A Dangerous Time in American Political Life

The American society is suffering from problems such as racism, xenophobia, violence, etc. Indeed, we are going through a difficult time, with the two major political parties not collaborating and reaching for compromises as has been the custom. However, some politicians add fuel to these problems. Perhaps I am prejudiced but I blame this on Trump and the great majority of the Republican Party.

As I look back at our history, I see that racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia are rooted in American society; with exceptions, steady progress in this area. After all, we elected a Black man president of the country, Barack Obama, twice. Things are not perfect by any means but we continue to reach for America the great majority of us desire.

American history is a witness to deep-rooted racism against Blacks and other minorities. Apparently, you might argue that the political system has not been successful to tackle these issues that can turn into threats against national security and values. But I believe that every nation has problems. With regard to racism and the like, we take two steps forward and one back. We had Obama and then we got Trump. But then we got Biden and continued to make progress.  More and more we have Black people and Latinos and Asian Americans in prominent positions. So, while we have a good ways to go we are a much better country than we were fifty years ago.

Historically, when Abraham Lincoln talked about democracy, he mentioned government of the people, by the people, for the people. When the nation was founded only wealthy white men could vote. For a hundred years now women have had the vote and all other rights. The same is true with minorities. So, I think with each passing day we move closer to Lincoln’s promise.

In recent years, with the radicalization of the Republican Party under Trump, we took an important step backward. And, of course, there is some anxiety about the future of our democracy. But when I look and see that our Vice President is a woman of color and the Speaker of the House is a woman (these are the second and the third positions of authority in our country) I am more optimistic that, in the long run, our democracy might thrive.

Some Americans seem to believe less and less in their democracy. For instance, the result of a general election is not accepted by the losing side. A large number of voters are convinced fraud affected the elections. I believe that Donald Trump is an evil man and unable to accept his defeat in the 2020 election. There is no question that he and anyone who believes what he believes; or purports to believe are a danger to our society. Trump was simply a liar. Most Americans know this. It is a pity that we do not have 100% believing it!

A poll shows that more than 60 percent of Americans believe there is something wrong with US democracy and are calling for democratic political reforms. Right now the greatest fear is that the Republicans (who are unlike the fine Republicans of the past, caring more for their party than our nation) will take over the majority in both houses of Congress in the 2022 elections and, even worse that Trump may run and even win in 2024. I pray that these things will not happen. If they do we will indeed be in trouble. So, yes, this is certainly a dangerous time in American political life, but I trust that a great majority of Americans will do their utmost to get our country back on the right track.

The New York Times cited a new analysis that “The United States and its allies accounted for a significantly outsize share of global democratic backsliding in the last decade,” and said that Western core elements like election fairness or judicial independence have weakened. In my view, Trump and his followers have definitely weakened democracy in the United States and placed our democracy in danger. Furthermore, autocracy has gained strides in the world, and one could say that democracy has been weakened in recent years. But I do not believe that human beings have discovered a better system of government and that democracy will soon be making a comeback. What Putin is doing in Ukraine right now, disgusting as it is, is tending to unite the democracies of the world and to bring us closer together.

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