OPINION – 3/12/2020
The United States Democracy is in danger. It is threatened by billionaires wanting more control of the world they practically own, the rise of Authoritarianism, the laissez-faire attitude of journalists, and the apathy of most Americans. Too many people do not see these threats for what they are, attacks on the freedom and rights of most Americans. And what makes this worse is that the same tactics and patterns are happening globally, making the spread of Authoritarianism worse.
Some of the simplest things are being used to solidify this hold on the US political system. Gerrymandering is a big culprit and it is used by both the Democrats and Republicans to seize power in as many places as possible. This tactic is abhorrent, from either side. By redrawing the district lines for elections into patterns that favor one side or the other, you in effect silence a portion of the populace. This tactic is not very Democratic and is in a lot of ways very Un-American. From everything I was taught, Americans hate taxation without representation, and by making these abnormal district patterns both sides are setting things up so that the other side has no voice.
Another way in which US citizens are losing their voice is through voter suppression. If it is an American’s right and responsibility to vote then why are political parties trying to shut that down? In many places in this country, there are people being cut out of voter registries, denied easy access to voting, having to face hoops in trying to take part in our governmental system that other groups don’t have to face. White middle- and upper-class voters have the easiest time in participating, where People of Color, Indigenous voters, the poor, the disabled, transgender or non-binary voters are all kept from taking part in our Democracy.
Then you have influence from foreign governments and the wealthy in both social media and in news, trying to derail our system. The Russians have been working at weakening our democracy in several ways and worked very hard to influence the last two elections. There is plenty of evidence that they are doing the same thing during our current election. In fact, the Russian government owns a few “news” sources that are basically propaganda tools that color the news the way the Kremlin wants you to see it.
The wealthy who own media sources are passing down the ways in which the news is to be spun are certainly no better than the Russians. They pick and choose their favorites in the elections, pushing their candidates instead of letting the average citizen make that choice. If media sources were interested in making sure people knew what was going on in elections you would see newspaper and online official articles or the people and issues being voted on collected in one easy to access place. Instead, people who work too hard have to dig through various sources to find out information on anything.
These issues threaten our democracy, making it vulnerable to being overthrown by Authoritarian politics. When the government attacks journalists, refuses to take actions that make voting easier and more secure, and clearly supports big business rather than the American people, the foundations of our country are threatened with destruction. This is how Germany fell to the Nazi Party in the 1930s and these are also the sorts of actions that could lead to the dissolution of our nation. Please stand in defense of Democracy, because once it goes it will take massive work to ever bring it back.