Monday, January 30, 2012

Democracy's tipping point

The viability of any democracy is determined at election time by two things:

1. Does whoever's in control at election time jigger the election process to make sure they stay in power?

Across the country, every state government controlled by the Republicans has been engaged in strenous attempts to prevent the rampant voter fraud they claim has been giving Democrats an unfair advantage in elections. Only there isn't any--the efforts to uncover fraud are epitomized by Republican claims that 950 dead people "voted" the the South Carolina primary. After an expensive taxpayer-paid investigation of the claims, they discovered one (1): a guy who was dead all right--but had died after voting.

It's that way across the country, but waving this red herring has been used by the GOP to justify a variety of voter restrictions that just happen to crimp voting by demographics who generally vote Democratic.

2. Does whoever loses the election cede power peacefully?

The language the Republican leaders and their surrogates are using about President Obama doesn't just persistently misrepresent the facts--it uses incendiary language that has succeeded in making many millions of Americans hate Obama--not his policies, but the man himself. They've succeeded in making many rank and file Republicans believe that Obama actually intends to harm the country and intends to subvert the Constitution. Republican friends of mine call him a "fascist" and a "Communist."

This runs the risk of having a lot of Americans not accept the results of the last election or of the next.

Democrats faced when the Supreme Court chose a president of their liking in 2000. But Democrats believe in Democracy, whatever their other faults may be. I'm not as sure about the Republicans.

The Republican Ministry of Propaganda is playing with fire, just as it did when it decided its goal wasn't just winning elections, but of marginalizing the Democratic Party, so that it's no longer a factor in national elections. Scary stuff.

Then again, the GOP's secret soul is monarchist...

These are the guys who sided with the Crown during the American Revolution. 

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