There are anti-democratic forces at work in America, but many Americans may not realize the extent of the danger. After all, democracy does not just happen. It needs to be carefully guarded and nurtured in order to survive.
In short, our democracy is in crisis.
After all, democracy does not just happen. It needs to be carefully guarded and nurtured in order to survive.
Just last week, we saw a number of anti-democratic threats reported around the country. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis effectively overrode the votes of more than 395,000 people by suspending Florida State Attorney Monique Worrell, the second time in a year that DeSantis has sidelined a democratically elected state attorney.
DeSantis, of course, is trying to take his brand of executive overreach nationwide. He has been on the campaign trail courting votes and suggesting that he would pardon former President Donald Trump for any federal convictions.
Trump’s third indictment (out of a now total four) centered on special counsel Jack Smith’s probe of the former president’s efforts to overturn the election he lost in 2020. Trump’s legal team has argued in court that he should be given special consideration for what he can say about witnesses because he’s currently running for president. All the while, he continues to lie about the results of the 2020 election while relentlessly attacking public democratic institutions.
Because it isn’t just the actions of candidates and elected officials that are putting our democracy in peril. Even our most sacrosanct institutions — bodies that are supposed to be above the political fray — are being called into question.
Recent reporting from ProPublica painted the clearest picture yet of unreported gifts that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has allegedly received from Republican billionaires. According to the latest report, Thomas has enjoyed 38 destination vacations, 26 private jet flights, 12 VIP sporting event passes, eight helicopter flights, two stays at luxury resorts, and one standing invitation to a luxury golf club, since ascending to the nation’s highest court in 1991.
Notably, ProPublica’s reporting comes at a time when the public’s confidence in the court has dropped to historic lows.
All nine justices have the singular power to hand down decisions affecting our democracy, our pocketbooks and even our very bodies. And yet they enjoy seemingly little accountability. The Supreme Court is the only federal court without a binding code of ethics and calls for reform are being met with powerful opposition.
Vice President Kamala Harris sounded the alarm against these attacks on democracy in an exclusive MSNBC interview with Reverend Al Sharpton, saying, “I think everything is at stake right now. When a democracy is intact, it strengthens the people. It protects and fights for fundamental freedoms, individual rights. It’s a fight for order against chaos. It strengthens. On the other hand, democracy [is] incredibly fragile. It will only be as strong as our willingness to fight for it.”
Make no mistake: There are anti-democratic forces working to minimize your say in how you are governed. These forces rely on division and disinformation to rob you of your voice. It’s time to take notice and act.