Is Democracy Its Own Worst Enemy
I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.
Monday Morning Blues
For 80 of my 84 years, while they may have bemoaned the result, those who lost an election, whether Democrats or Republicans, accepted their defeat with a modicum of grace and honesty. Not so with today’s Republican Party[i].
Nearly all of those who were backed by Trump, but lost their Primaries, engaged in some form of Denial. Certainly as much as they denied that Trump lost the last election. In the parlance of the day, they are Election Deniers.
To bolster their claims, they also professed the most outrageous Conspiracy Theories as to why the elections were stolen from them, and therefore why they needed to take pre-emptive action to ensure that would not lose in future elections.
The contrast with Democrats couldn’t be greater. In one way or another, all of them declared that they would accept the results of the November elections.
As I’ve written repeatedly, you cannot have a Democracy when only one side abides by the rules that make it possible. Indeed, writing in The New York Times, Sean Illing and Zac Gersberg put it that the greatest Threat to Democracy is the fact that nothing prevents Authoritarians from using it to gain control[ii]. In other words, the greatest Threat is an inherent flaw in Democracy itself.
And then we have Governor Ron DeSantis. A commentator whose name I forget has likened his actions in shipping immigrants, albeit illegal, to other States to Human Trafficking. They were certainly not asked if they wanted to go elsewhere, let alone knew where they were going and how they would be treated. In effect, they were lied to. In short, they are being used as Political Pawns, and that by a Party that says it values Human Life. In doing so, Florida has spent millions of dollars and transported some 12,000 people.
Everyday, my wife and I look at one another in absolute bewilderment. This is not the country in which we grew up. We feel the Loss as much as anything we’ve ever endured.
[i] Reid J. Epstein, “Accept Defeat? Some in G.O.P. Refuse to Say,” The New York Times, Monday, September 19, 2022, P A1 and A13.
[ii] Sean Illing and Zac Gershberg, “ The Greatest Threat to Democarcy Is a Feature of Democracy,” The New York Times, Sunday, September 18, 2002, P SR 4.
Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.