Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Democracy in Decline: Life in the Divided States of America

When someone refers to red states and blue states that's proof of a dire division among Americans.

We're supposedly the United States of America, but it sure doesn't feel like we're united.

Pick any subject and try to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on it. Take today when President Biden gives his State of the Union speech for example.

As Biden attempts to unite people in a common cause the Republicans are giving their version of reality today in a speech by Gov. Sarah Huckabee a loyal minion of Trump.

There are two different interpretations of the same speech. One deals with facts and the other is a screed coming from an alternate universe where Trump is still president.

It's downright confusing for millions of Americans who chose not to vote at all because of the conflicting stories coming from Washington, DC.

Americans are watching like bystanders as laws, traditions, and history are assaulted every day by the right-wing extremists seeking to destroy democracy and install an authoritarian state under Trump.

It's been a slow decline that accelerated when Trump first slithered into the Oval Office six years ago with the help of Russian operatives.

There's a word that has ceased to come up in Congress anymore, compromise.

Without the ability to compromise there's little or no hope things will get better among our warring leaders of both parties.

The future for a unified America is becoming a dream that seems more unlikely than ever to happen. 

I would like to think that Trump and the rest of the Republicans will be held accountable for their coup attempt, but I have my doubts. It's been two years since the assault on the Capitol and Trump is not only free, but he's running for the presidency in 2024.

Contributing to the decline of democracy in America is our broken court system. The highest court in the land - the Supreme Court - has been corrupted with extreme conservatives who are busy taking away people's rights. Overturning Roe vs Wade is just one example.

There is something that can be done to slow the decline. More people need to vote. There was approximately 240 million people eligible to vote in the 2020 election and roughly 66% of them submitted ballots.

That left 80 million eligible voters who did not participate in the 2020 election. About 27% of all Americans aged 18 years or older, numbering 63 million men and women who didn't even register to vote.

Without them it's hard to get a true picture of what the majority of Americans really want from their lawmakers.

Those who didn't vote had reasons like distrust of the electoral system (thanks to Trump), disillusionment with politics and systemic barriers for people of color.

As it stands, this trend is a troubling sign for America's democracy in the 21st century.

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