A political cliché is that “elections have consequences.” The aftermath of our midterm elections could decide the future of our democracy. If our country leaves Trump and Republicans unchecked, America will slide into full-on Authoritarian rule.
I'm a former life-long Republican. The midterm elections aren't about political parties anymore; we're in a fight for our democracy. I'm not being dramatic and I'm here to tell you this is not a drill.
Right after Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Sarah Kendzior, an expert on Authoritarian governments, wrote this:
This is an American authoritarian kleptocracy, backed by millionaire white nationalists both in the United States and abroad, meant to strip our country down for parts, often using ethnic violence to do so.
This is not a win for anyone except them. This is a moral loss and a dangerous threat for everyone in the United States, and by extension, everyone abroad.
I have been studying authoritarian states for over a decade, and I would never exaggerate the severity of this threat. Others who study or have lived in authoritarian states have come to the same conclusion as me.
Here are some facts on why voting Democrat in the midterms means voting for American democracy.
Want America to Continue Lead the Free World? - Vote Democrat
Since Donald Trump and his allies have led our country the attributes that made America great have been ravaged. One of the most dramatic shifts is the new immigration policy. Trump's Zero Tolerance policy of taking children away from their parents, and putting these children in detention camps goes against everything our country stands for. It's a deliberately cruel tactic that has shattered lives.
Steve Schmidt is a former Republican political consultant who helped elect President George W. Bush, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Arizona Senator John McCain. Schmidt has no love for the Democratic political party, and the former Republican made a good point aboutAmerica's new immigration policy:
These are vulnerable people fleeing some of the most violence-ravaged places on earth. And why do they walk for 2,000 miles? Because of the power of an idea. That idea is this place. America....[T]he idea that when a mother through suffering, through abuse, through risk and sometimes death all around them, when they reach the border and they see a uniform with an American flag and they are no longer safe. Or that baby is ripped away and put into an internment camp, this is a moral outrage that harkens to the worse excesses in the history of the country, to the separation of families at the slave auction blocks, to the separation of Native American families.
All Americans except the American Indians are immigrants. Taking children away from their parents and putting them into jails for children is not the America we know.
If You Like Living on Planet Earth - Vote Democrat
The climate report from the United Nations’ scientific panel showed a apocalyptic picture of the impact of world climate change. The report stated that avoiding the damage requires transforming our world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”
Our President and American agencies that protect our environment don't believe the science and research about global warming. They are skeptical of the 91 scientific experts from 40 countries that created the United Nations report ---based on 6,000 scientific facts. The research shows that the people of planet Earth have 12 years to limit this global catastrophe.
At an October 14th campaign rally, Trump claimed that climate change is not man-made, is too expensive to fix, and accused scientists of having a "political agenda." California's Gavin Newsom sums it up:
This isn't ignorance -- this is the purposeful dismissal of factual evidence and science. And it's dangerous.
If You Want Healthcare - Vote Democrat
The U.S. Treasure reported this week that our American Deficit is up 17% in 2018 and corporate tax payments are down 31% from 2017. In public statements and interviews, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits to pay for the hit our country has taken from the 31% corporate tax drop.
Let that sink in: Benefits that Americans have paid into for decades, Social Security and Medicare and will be slashed or taken away completely. Because wealthy corporations and citizens were given a massive tax cut. The average health insurance co-pays have jumped from $300 to $1300 per medical treatment. If our country continues to be ruled by a Republican majority, this will only get worse.
If You Want to Live in a Free American Democracy - Vote Democrat
Our country is on the edge of turning into an authoritarian kleptocracy. The actions of America's Republican leaders are not normal, particularly from the President of the United States.
Trump offers conspiracies and lies as facts. Trump and allies just flat-out lie by design.
The obviousness of their lying is the point, it's part of a long-term strategy to destroy shared facts, which is straight from the authoritarian playbook. The New Yorker gives context on why Trump's lies are so dangerous:
In his book “On Tyranny,” from February, 2017, the Yale historian Timothy Snyder sounded the alarm, warning that “Post-truth is pre-fascism” and “to abandon facts is to abandon freedom.”
Many former U.S. leaders are concerned about Trump's assault on American rules and norms.
Additional signs that America is moving toward autocratic rule:
- The corruption of Donald Trump and his administration is unparalleled.
- Trump’s threats against political opponents and attacks on the free press are unprecedented.
- Ivanka and Jared Kushner as White House senior White House advisors. Neither are qualified other than their relationship to President Trump.
- The President of the United States mocked a sexual assault survivor. At a Trump rally, the leader of the free world mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at the Kavanaugh hearing. As human being and as a survivor of sexual assault, Trump's bullying was another new low for America.
Finally, if I haven't given you enough reasons to get out and vote Democrat on November 6th?
Here are two actions by our President that should give everyone reason to check his power:
- Trump sided with Russia and Putin against FBI at Helsinki Summit over Russian role in 2016 election
- Trump and his administration are giving Saudi Arabia cover for the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi.
I started this article with a quote by Authoritarian expert Sarah Kendzior, and I'll wrap up with a quote from her. Sarah communicates the danger we are in:
There is no question that most Americans disapprove of Mr. Trump and the GOP. The question for November is whether dissent matters in the face of an increasingly autocratic regime, one whose disregard for rule of law is unparalleled in U.S. history, and one that may have engaged in voter suppression and one whose associates are being investigated for whether they collaborated with operatives of hostile states to win the previous election.
Vote on November 6 like your life depends on it. Because it does.
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