America has a President and associates who are unraveling our democracy’s institutions; dismantling long standing norms; and enabling Russia’s strategy to deconstruct democratic countries around the globe. How did this happen?
The least common denominator is fifty plus years of deliberate political party polarization that opened the doors to the current administration and continued political warfare through use of institutional systems deconstruction—White House, Senate, House, Judicial and Intelligence—and associated chaos and confusion as weapons. The evolving, escalating political party differences and resentment, including religious and racial divisiveness, is fueled by crumbling, self-serving, senior party leadership who have relinquished tolerance, institutional forbearance, ethics and morals.
Political parties are democracy’s gatekeepers and a mission of senior party leadership is to be sensitive to evolving conditions for autocracy and thwart its cancer, even though decisions may, at times, be difficult and divisive. We have an antidemocratic President because senior party leadership abdicated mutual forbearance, institutional tolerance and responsibility for rooting-out bad apples. They opted for political gain and easy, short-term, polarizing solutions. This leadership was not objective, was self-serving and did not act in the best interests of the United States democracy, the American people, Republicans and Democrats. Quite simply, the desire for political gain cast aside the need for ethical-moral responsibility.
There are some paths: 1) Emergence of broad, pro-democratic coalitions of dissimilar viewpoints will signal swift recovery. Political parties will re-create respective brands and attributes and unite to confront the autocracy; democracy will be re-forged with the tools of tolerance and forbearance and senior leadership of parties will root-out the bad, autocratic apples. 2) The President and Republicans continue to win with white nationalist appeal and re-engineering of long standing norms—voting process and media integrity, truth telling, absence of nepotism and financial conflict of interest, non-tolerance of spousal abuse and sexual misconduct, diverse judicial nominations, vision for global peace and leadership with strong ethics and morals; or 3) Polarization with evolving, unwritten political conventions and erosion of long established norms continue. An autocrat will be at the helm; partisan hatred, deadlock, dysfunction and breakdown will escalate; and autocracy will become a reality.
Broad, pro-democratic coalitions of dissimilar viewpoints are a must for evolution of a sane, free America. Of necessity are the means to uncover leadership, tolerance, forbearance, restraint, teambuilding and common vision that transcends and includes differences. Find your pro-democratic coalition of dissimilar viewpoints! This is not about easy. This is about leadership, sacrifice, hard work and friendly, tough strife where seeds are uncovered and planted for democracy, human freedoms and genuine peace of mind to grow. As Kennedy implored, “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”