Although Democrats have problems of their own, the systematic effort to undermine American democracy is coming from Republicans.
The author proposes establishing objective criteria by which to judge which party is more blameworthy for undermining Democracy. While I have no disagreement with the criteria cited, nor with the transgressions noted for each party, she reveals her bias by omitting one the most significant factors undermining popular sovereignty, namely, the proliferation of administrative authorities exercising coercive control over the lives of Americans.
When administrative agents of the executive branch can simultaneously exercise legislative rule setting, prosecutorial, and judicial powers all without accountability to the electorate and outside the established institutions of appeal, one has the very definition of tyranny.
Which party is most favorable to this state of affairs?
I’m disappointed there’s no mention of massive government overreach and erosion of civil liberties under this administration during these pandemic times. Or the attempt to shut down speech by the administration (via DHS) declaring those who spread ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ re Covid matters (of course, the government being the arbiter of what constitutes these despite their *many* false claims, eg cloth masks) domestic terrorists. Freedom of speech is at the core of how democracy gets protected. Authoritarianism, even coming from Democrats, is quite the threat to democracy.
The problem is that the Democrats actually did rig the 2020 election, not with fraudulent voting machines fake ballots or anything like that but with an unprecedented alliance of Big Media, Big Tech and Big Money. The way they changed the rules to combat their own voters' ongoing enthusiasm gap is something that they would like to keep (hiring people to drive around collecting them, for instance, early mail-in voting) made the election seem very strange to many people. The Democrats never felt obligated, nor did the media, to come clean about any of this. They simply screamed at the Right over and over again, calling them domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, etc. They should be transparent about everything they want to do going forward rather than claim they are combatting Jim Crow 2.0.
Both 2016 and 2020 were elections that benefited from Facebook. Trump's campaign used the micro-targeting to keep specific groups at home by targeting negative ads. They didn't need more voters, they just needed more Hillary voters to stay home. It left the people feeing as though something really strange had taken place. In 2020, the same thing happened. Mark Zuckerberg poured hundreds of millions into the election but only helped the Democrats. That election also left people feeling strange because they could tell something had been off. Trump won Iowa, Ohio and Florida - his campaign was gaining momentum in the final weeks, largely because the Democratic Party has lost its mind and was spiraling into the Great Awokening.
The problem is that Democrats are simply lying about their plans with elections going forward. They should just be up front about what the problem is and what they want to do about it. Causing more division by screaming racism at every turn is counter productive.
This article is such garbage. When a party that calls itself the “Democratic” party literally argues in court that they are not legally bound to run fair democratic primary elections (after being sued by Bernie supporters), we know that any person who writes apologia like this article is a tool for that party or is just really ignorant. I imagine the author believes that the Democratic Party was fighting for civil rights since its inception like the the Party says it was on their website too.
I am neither a Republican or a Democrat, but the constant gas lighting by loyal democrats about their party’s history and its own behavior is getting old. And, of course, it is immoral.
Both parties are trash, and anyone who is loyal to either is a drag on American progress.
My concern is that this sort of article is divisive. I am a lifelong Democrat, and extremely concerned about the state of democracy here, and in my original country, India. Nevertheless, I think it is important to NOT to alienate the few Republicans (like Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney) by squarely condemning their party.
It would be interesting to remind Americans about the original Republican ideals, and their proximity to classical Democratic ones, how they have changed since the 21st Century, and what can be done to restore at least the basic ideals such as voting rights (which Berman has done well).
Some may think my suggestion as naive. But unless we join in a common, shared perspective of democracy in our country, this will never change.
P.S. It may be possible that democracy as we know it may no longer be possible because people's expectations of politics have shifted from group to individual. Perhaps that too should be discussed.
If Democratics are that worried about safeguarding elections they shouldn't be so reflexively opposed to a national ID. The same people who claim there is no problem at all with draconian vacination compliance requirements just to enter any public space then turn around and say people can't possibly be expected to show a card at the voting booth.
Reforming the ECA and preventing electoral shenanigans at the state level are important goals to pursue. The necessity of first determining which party is the bigger danger to democracy is unclear.
You begin by claiming both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the denigration of American democracy and that in order to determine which party is more responsible, we must quantify it. Being a political science professor, I'm surprised you started with this assertion and then proceeded to provide no quantifiable evidence whatsoever to suggest such. On the contrary, your argument is entirely subjective because there is no way to actually quantify something so complex.
You certainly do provide numerous examples that are undoubtedly accurate about the inappropriate and condemnable nature in which President Trump left office, however not once did you mention the countless examples in which Hillary Clinton herself was unwilling to accept the 2020 results. Clinton repeatedly called Donald Trump an "illegitimate president," as you can see in this Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hillary-clinton-trump-is-an-illegitimate-president/2019/09/26/29195d5a-e099-11e9-b199-f638bf2c340f_story.html. The American people suffered 3 years of mainstream media outlets and Democratic lawmakers telling them Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election.
None of this is to excuse the poor character and bad behavior of numerous Republicans. I agree that many have gone along with the Trump charade for far too long. That aside, there are numerous members of the Republican Party who, separate from Trump, are asking very legitimate questions around questionable mail in voting practices and illegal actives such as ballot harvesting that took place in November 2020. Is it unreasonable to be concerned with the way in which certain Governors and Secretaries of State changed voting rules enshrined in state Constitutions without going through legislatures? There are fair questions being asked that we should not throw aside as "Republican lies."
Furthermore, your article provides zero proof that Democratic sins against "norms and instructions" are largely "disconnected and intermittent." I recall the now infamous Time magazine article entitled, "The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election," which elucidates a coordinated effort by Democrat Party elite. The article states: "That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it" (https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/).
Both parties are responsible for the denigration of American Democracy. BOTH. Parties. By saying, "it becomes clear that...it is the Republican Party that poses the real danger to American Democracy," you are undermining many of your own assertions. Your first sentence laments our deeply polarizing times, yet you are actually contributing to its polarization with these biased articles.
That is why I've started a new substack, Utterly Unbiased (www.utterlyunbiased.com). My goal is to seek understanding across the political divide. I tend to be center-right, but deeply want to understand different viewpoints and perspectives.
That is because parties are at fault for the state of political discourse. No one has it fully figured out. Instead of blaming one party over the other, let's figure out where we agree and can compromise,. We should understand we all fundamentally want the same things, we just disagree how to get there.
In order to end polarization, we need to stop the demonization of our neighbors, and instead promote actual unity. I've read a million articles just like this one that lament the "Republican threat to American Democracy." They're disingenuous and ideologically motivated. We've moved beyond hyperbole. Let's stop the tribalism and start a good faith conversation.
Registered as a Democrat for the first time a week ago, both for the reasons the author lists and for playing footsie with Putin.
The Republicans, I agree, are attacking political democracy, and it must be defended. But the threats to free speech and discussion that come from the Left are dangerous, too, and they come not from the political state but from th corporations, the universities, and our bosses. So the two attacks don’t encounter each other, because they are working in different sectors.
The initial point of reply to the article author is that she omits to consider the contention of conservatives that a major threat to democracy is the growing lack of administrative state accountability to democratic principles.
The Supreme Court seems to be so concerned else it would not be conducting hearings on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the constitutionality of the regulatory state under the principle of non-delegation.
To ignore the issue of legislative delegation as a threat to Democracy is willful blindness. This was the major point. Your recent reply seems to acknowledge this.
While I support the proposals of Ms. Berman, I’m greatly dismayed by the playing down of the Democratic Party’s role in this widening gyre. Until moderates, Republican, Democratic, and independent can agree that both parties have been stripping the guardrails from our political system for decades, we’re doomed to fail in our efforts to save it. It will take more than crocodile tears at one’s opponents’ populist destruction to fix things. The proposals are good, and they must be accomplished bipartisanly, but the preamble does not bode well for the effort.