We can not save our democracy permanently. There will always be challenges in a republic like ours. But for now we must avoid losing our system of checks and balances, and with proper actions we can get on that path. Key will be the work of the Select Committee on investigating January 6th, 2021 decisions by the Justice Department in dealing with individuals responsible for and participating in the Capitol assault, how effectively these actions are communicated to the American people, and, most importantly, how the 2022 elections go, which will heavily be influenced by whether election reform is passed into law.
I always remember the old line about how timing can be everything, and the application of this saying certainly applies here. With the exception of the election date (i.e., General Election will be the first Tuesday of November) all the key issues I raise have a serious timing issue.
The talented House Select Committee investigating January 6th is clearly busy, working hard, and bipartisan as realistic, but if some hearings are not made public soon and if the results are not public until late summer, the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations will not effectively get the public support needed to positively impact the fall elections. If the report is released closer to the election, it only makes the report appear more partisan. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Republican, has been unbelievably strong and effective, but the fact that Republican leadership despises her reduces her effectiveness to some degree in the end.
Understandably, given the seriousness of the legal issues involved, the United States Department of Justice is heavily responsible. Because I am not a lawyer, I will make no comment on any specifics. What I will say is once again timing will play a serious role (Oath Keepers prosecution and Supreme Court action is a start). I say that because, as with the Select Committee, the closer to the election the Justice Department’s work becomes public, the more those actions look political. I know they must “dot their i’s and cross their t’s,” but they have the resources to make the maximum effort. And they need to start making real decisions soon.
Maybe in the end the biggest and most important challenge will be whether election reform is passed in the United States Congress and soon. Allowing some states, with their one-party political stronghold on their legislatures and Governors, to do any crazy thing that will keep that party in power simply does not fit a democracy. States are effectively disenfranchising some voters, making voting for certain populations more difficult, and—clearly the most absurd—giving the legislature the power to overturn the election if they do not like the results.
If the timing is not right on these issues, the end result of the 2022 elections will much more likely be having the Majorities in both Houses controlled by members loyal to Donald Trump, who if not in total agreement are certainly scared to say the truth. That result will give Trump what he wants. That is, the power as an autocrat to run the government if not from day one, certainly with this momentum after the 2024 elections. If this happens, ultimately, losing our democracy will be a very real possibility.
Bottom line is this: Come November, if the radical Trump Republicans take over the Congress, we will have taken a major step in destroying our democracy. I am sure there are many Republicans in Congress who do not want this to happen, but to this point they have not shown the guts to stand up to Trump’s obvious total disrespect for the rule of law and our Constitution.
So that is where we are, and the stakes could not be higher. I do really wish I was just seeing problems where they did not exist, but something tells me—on this—I am right. Let me know what you think.