Our democracy is at a breaking point. About 40 percent of our population that votes Republican is divided: about half of them in the new Trump Cult and the other half left homeless. The Democratic Party is still devoted to democracy, but they are often like one hand clapping.
The country?s distress must be addressed, or we will wind up an autocracy, with or without Trump. The issues that must be met are the following:
The Electoral College, which gives too much power to states with small populations, thus increasingly preventing the voting majority from prevailing. This is undemocratic.
States in which internal elections are not democratic, but are depriving majorities from voting. Gerrymandering divides the states? voting counties in such a way that only Republicans win elections. This evil thus gives us only Republican governors who then select Senate and House candidates in elections who win by minority vote.
Since former President Trump violated the longest election norm by refusing to accept a free and fair election, we now have imitators who claim their election losses are rigged. This big lie has poisoned what was one of our most important attributes: elections in which
the loser graciously concedes. Trump said he would never concede if he lost an election. He continues the lie and his gullible followers even resorted to violence to overturn an unaccepted election.
The Senate and House are therefore skewed Republican unfairly, and the Senate is further undemocratic by design: two senators from each state, regardless of size. When presidents win such skewed elections, they can nominate Supreme Court and Federal Court justices with life expectancy, again not representing the majority of voters.
This situation is a work in progress, not yet complete. We have time to fix it.
The 2024 election will be the last attempt to save our democracy. Democrats must vote, not just for president, but for all the State offices that are up for election. Republicans who have fled their party cult must join Democrats in these votes, as well as all who call themselves "independent." They could lose all their voting power if they do not because the Cultist will threaten violence to seize power.
The winning Democrats must then use their majority to address some immediate needs:
1. Eliminate the Electoral College. It is undemocratic. Wyoming should not have more power than California and New York.
2. Pass a law that mandates state voting districts be drawn after each census by professional demographers, not party hacks. This would remove the dishonest bullying of undemocratic states.
3. Put term limits on the Supreme Court and all Federal Courts. Twenty years is enough. Also apply ethics codes to all of them.
4. Reform the Senate. Short of eliminating it, which is difficult, free and fair elections can go a long way toward making the Senate more ethical. Apply ethics laws, as well as term limits. Eliminate the filibuster or one senator able to delay or thwart senate votes.
5. Protect voting rights. Mandate voting by mail or an election weekend for all voting.
The country cannot long go with one hand clapping. The liberal Democrats need a traditional conservative party with which to debate and rule. The voting public is not all liberal, nor should it be.
While a new party emerges, much as when the Whig Party melted and the Republicans were born, they will need encouragement. The Republicans know that they are in meltdown today. They cannot win by majority rule, only by gerrymandering, lying, threats of force, and election denial.
The teaching and support of Civics must be restored. We need the practices and teaching of Civics in schools and the promotion of Civics in popular culture, including rerunning West Wing and historic dramas such as Roots.
Democracy is not a self-sustaining system. It takes eternal vigilance, and love. Just consider the recent prisoner swap between Iran and the US. The American prisoners were thrilled to come home. The swapped Iranian prisoners who were freed in the US wanted to stay here. We have a great country, if we can keep it.
Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of "How Do You Know That? Contact her at Lfarhat102@gmail.com or www.globalthink.net.