"We know how damaged our institutions of democracy — our judiciary, the legislature, the executive — have become in the eyes of the American people, even the world, from attacks within over the past few years," President Joe Biden stated soberly in a late September speech. "We should all remember: democracies don't have to die at the end of a rifle. They can die when people are silent — when they fail to stand up or condemn threats to democracy."
Do you publish a transcript for your Q&As? I'm in West Coast time zone and the 1-2PM time never works for me. I am very sad to miss them, as I know from your book, your appearances on MSNBC etc., and from your postings here on Substack that they are certain to be content-rich and enlightening. Thank you in advance for your response. And thank you for your analysis of strongmen and autocracy. You have sped up our recognition of how the Trump phenomena fits into the larger peril. Best regards.
Eye opening commentary, thank you
What sort of people promote violence? Who has no moral constraints about the consequences of the violence that they promote? It takes people with no moral compass and no conscience. Psychopaths/sociopaths are ususlly violent in nature, and we have seen this in Trump. Those following him seem to have lost their moral compass as well, but when speaking with them, they take the moral high ground and will accuse you of being immoral. The power of propaganda is immense!
Is there a way back from the precipice?
Excellent essay with added meaning given today’s choice of House Speaker.
Good morning, Heartache
In a land of dreams, now turning to dust,
Stands a House where trust should be robust.
But lo, with Johnson, dark clouds now form,
A tempest of prejudice in every storm.
Oh, Heartache, do you see this man?
Whose steps rewind, undoing the plan.
The election's voice, he wishes to mute,
Democracy’s song, he tries to refute.
From hate he speaks, with fervor and glee,
A champion of bigotry, as clear as can be.
Against love’s colors, he firmly stands,
Denying rights, tying love's hands.
Heartsick, we watch the rights he erases,
For women's choice, he gives no spaces.
The elderly's safety, he casts aside,
With promises breaking and security denied.
"Covenant marriage", he pushes forth,
Narrowing love, reducing its worth.
A sorrowful dance, to this tune we sway,
For Speaker Johnson leads us astray.
Alarmed, we see, the extreme pulling strings,
As truth and justice lose their wings.
For in his reign, darkness descends,
And the dream of progress, it sadly ends.
Will miss Friday's meeting due to a medical appointment. Will be with everyone in spirit.
It is stunning to see four codefendants in the Georgia election case admit the Big Lie is just that, while the Republicans elect a speaker who participated in the conspiracy. I’m hopeful this out-of-step with the voting majority behavior will continue to reveal itself and alienate undecided voters. The violence and lies can hopefully be their undoing in 2024.
Beautiful and sad.
I am terrified, not petrified (yet). Now, what do we do? March? Demonstrate? What!
I realized this morning after the election of a Speaker in the House that I am psychologically tired so I took the day off from news today and gave myself lots of TLC with the help of my cat (she’s very helpful). I have grave concerns about the welfare of our country but refuse to give in to hopelessness. Thank you, Ruth, for your writing. It is a beacon in the night.
I love Dr Hassan! I grew up in a religious cult and follow his YouTube channel. I can attest that what he professes is right on the mark!
Ruth - I have learned so much from you about the playbooks of authoritarianism and find this so frightening and compelling for me engagement.
Can you steer me/us to a similar approach about terrorism - it’s playbook, intended and unintended consequences on people and states, smart and stupid historical reactions. So many questions but I’d like to know more In a more systematic way. Have you written on this or can you direct me/us to some smart articles and scholars. Many thanks.
Thank you Ruth for your great book. Also, The Death Of Democracy is a great book on how Hitler came back from his first coup to "LEGALLY" ascend to power and the cement his place.
The Capitol police chief statement I find concerning, as it could be a protective force for extremists and an enforcer for their views. Very concerning.
The liberals need to get as angry as the conservatives have been.
And Ruth in addition to Jose Ortega y Gasset, I'm reminded of what another poet/philosopher said”The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”. Dante. And I'll add one more: "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." Einstein
Its another example of how elected leaders, elites and governments themselves bring about the death of their own democracies. We are are sadly in that moment of crisis where authoritarianism threatens to drown democracy. This is what it looks like. Violent rhetoric pulsates through right wing media like a drum beat everyday. We have to recognize the clear and present danger we are in as a country. We need (courage) from our leaders to stand up and protect and defend our democracy from the the worthless men trying destroy it more than ever!
I dislike their politics and their are others but people like Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, Adam Kitzinger for example are profiles in courage.