We have come to a turning point in our democracy for various reasons, but we are here.
After the publication of the Eastman memo just a few weeks ago, in which Trump’s attorney John Eastman drew up a six-point sedition plan that Pence should follow, the main story everywhere should be the ongoing attack on American democracy and what we are doing to stop it.
It only takes a small number of people to make a turning point in the breakdown of a democracy, associate professor of global politics at University College London and Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas warned on Monday.
In a Twitter Klaas, explained how the rise of authoritarianism can take place and “with the right timing, or with the right turn, democracy can still die at the hands of small groups” and why it is urgent for the Democrats to implement reforms that democratic institutions are protected from “the obvious onslaught that comes clearly”:
1. Much of my academic research involves traveling to places where political violence has led to the collapse of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism. And one dynamic I’m not sure is fully appreciated in the US is how a small number of people can create tipping points.
2. I interviewed coups that organized several dozen soldiers to take over a government. Some militias that grow into rebel movements start out as small amateur outfits. But with the right timing, or with the right turn, democracy can still die through small groups
3. It matters because the dynamics of January 6 in the US plan a small group of hardline extremists * to destroy democracy in 2022/2024. Some do not take them seriously because a relatively small percentage of Americans support them. This is a big mistake
4. People like Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, etc. Has a large platform among these extremists, and the violent extremists are taking clues as to how they should behave. Some will even take relatively small calls to action as a result of serious violence. This is extremely dangerous.
5. At the same time, there is an organized effort to fill important, lower-profile election posts with people who will only confirm Republican-winning elections. They are proponents of the Big Lie – a dismantled authoritarian conspiracy theory – and they are trying to run our elections.
This combination — of hundreds of thousands or even millions of Flynn-style extremists, along with authorities in key election positions — means that significant political violence and official attempts to undermine democracy are likely to arise at every U.S. national election.
7. January 6 did not involve as many people. It still shook the foundations of American democracy. What happens if a more organized effort takes place in 2022, with more direct support from people in formal political power? The answer is not comforting.
8. Therefore, Democrats must focus their attention, resources, and political power on reforms that protect American democratic institutions from the obvious onslaught that is coming. Because you need nothing close to 50% of the population to destroy democracy.
How did we get here? It seems to be through the same mechanism that has been testing our young democracy for decades: the urge of Democrats to concentrate on government when they have power, while today’s Republicans use their time to seize more power, to violate more norms, to to attack democracy itself – even in broad daylight.
“We have seen this repeatedly on the right, while Republicans have expressed far less concern about the acute threat on January 6 than they did a few months ago and offer virtually no opposition to the chronic dishonesty of electoral fraud. As part of this revisionism, there is constant policing of how people talk about the post-election period, “Phillip Bump wrote in a piece entitled ” The coup did not work ‘is not a reassuring argument’ published in the Washington Post. ‘Analysis of the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows how the Republican Party has increasingly adopted an illiberal approach to democracy in recent decades, away from a commitment to respect the will of the electorate. “
Image by Washington Post with data from V-Dem:
No one with the power to do anything about it wants to call on Republicans to give up their attack on democracy for fear of being biased. Republicans assure that the narrative that January 6 was a deviation is dominated by the policing of how it is discussed in the mainstream, as well as a concerted effort to re-mark the domestic terror attack from 1/6 to J6, which is not as much as the does not sound like a 9/11 terrorist attack, as well as claiming that one of the terrorists killed while involved in a coup that threatened our then legislators and vice president is actually a hero.
No one looks over to the elected Republicans anymore when it comes to protecting basic freedoms like vote, because except for a few times, the Republican Party has achieved all-for-all power. They do not care what their voters want or need. It’s not about the people; it’s about grabbing more and more power until the voice of the people is completely irrelevant.
Democrats drafted bills such as For the People Act to address the death spiral of democracy from Republican hands, but the media dealing with these issues will not just mention what it is: a continuous, authoritarian-driven seizure of power by a political party that has now used political terrorism to to get his sense for more than a decade a smell of real brand damage.
Republicans have become so insane that they would now openly conspire with their attorney general (who also issued a regular order to get a lawyer general who would do Trump’s instructions instead of his job) to power to maintain and grow. Their last president, who still runs their party, wanted the National Guard to protect the 1/6 terrorists, armed every government department and filled the entire federal government cult members willing to politicize previously non-political posts.
The installation of today’s hardcore Trump loyalist Paul Dans as chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management is a big sign that the Trump administration is moving at full steam in its efforts to disrupt the civil service and thwart the Biden administration. (1/7) pic.twitter.com/XU3eyWrqPg
– Yevgeny Shrago (@yevshrag) 11 December 2020
“McConnell knew Trump’s allegations were false and endangered the country. And he did not want to speak, because he put politics before the country, “Rick Hasen wrote Election Blog.
It is the general refusal to simply hold on to the truth that poses the greatest threat to our freedoms at the moment; it is the play to “neutrality” rather than truth; this is the ever-penetrating dishonest right-wing narrative is brought into the mainstream by a willing media. We are all now excited about accepting what the intelligence agencies saw as a ‘domestic terror attack’ as a big thing. A stupid, spoiled conspiracy of a man whose ego is too big to accept a defeat.
January 6 was a terrorist attack on our country – an act of political violence intended to stop the certification of a democratic election. There can be no greater warning. The Eastman memorandum must have caused alarms that prompted the Department of Justice to investigate Donald Trump and his immediate circle for rioting.
The people who make Trump’s lies possible must be called to what they are: traitors to democracy. The time is running out for democracy, and unfortunately we only have 48 senators (all Democrats) willing to take a stand for our country.
Mrs Jones is the co-founder / editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House Press Pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has appeared on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows and print media, including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.