America’s Reality-Time Check On Our System: ‘We Are Losing Our Democracy Day By Day’ — Yet The Media Fails To Instill The Danger/Importance

January 3, 2022

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica,’ and found here).

Another gloomy-gus democracy on the brink poll — via NPR this morning, though, the results indicate the lying, rot-backside to the destruction of the American experience:

A new NPR/Ipsos poll finds that 64-percent of Americans believe U.S. democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.”
That sentiment is felt most acutely by Republicans: Two-thirds of GOP respondents agree with the verifiably false claim that “voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election” — a key pillar of the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

Maybe top of the immediate list of shitty items to overcome:

Tribe gets into the meat of what’s facing us this year, and for years to come. Go read the whole piece at the Guardian, some right-on perspectives of Republican  building blocks to dismantle democracy — including this vital point:

But most terrifyingly, we have learned over the past year that the Republican party plans to do it again. Some retired generals are warning that, without decisive action to hold all the wrongdoers to account, we will witness a march to another coup attempt, and one more likely to succeed, if Trump or another demagogue runs and loses. Trump’s Republican party has all but erased or openly embraced the violence of 6 January. And the party faithful have already set out to use state-level elections and legislative processes to better set the table to steal the 2024 election should that be necessary to their return to power.

Indeed, in the topsy-turvy world of Trumpian logic, the political base of the Republican party now appears by a large majority to believe that the real coup and insurrection took place not on 6 January 2021 but on 3 November and 14 December 2020, when Joe Biden and the Democrats supporting him were guilty of a “big steal” of the national election.

Students of how democracies fail and tyrannical regimes arise from the dust they leave behind uniformly teach that such groundless myths of wrongful defeat at the hands either of enemies within or of enemies without are invariably part of the demagogue’s narrative and of its hold on popular consciousness.

The specter of another coup attempt in 2024-25 may, at first blush, seem counterintuitive. After all, whether Donald Trump or another aspiring despot runs next time as the Republican party’s nominee, that candidate will have no access to the powers of the presidency when the national election occurs. But the corrupt actions that threaten soon to bring our constitutional republic to an ignoble end sadly do not require either an exercise of presidential power or the abdication of presidential duty.

They require only that the cult of Trump repopulate with party hacks the bureaucracy of honest vote-counters and nonpartisan election personnel at the state and local levels, and that Trump-backed lawmakers elected to state legislatures rig the voting rules to dilute the influence of all who might oppose a Republican victory. Because these steps are well under way, we face a challenge more daunting than we did even when the powers of the presidency were in Trump’s hands.

On the front lines of this awareness of Republican anti-democratic intent is the media. Lost in too much power and suck-ability:

Media columnist at The Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan wrote this morning that despite some good shit from the MSM, the centerpiece of the news nowadays should be the insurrection/coup run daily by Republicans — it’s the story beyond this generation, and maybe history:

Much of this work has been impressive. And yet, something crucial is missing.
For the most part, news organizations are not making democracy-under-siege a central focus of the work they present to the public.

“We are losing our democracy day by day, and journalists are individually aware of this, but media outlets are not centering this as the story it should be,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a scholar of autocracy and the author of “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present.”

That American democracy is teetering is unquestionable. Jan. 6 is every day now, in the words of a recent New York Times editorial that noted the growing evidence: election officials harassed by conspiracy theory addicts, death threats issued to politicians who vote their conscience, GOP lawmakers pushing measures to make it harder for citizens to vote and easier for partisans to overturn legitimate voting results.

“The reactionary counter-mobilization against democracy has accelerated,” wrote historian Thomas Zimmer, a visiting professor at Georgetown.
“It’s happening on so many fronts simultaneously that it’s easy to lose sight of how things are connected.”

But, in general, this pro-democracy coverage is not being “centered” by the media writ large.
It’s occasional, not regular; it doesn’t appear to be part of an overall editorial plan that fully recognizes just how much trouble we’re in.

That must change. It’s not merely that there needs to be more of this work. It also needs to be different.
For example, it should include a new emphasis on those who are fighting to preserve voting rights and defend democratic norms.

“We focus on the enemies of democracy, the villains, but we also need to focus on democracy’s heroes,” including those working at the grass-roots level, Ben-Ghiat told me, such as voting rights advocates and public officials in communities across the country.
An occasional feature story on Stacey Abrams, the celebrated activist and former Georgia state lawmaker, is not nearly enough.

This new pro-democracy emphasis should be articulated clearly — and fearlessly — to readers and viewers. That could be in statements from editors or publishers, in advertising campaigns, or in other ways, declaring, in essence, “we are devoting more resources to this crucial subject because it is at the heart of our mission.” (As a reference point, think about how the heads of news organizations announced they were going to pay more attention to “the heartland” after the 2016 presidential election, or how some, at long last, are bearing down on climate change coverage.)

Then, news leaders, show that you really mean it. Put that pro-democracy coverage in front of your paywall, just as you’ve done with much of your covid coverage.
Put teams of reporters and editors on the subject. Label it in a defining and memorable way, as news organizations have done with “Spotlight” or “Watchdog” teams in the past.

Don’t be afraid to stand for something as basic to our mission as voting rights, governmental checks and balances, and democratic standards.

In other words, shout it from the rooftops. Before it’s too late.

Although time is melting away, right now the clock’s still running.
However, Republicans are trained for this shit, have no care for America within a democratic framework, even worse than 20 years ago:

Once again, here we are…

(Illustration out front: ‘A Break in Reality,’ by Xetobyte, found here).

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