Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Self Destruction Of US Democracy

There has been a clear increase in the risk to democracy in the US.  This article provides a good description of the fault lines in our system of governance.  It took Trump only one year to weaken a system that took hundreds of years to develop.  Given the position of the US in the western world, the problems that Trump has created in the US have been exported to other nations.  Unfortunately, the Republican congress is willing to grant Trump the freedom to do whatever he pleases as long as he helps to sell policies which please their donors to the electorate. The Mueller investigation may uncover damaging evidence that can be used to defuse Trump, but our only real hope is to elect candidates to Congress who place the national interest above political party interest.  Three more years of Trump, with a Republican Congress behind him, may put an end to our experiment with democracy.

It is perhaps too easy to blame Trump for all of the problems with our system of governance. The fact that he was able to win the GOP nomination and the presidential election was a signal that something serious had gone wrong with our system.  Now it appears that Trump will succeed in selling a tax plan, designed to benefit Republican donors, and himself, as a plan designed to benefit less advantaged citizens. Our government established the FDA to make it more difficult to sell snake oil as a remedy for common health problems.  Trump is an expert selling snake oil that increases his power, and we don't have the equivalent of the FDA to deter him.  The press has done what it can to expose the snake oil but Trump, with some help from his friends, has been somewhat successful in convincing many Americans that the media are selling snake oil.  The fundamental requirement in any democratic system is a well informed public.  A public that is unable to discriminate between snake oil and effective medications will not enjoy the benefits of a democratic system for very long.  Snake oil is not only ineffective, it is deadly.

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