Today I took a break from writing and went to vote. My work on authoritarianism focuses on places where the right to vote has been taken away, where people who try and get it back die or go to prison. In America, we are on the other end of things. We have the right to vote but we risk descending into the 21st century version of dictatorship: Electoral autocracy, where elections are held but they are not free or fair. The scope and scale of current Republican attempts to subvert the US election system is sobering, and it made me very conscious of the privilege of filling out that ballot.
“...and the wave of threats against politicians and election officials, suggest that Republicans have not accepted violence as a means of exercising power.”
Shouldn’t it be “now” instead of “not”?
I felt the very same when I filled out my absentee ballot. I would also like to add that the Murdoch gutter press and other Kremlin backed programmes such as OAN, have worked hand in glove to support Drumpf's partisan violence.
Did u mean this in the next to the last paragraph????? ‘suggest that Republicans have not accepted violence as a means of exercising power.’ Doesn’t mean they HAVE ACCEPTED VIOLENCE‼️‼️‼️‼️
I won’t share this with others until this is resolved
Indeed, voting (via mail in ballot) felt extra powerful this year.
I continue to be puzzled about how Trump became what he is now since he doesn’t strike me as a student of history or political movements. Are his authoritarian tactics instinctual? Learned through personal relationships with autocrats during business dealings? Has he been coached by Bannon?
I’m sooo worried and also grateful for all of those who risked their lives and reputations to “Warn” us. Ruth, Bandy Lee, Tara/TLP and all of the black and brown voices that historically have been drowned out in warning us. This isn’t all about Trump. Elon Musk, corporate CEO’s, owner’s and coaches of football/sport teams (maddeningly made up of black players). Trump created the permission structure for misogyny and racism to be expressed without consequences in the public square! Now 299+ and their followers are beating the drum of hate and terror so they can make an imperfect Democracy a perfect Authoritarian state.
At the moment I’m sitting as a greeter for voters (Durham Democrats) in Durham, NC. It uplifts me to see small children with their parents, 18 year olds voting for the first time, cooks, nurses, teachers who are coming from work on a mission to cast their vote. I wish the kindness of the steady stream of my experience spreads to voting centers across the country. From the reddest, whitest and most evangelical of places, I ask the universe to intercede.
Im here tomorrow and if it is not busy, I will log on to hear words of wisdom from Tara and Ruth! Trying to keep my he faith!
I requested our ballots be mailed to our daughter in Germany. I get USPS mail delivery notifications daily and saw that twice, ballots were sent to my husband (none to me) at our home address in the states, not to our daughter, here. We finally were able to get our ballots via email but had to return them by snail-mail. The mail has been unusually slow getting to friends in the states to whom I write real letters. I think we will get an email notice when they receive our ballots but I am still concerned. I can remember the first time I voted after I turned 18. I thought it was thrilling to have that power. I have a lot of reverence for the process of voting, particularly after the 2020 fiasco.
Voting rites/rights. Even the care taken to fill in the oval next to my candidate is part of the ritual. Great post!
Thanks once again for providing the clarity we all need to plan for our future. The preponderance of the Confederate-minded in this country - and so many others - delivers the death-knell for the world's democracies. Rachel Maddow summed it up in one succinct phrase: This is who we are.
In the mind of a sociopath like Trump, violence is normal. Cruelty and sadism are common among sociopaths. Trump's goal was to convince his followers that sadism is a normal behavior and then use that in his behalf (narcissistic triangulation). Jan 6th was an example of this. Seventy four million voters got suckered into his sociopathic maelstrom of unreality and violence, thinking he was a normal human being.
In his military academy days, Trump attempted to push a fellow cadet out of a second story window. This is just one data point about his mental state but there are many more.
You’re so right that watching the needle change on what so many are not only willing to accept, but participate in, is appalling. Historians like yourself and others tell us clearly where this leads. We can only hope our midterm votes begin the push back against the slide toward autocracy and fascism.