When Trump was elected, we warned that democracy was threatened by this pseudo-politician. Today, his right-wing populism is metastasizing all over the world.
Democracy is under incredible pressure in many regions throughout the world. Prez Turnip arguably is the spark which may have been the initial volley in this assault. There have been numerous right-wing autocrats in recent history, Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Tito, Duvalier to name a few but none were the threat of today.
Our society is opening the doors to these populists. Our idolization of personal independence, personal recognition and personal power endangers the very institutions that got us here. “Yes sir, Thank you, Excuse me, May I, Please,” phrases of another era. Our society was more acquiescent, more respectful of authority, of institutions, of the establishment. Today, we question and object to the any and all authorities. The cop in the uniform, questioned; the civil servant doing his job, questioned; the politician explaining policy; questioned. The questioning is not the generic search for information. Questioning today is an attack, an assault. Who are you to ask that of me? What right do you have to….?
The attitude prevailing in our societies today gave birth to the kinds of politicians like Turnip, Vladimir Putin, Doug Ford, and Victor Orban of Hungary. They promise to clean the swamp, make the country great again, stop the gravy train and return our homeland to our own people. These politicians are bombastic, unprincipled, unethical and some even outright corrupt but they get away with ….murder, maybe?
In the US, bolster your questioning defensiveness by packin’ a pistol. Armed assaults continually headline the news, Great Britain reports knife assaults are occurring at an alarmingly increasing rate.
Some journalists, writers, leading figures are voicing warnings but these warnings go unheard. Read Naomi Klein, David Frum, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and even Robin V. Sears in the Toronto Star.
Another writer, Yascha Mount, a professor at Harvard University, has studied the decline of democracy in much greater detail and has written an excellent book which explains the topic more fully than addressed here.
Many are warning but is anyone listening?