We’re living through the first coup attempt in US history — and tens of millions of Americans believe the plotters are patriots. It’s small comfort that what has preserved our democracy so far is the bungling of the people trying to destroy it. And democracy won’t be safe again until we accept that all of us are responsible for letting it become so vulnerable to attack. I talked about that a few days ago with Howard Monroe of Watchdog Radio (you can listen to the interview above).
“Democracies have failed frequently, and they’ve failed more often than they’ve succeeded. Madison identified this at the founding of the country in Federalist number 10 when he warned that democracies tend to have violent, short lives.
“And I don’t believe it’s just Donald Trump. He’s been, in my view, extremely destructive of democratic institutions. It’s one of the worst things about the last four years, which goes way beyond any policy differences. It’s really, in my view, about whether you believe in democratic institutions or not. But I don’t think he originated it, I think he’s more a symptom of the problem.
“…We’ve created a society where this was possible and I think we all have to share responsibility for that. We inherited an incredible gift, this democratic system, but we’re in the position of spoiled rich kids, who were born rich and we have no idea where all this money came from, and we think it’s just natural and we deserve it.
“And we haven’t been good stewards of this democracy. We’ve stopped paying attention to the legitimate press, we’ve stopped making sure we’re at least minimally well-informed, and stopped recognizing how important it is to cast an informed and responsible vote, and to have intelligent discussions with our neighbors instead of just yelling at each other.
“And there are reasons for that and as I say I think it originally goes back to this founding division that’s tended to keep us in these two separate worlds that really have difficulty even establishing a shared language these days.”