Americans are not known to be long-term thinkers. We seem to focus on our immediate needs rather than on our future needs. We seem to be driven by the 24-hour news cycles and by the latest tweets. We are more tactical than strategic. And that doesn’t bode well for America in the midterm elections coming up in a week and a half, where the long term survival of America’s democracy is on the ballot.
Between the efforts by Republicans in red states to disenfranchise voters, to make voting more difficult, to control the voting processes in their states and decided which ballots to count and which to toss, and by many GOP candidates suggesting that they will not accept the results of an election if they lose, I don’t hold out much hope for the survival of democracy in America after this election.
Sure, the economy, inflation, gas and heating oil prices, women’s reproductive rights, jobs, gun rights, the stock market, religious freedoms, and other factors that affect daily lives are important. But we can’t worry about those things exclusively and not take the existential threat to democracy for granted. Because if we do, democracy will surely slip through our fingers.
I urge everyone who votes next Tuesday for your U.S. senators and representatives, for your governors, secretaries of state, state attorneys general, state legislators, and other local officials to think strategically, to think beyond the hotly contested issues of the day, to think longer term, and to think strategically. I urge you to imagine what life in America — your life in America —would be like under authoritarian rule.
Because if the Republicans gain control of the U.S. Congress and tighten controls in red states across the country, that could very well be the last nail in the coffin of America’s democracy.