The death of American democracy is knocking on the door, warned a group of historians. On Tuesday (1), more than a hundred academics, including several specializing in the collapse of democracies, published an open letter urging Congress and the federal government to urgently end legislative initiatives by states which, in practice, prevent fair elections and ensure the capture of power by the rights of the minority.
Academics defend bipartisanship, but recall that Republicans have become their enemy, politicizing the neutral management of the electoral process, as they did in 2020.
All the authoritarian orgy that Americans have witnessed since Donald Trump’s successful candidacy in 2016 does not yet seem to have ignited the red light for much of the population. It’s not just a question of generational perception, after all, only 34% of American adults experienced the Nazi threat or grew up in the crosshairs of the Soviet arsenal during the Cold War.
Tolerance with authoritarianism has arisen at other times in the constitutional history of the United States, but it has never been more aggravated than it is today, where a population of 330 million people reside. different countries because they get information in tribal bubbles.
After a year in which denial and complacency claimed the lives of more than a million people in Brazil and the United States, there is a continuing emergency to which the general fatigue of the pandemic may not be at hand. the height.
Between January 1 and May 14, 14 U.S. states passed laws to restrict access to the ballot box, and there are dozens of other measures in 18 states to discourage voting. Read the vote of the people who are about to become the majority of the electorate – the minorities.
The most notorious of them, in Texas, has a real chance of passing, despite an effort to block the Democratic legislative minority. The right-wing effrontery has a simple explanation: In 2020, polls showed support for Democrats in the state, which Republicans-controlled since the 1990s, reached 46%.
The party that Trump has led to national defeats in both houses of Congress and the presidency has no time to waste until November 2022, when the 435 House seats, 34 of the 100 Senate seats and 36 of the 50 US governments will be at stake. States.
During the campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden told his most recent biographer, Evan Osnos, that he understood the seriousness of the threat posed by Trump and cited the bestselling book “How Democracies Die” as an argument. “by two American political scientists, launched in Brazil in 2018.
It is no longer just within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that concern is growing over Biden’s insistence on reaching a bipartisan consensus for his ambitious infrastructure investment program. The window of opportunity to protect American electoral democracy is narrow, they warn.
With no chance of overturning the mechanism of “filibuster” (a racist vestige that prevents a simple majority from triggering Senate votes), Biden would have to take more risks to wring the arms of recalcitrant centrist Democrats, opposed to overthrowing the Senate. systematic obstruction. This is what the outspoken Lyndon Johnson, the fight buyer, did in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act, the first, albeit belated, guarantee of free voting for blacks.
The plan of the American ultra-right is transparent: steal the ballot boxes in 2022 then regain the presidency without legitimacy in 2024. A plan that a degenerate and unpopular Brazilian biker would like to emulate.
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