pandemic was handled by the previous administration is a clear object lesson on how serious issues would be handled within such a toxic environment.

Should the nation take such a path, it would invariably lead to the disintegration of a truly democratic republic in which the serious problems we must face such as endemic racism, climate change, social and economic injustice, the sustainability of our infrastructure and our natural environment would be effectively bypassed, ignored and in the worst possible political environment, exacerbated.

Should the nation take such a path, it would be strangely ironic, for those who are adhering to the big lies for the sake of feeling more secure in their own judgments would not appreciate the necessary outcome of their beliefs for themselves, and, most importantly, their future generations.

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