US Democracy On The Ropes — Warning ‘A Wake-Up Call’

March 24, 2021

America appears on the democracy precipice right now, despite gains made the last months — Joe Biden elected president, the COVID relief bill passed, among other benefits — and how Congress reacts in the near future, especially on voting rights, will tell the tale of whether we stand or fall.
However, the hard place of that rock, is the Republican party, a way-nasty, useless bunch of clowns who are trying to fuck-over the US to regain power that’s been slipping out of their hands for years. And the nugget for their success is voting suppression:

The call for “election integrity” is now inseparable from the claim that the election was stolen from Trump.
That’s a lie, but the fact that so many Republican base voters believe it — which Trump and Republican officials themselves brought into being — is itself the stated justification to continue.

The Big Lie infused with another bunch of lies accommodating every kind of bullshit particle:

And our precarious position on the democracy road is not just shit talk and fear of boogie men in the dark, but a valid concern due to the horror of the T-Rump and his terrible enablers, the entire, complete Republican party and their past/and current attempt to erode the fundamental aspects which have made America for more than 250 years, flaws and all. And it’s not just asshole bloggers and libral pundits screaming into the void, it’s a view of anyone with walking around sense.
And with some historical impact — (Wikipedia) ‘Freedom House is a U.S.-based, U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 1941, and Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt served as its first honorary chairpersons.

A warning shot across the bow of the American ship of state:

Basic bottom-line for America — from Freedom House this morning:

The problems that came to a head in January had been accumulating for years. Freedom House has been tracking a gradual decline in respect for political rights and civil liberties in the United States over the past decade.
The deterioration was initially marked by harmful new restrictions on voting, legislative gridlock that has made it nearly impossible for the country to address serious public policy challenges, and the growing political influence of well-funded special interest groups.
The downward trend accelerated considerably over the last four years, as the Trump administration trampled institutional and normative checks on its authority, cast aside safeguards against corruption, and imposed harsh and discriminatory policies governing immigration and asylum.

The degradation of the Republican party the last four/five decades is the pin-point origin of how the US has lost it’s democratic way over the years, and it’s getting worse — via the Guardian, also this morning, on the issues raised by the Freedom House report:

The US has fallen to a new low in a global ranking of political rights and civil liberties, a drop fueled by unequal treatment of minority groups, damaging influence of money in politics, and increased polarization, according to a new report by Freedom House, a democracy watchdog group.

The US earned 83 out of 100 possible points this year in Freedom House’s annual rankings of freedoms around the world, an 11-point drop from its ranking of 94 a decade ago.
The US’s new ranking places it on par with countries like Panama, Romania and Croatia and behind countries such as Argentina and Mongolia.
It lagged far behind countries like the United Kingdom (93), Chile (93), Costa Rica (91) and Slovakia (90).

“Dropping 11 points is unusual, especially for an established democracy, because they tend to be more stable in our scores,” Sarah Repucci, Freedom House’s vice-president for research and analysis, told the Guardian.
“It’s significant for Americans and it’s significant for the world, because the United States is such a prominent, visible democracy, one that is looked to for so many reasons.”

While Freedom House has long included the US in its global ranking of freedoms, it traditionally has not turned an eye inward and focused on US democracy. But this year, Repucci authored an extensive report doing just that, a move motivated by increasing concern over attacks on freedoms in the US.

The report details the inequities that minority groups, especially Black people and Native Americans face when it comes to the criminal justice system and voting.
It also illustrates that public trust in government has been damaged by the way rich Americans can use their money to exert outsize influence on American politics.

And it points out that extreme partisan gerrymandering — the manipulation of electoral district lines to boost one party over the other — has contributed to dramatic polarization in the US, threatening its democratic foundations. Gerrymandering, the report says, “has the most corrosive and radicalizing effect on US politics”.

“We’re really concerned about these longer-term challenges that aren’t going to be addressed with quick fixes, that were kind of highlighted during the Trump administration and, in some cases, taken advantage of, by that administration,” Repucci said.
“A change of president is not gonna make them go away.”

The report offers three recommendations for improving American democracy: removing barriers to voting, limiting the influence of money in politics, and establishing independent redistricting commissions.
Democrats in Washington are pushing all three of those reforms as part of a sweeping voting package currently under consideration in the US Senate.

“Americans should see it as a wake-up call,” Repucci said.
“American democracy is still strong and we still have a lot going for us especially in the strength of our institutions and in the mobilization that is possible among the population. I do think that these problems can be solved and people should take heart in that.”

A giant, humongous reason the ‘For the People Act of 2021‘ needs to be made law, it’s in the Senate right now (ABC News):

Senate Democrats Wednesday began their march forward on a sweeping voting rights bill, convening a hearing on their “top priority” legislation despite Republican efforts to cast the bill as a Democratic power grab.

The For the People Act aims to make major election reforms that lower barriers to voting, including automatic voter registration, requiring voter registration on the day of an election and reforms to gerrymandering and campaign finance laws.

We can only hope for the best while rockin’ the dispossessed:

“There’s colors on the street
Red, white and blue
People shufflin’ their feet
People sleepin’ in their shoes…”

(Illustration found here).

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