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 Message Boards » » Are we the next democracy to fall? Page [1]  
nacstate
All American
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We'd all like to believe that there are proper checks and balances to prevent the president from acquiring enough power to become a dictator, but it's happened in other "democratic" countries (looking at you Turkey and Venezuela). How close are we to that happening here?

7/16/2018 2:00:13 PM

HCH
All American
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I will be the first to agree that the federal government has too much power over our lives. But what in particular makes you think that this president has more power than previous administrations? Specifically, what has he done (not just said) that has led you to the conclusion that he is trending toward a dictatorship?

7/16/2018 2:08:32 PM

justinh524
HumanSkinTruckBaby
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I think it's more that he has publicly expressed admiration for how dictators run their countries AND he has the blind loyalty of a majority of the legislature that could give him such powers.

7/16/2018 2:20:55 PM

dtownral
All American
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Not because of this administration, our problems pre-date Trump

7/16/2018 3:21:17 PM

nacstate
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^^^ I didn't say that this president has any more power than any president before him. To your point he hasn't done anything yet to consolidate power, but its pretty clear what his desires are as pointed out by justin. Whether he does anything to make that happen or its a different president, I just wanted to open up discussion on how close we may be towards it happening given that other countries have moved in that direction recently and the political and cultural climate.

7/16/2018 3:48:27 PM

HCH
All American
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How far do they predate Trump? Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus. So has our democracy been slowly failing since Lincoln?

7/16/2018 4:02:50 PM

eleusis
All American
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We've had one version or another of a Bush puppet president for 20 of the last 38 years, and you're concerned that the candidate who trashed Jeb Bush's chances of becoming president is the dictator risk?

7/16/2018 4:04:58 PM

rjrumfel
All American
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Quote :
"Not because of this administration, our problems pre-date Trump"

7/16/2018 4:07:52 PM

Cabbage
All American
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Quote :
"But what in particular makes you think that this president has more power than previous administrations?"


Whether that's true or not isn't the issue. The point is that checks and balances do not work if those responsible for levying the checks and balances are hyperpartisan assholes in congress abdicating their responsibility.

7/16/2018 8:33:33 PM

LoneSnark
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Trump has no paramilitary organizations capable of holding their own against, or even threatening, the current police establishment, nevermind the military establishment.

7/16/2018 8:40:57 PM

dtownral
All American
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Police

7/16/2018 10:04:16 PM

GrumpyGOP
yovo yovo bonsoir
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So there's a few things to clear up here. Firstly, Turkey and Venezuela are hardly good examples of places where democracy "died." Neither place has much of a democratic legacy. Venezuela's first free elections were in 1947, and the government they installed was overthrown the following year. You don't get anything resembling sustained multiparty democracy until 1958, and even then it faces frequent coups right up until and even beyond the rise of Chavez. Turkey didn't even exist until 1923, and came to rely heavily on the army to "manage" political leaders, which they did through coups in 1960, 1971, 1980, and (sort of) 1997. So democracy didn't die in these places. It was stillborn.

As it turns out, this is just about the only situation in which we've seen a democratically elected government transition into any other kind. The country must have weak and relatively new democratic institutions. When liberal democracy has been the norm for a couple of generations, it appears to have excellent staying power.

Appearances can be deceiving, of course. Lack of precedent is no guarantee against future occurrence, and liberal democracy doesn't have a very long pedigree anywhere; you could make the case that it has only been around for a couple of hundred years, or even less. Mature democracies are actually a pretty small sample size, so maybe it's just chance that we haven't seen any die yet.

Still, America's longstanding institutions seem pretty safe from transition into outright dictatorship/oligarchy/monarchy/theocracy any time soon. There are those individuals and organizations who are seeking to erode the foundations of liberal democracy, and that's worrying and damaging. If left unchecked, they could smother democracy here. Fortunately I believe they will be restrained in several ways:

First, they aren't doing it fast enough to kill democracy before demography kills them. The groups that support Trumpism are declining in number, or are growing more slowly than those forces that oppose it. The Trumpist/GOP contingent can delay the inevitable for a while with gerrymandering and shitty electoral laws, but those won't sustain them forever. Sooner or later the only thing that's going to keep them in charge is "Whites Only" signs at the polls, and I don't think they can pull it off before they drown in a sea of urban-dwelling/college-educated/black/brown/LGBT/etc. voters. And of course, turnabout is fair play; the next census is in 2020, when we could easily see Democrats sweeping into power and drawing districts very favorable to themselves. (Arguably this would be its own assault on liberal democracy, but at least it would shift the momentum)

Second, I don't think their success is a positive feedback cycle. Most of them don't really have a larger goal or vision to impose on the world; they just want to overturn everything President Black Guy did, and maybe make a few bucks. In the interim, they're willing to play dirty to get that; but the more they do get it, the less motivated they are to continue. This is as opposed to, say, Hitler (you knew he was going to come up); he had a whole list of goals that went past overturning the humiliations of WWI, so achieving those first goals just emboldened him further. I don't think Trump (or any other Republican boogeyman) has that. All of his early efforts, from inauguration crowd size to the Obamacare fight, were directed squarely at smearing the memory of President Black Guy who Made Fun of Him. Ever since those failed, he's been flailing about for something else to do - trade wars, space force, whatever. I suppose it's possible that he'll alight on some grand global political vision, but I don't think he can do it by 2020.

Third, most of our liberal democratic institutions still work and appear likely to oppose any existential threat. In particular, nobody's going to be amending the Constitution any time soon. The government can do a lot of damage working in the gray areas around the borders of constitutionality, but outright ignoring it is a tougher sell.

So, in answer to the original question: No, I don't think that the United States will be the next democracy to die.

7/18/2018 7:50:04 AM

dtownral
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i don't think the risk is outright failure, i think the risk is the continued move towards a managed democracy. Is that considered a failed democracy?

i think the chance of outright revolution is low (in the near future at least) but i think we already have many characteristics of a managed democracy

7/18/2018 8:43:00 AM

moron
All American
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Quote :
" Second, I don't think their success is a positive feedback cycle. Most of them don't really have a larger goal or vision to impose on the world"


I don't agree. It seems extremely clear to me their goal is to keep America majority white, and this has been the goal for a while now.

Whether they'll be able to achieve this goal is another story... but they seem very intent on trying. I think the census in 2020 is going to screw up politics for the next decade, since most places are controlled by the GOP now, and they have no qualms at all about creating badly skewed districts, and they're really good at it.

Between 2020 and 2030, are the younger, less white cohort of voters going to be able to restore appreciation for Democracy?

Look at what NC GOP is trying to do on the State level, any time the Democrats gain control of an institution they shift power to the GOP controlled branch. Just because we don't (as far as we know) have people stuffing ballot boxes, doesn't mean we are not already living in a failed democracy in many places. NC is a nearly 50/50 state of Dem/GOP but our representation is wildly out of whack with this.

Democrats have won the popular vote in every election except for 1 going back to Clinton (26 years) but have only been in power 16 of those years.

[Edited on July 19, 2018 at 2:58 PM. Reason : ]

7/19/2018 2:57:36 PM

HCH
All American
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Pretty sure we have had the electoral college since our founding.

7/19/2018 3:23:58 PM

HaLo
All American
12986 Posts
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^Congrats on stating a fact. What post was that in response to?

[Edited on July 19, 2018 at 5:25 PM. Reason : J]

7/19/2018 5:24:54 PM

bdmazur
hOmaha
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7/19/2018 7:07:16 PM

moron
All American
31904 Posts
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Quote :
"SCOOP: The three top cyber officials at the FBI are departing, a sweep of turnover that comes amid concerns about flagging morale due to Trump's repeated attacks and as U.S. security agencies have warned of unprecedented cyber threats to the country"

7/19/2018 7:23:53 PM

afripino
All American
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Montenegro will fall before we do. We need to drag a few countries down with us before we gnsp.

7/19/2018 7:37:53 PM

dtownral
All American
25584 Posts
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fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, Russia you cool, fuck you I'm out

7/19/2018 9:46:25 PM

0EPII1
All American
41321 Posts
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This is a good read:

The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy
Human brains aren’t built for self-rule, says Shawn Rosenberg. That’s more evident than ever.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/08/shawn-rosenberg-democracy-228045

It sucks if it is true, but sadly I guess the facts speak for themselves.



How a social network could save democracy from deadlock
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50127713

Maybe this can save democracy from dying? With democracies and debates around the world becoming more and more polarized, countries should start using this online platform to find common ground. Very ingenious in how it works.

10/26/2019 1:41:47 AM

LoneSnark
All American
12210 Posts
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Deadlock is a valid policy choice, not something that needs to be fixed.

11/1/2019 9:19:26 AM

NyM410
J-E-T-S
49266 Posts
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https://twitter.com/kellyweill/status/1192422786339418113?s=21

Of course not. Totally normal democracy we got here.

11/7/2019 9:56:10 AM

dtownral
All American
25584 Posts
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Sanders is the only presidential candidate calling for ICE to be disbanded

11/7/2019 10:10:22 AM

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