During her program on Monday night, Rachel Maddow said that it only took Donald Trump and a complicit Republican Party four years to push American democracy to the brink of collapse.
Over the next 15 days, the MSNBC host said, the American people will have to decide if they want the country to remain in this current drift toward authoritarianism, or return to days when the U.S. was a “mature” democracy.
“All it takes is one presidency like this, and now we’re like all these other sad sack, maybe-democracies around the world, wondering if maybe there will be a junta this year and no longer feels weird to prepare for Election Day violence,” Maddow said.
“We are 15 days out from deciding if we want to change that course,” she added.
Rachel Maddow says Donald Trump and Republicans have pushed American democracy to the brink of collapse in just four years, and the next 15 days will determine whether we change course before it’s too late. #maddow pic.twitter.com/YEZTyqU2rh
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 20, 2020
All in all, this has been a pretty normal day now in what used to be, until very recently, the world’s leading example of a mature rule-of-law-based democracy. Now we know, all it takes is one presidency like this and now we’re like all these other sad sack, maybe-democracies around the world, wondering if maybe there will be a junta this year and no longer feels weird to prepare for election-day violence. How did we become that country so quickly? It takes one presidency, one of our two major parties happy to go along with the whole lock-her-up thing, less than four years of us not adjusting to what the rest of the world easily recognizes as authoritarian drift and all that means for corruption and nepotism and the rule of law. Turns out it doesn’t take much. It does not take much. And it certainly doesn’t take much time to reduce us to the kind of country we used to lecture on democratic norms and regular order and the impartial administration of justice, even on the incitement of political violence by national office holders, right? We used to lecture little countries all over the world about that stuff. Now it’s us. And we are 15 days out from deciding if we want to change that course.
Calling this election the most important in history is an understatement
American voters are told every four years that “this” presidential election is the most important in history. This year, that isn’t just true, but it’s an understatement.
The damage Donald Trump – with the help of a shameless, spineless Republican Party – has done will take years to undo. It’s work that likely won’t be finished even after four years of a potential Joe Biden presidency.
But if Trump is given another term in the White House, it’s unclear whether the damage will be reparable at all.
Over the next 15 days, voters will have to opportunity to resoundingly reject Donald Trump and his enablers as they push this country toward authoritarianism.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.