As denialism becomes a growing problem around the world, one only needs to consider the Afghanistan situation as a potential warning for our future, writes Robert Niven. THE PRECIPITOUS COLLAPSE in Afghanistan compels all of us in the West to contemplate Athena, the Greek goddess of war, also the goddess of wisdom in science and the arts.
Source: Afghanistan is a warning of global denialism
It has long been assumed that as America heads toward a future in which people of color comprise a majority of the population, it will grow increasingly difficult for the Republican Party to win elections by appealing to a shrinking base of conservative white voters.
So : Trash the notion of the REPUBLIC
As Texas becomes more diverse, conservatives have held on by shaping the electorate to their advantage.
Source: Texas Republicans Pass Voting Restrictions to Solidify Anti-Democratic Hold on Power – Mother Jones
And then the Soviet Union collapsed — and nothing changed in the U.S. military’s global posture. Or, put differently, everything changed. For with the implosion of the USSR, what turned out to remain truly uncontained was our military, along with the dreams of neoconservatives who sought to remake the world in America’s image. But which image? That of a republic empowering its citizens in a participatory democracy or of an expansionist capitalist empire, driven by the ambition and greed of a set of oligarchs?
Source: From Arsenal of Democracy to Arsenal of Empire: Let’s Abandon Ruinous Foreign Wars for Actual Self-Defense
According to an Associated Press investigation, there were only 182 ballots, out of 3.4 million cast in Arizona, that had problems clear enough for legal review. Of those, only four led to charges, split evenly between two Democrats and two Republicans. Not a single vote was found to have been counted twice.
Source: The stakes of the Arizona election audit are higher than Donald Trump’s presidential chances – ABC News
Israel claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East. Yet its wanton, murderous bombing campaign in Gaza is slaughtering not just civilians, but scores of children.
Source: What Kind of Democracy Kills Children?
Yes: While there is some shoring up to do, democratic institutions held, which bodes well for other advanced democracies like Australia. No: The Republican Party is the party of Trump and its frontal assault on democracy rolls on and on.
Source: After Donald Trump, is American democracy out of the woods?
There are so many paradoxes to America’s current state of political dysfunction that no one could possibly list them all. The party that has embraced the task of trying to save democracy at the last moment, however awkwardly and incompletely — and however poisoned by its own internal contradictions — won, but very nearly lost. The party that has gone about 94 percent of the way into white nationalism and primitive fascism lost, primarily because of its contaminated figurehead — but could not possibly have come so close to winning without him. As for the massive question of whether liberal democracy can be saved, let’s put a pin in that one, as we say these days. As Pankaj Mishra points out repeatedly in his recent collection of essays, “Bland Fanatics,” Western-style liberalism had a perhaps-fatal flaw built into it from the beginning: Its expansion of human rights and representative democracy and the “free market” and whatever other noble and purportedly universal principles were always dependent on exploiting less powerful nations elsewhere in the world, first to extract raw materials and human capital, and then to serve as captive export markets.
Source: America on the knife’s edge: Will the next year determine the fate of democracy? | Salon.com
“While it’s great that these executives and their companies oppose the Jim Crow-style laws that GOP lawmakers are pushing across the country, this kind of talk is cheap without action.”
Source: If CEOs Really Want to Stop GOP Attacks on Voting, Say Progressives, They’d Support the For the People Act | Common Dreams News
His fear became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Republican voters, who once used mail-in balloting disproportionately, abandoned the practice. Democratic voters, meanwhile, embraced it. This led Republicans to engage in various sabotage efforts, which my colleague Eric Cortellessa has been tirelessly uncovering for months. These include banning swing states from processing mail-in ballots prior to election day (in order to engineer the very counting delays Trump has warned are a sign of fraud) and, in Pennsylvania, outright refusals by some GOP elections officials to count mail-in ballots that are postmarked by November 3 but arrive after that date despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that they do so. How this developing constitutional crisis will play out is anyone’s guess. It was certainly beyond my wildest imagination that vote by mail would be at the center of such a crisis when we first started to promote the policy eight years ago. But rest assured, my colleagues and I will be covering events as they unfold as carefully and relentlessly as we can.
How Vote By Mail Saved Democracy and Defeated Trump | Washington Monthly
Voter interferance and suppression on medical grounds by a president who has a mental health condition. Bye Bye American Pie (ODT)
President Donald Trump says that he does not want to fund the US Postal Service because Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $US25 billion ($35 billion) in emergency funding for the cash-strapped agency.
via Trump says he’s blocking postal funding because Democrats want to expand mail-in voting
Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?
Those who despise adversarial politics find it to be contemptible, a damaging affliction on our political system. They resent the stifling impediments it places on governing, on governments carrying out what they promised the electorate they would do. They see it as focused on ‘winning’, on gaining a political advantage, rather than telling or establishing the truth, or contributing usefully to the discourse. It sets the teeth of the electorate on edge, which ‘turns off’ in despair. Voters would prefer politicians to be open and upfront, more focussed on the good of the nation, less willing to corrupt the usually-worthy principles that brought them into politics in the first place. At least our PM and Opposition leader are now cooperating well during the COVID-19 crisis.
What can we ordinary citizens do?
We might be able to bring about change if we, who pay our politicians’ wages via taxes, raise our voices against the use of exaggerated, depreciatory, derogatory and dishonest language by politicians, commentators and columnists. While the media might miss the theatre and the ‘newsworthy’ copy adversarial politics provides, the public would applaud a more measured approach, free from adversarial behaviour – so wasteful, so unproductive, so distasteful. We could write to our parliamentarians individually. Responders to this piece may have other suggestions. Sadly though, if history tells us anything, any change for the better is probably a vain hope.
via Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Trump still has several months to fill more court vacancies, and McConnell will definitely make this a top priority ― especially in the lame duck, if Trump loses reelection in November. But at the moment, there are no more appeals court seats to fill. McConnell has responded by personally reaching out to Republican-appointed judges and encouraging them to retire so he and Trump can fill their seats this year.
via Trump Notches His 200th Lifetime Federal Judge | HuffPost Australia