Things seem particularly bad right now. It feels like democracy is the last turd still circling the toilet bowl waiting to be carried into the sewer of history. I can’t shake this feeling that after the Virginia election in which BOTH candidates received more votes than any other in their parties’ history that our democracy is already dead. We’re just a stumbling zombie of a nation not realizing that we’re not human any longer.
This article from Time chronicles exactly why and how our democracy has died… the writer just doesn’t know it. So, read the article and consider these points.
United We Stand; Divided We Fall
My basic thesis is that for human beings to survive and thrive, we must work together as a group. When a group of any size loses its cohesiveness, it will cease to function well, the group members will suffer, and the group will eventually cease to exist. It will disband, members will die, drift away, whatever. The group will end.
That is what evolutionary psychology teaches us. There is no escaping the imperative of working together as a group when you’re a human being, which last I checked, all the people living and voting in the US were human beings.
A corollary to the thesis is that for a democracy to work, all political parties must cooperate for the government to operate successfully. They must abide by the rules, laws, norms, and traditions of democracy. They must accept the loss of elections and the peaceful transfer of power. They must compromise to pass legislation. They must offer coherent policies and laws that address the problems that the country is experiencing. They must work to protect the country from harm.
Clearly the Republican Party has abandoned this principle. It is no longer following the rules, laws, norms, and traditions of democracy. By refusing to cooperate as the minority party in the federal government, they have caused the government to cease in its ability to govern. By abandoning its duties to protect the populace in the states and promote laws and policies that address the problems the states are facing, they have caused state governments to cease to function. Now, they are moving on to local government. They don’t even want school boards to function.
The Republican Party has even affected the federal court. We’ve seen SCOTUS abandon the basic principles of judiciary practice when they refused to stay the Texas abortion ban, for example.
The Republican Party has caused government at all levels in all branches to cease functioning. We no longer govern ourselves. The bureaucracy marches on doing what it always does, but the government no longer is giving adequate direction.
There is clear evidence that the Republicans are dismantling the infrastructure of democracy: They continue call for and instigate Republican initiated, controlled, and directed audits of state elections. They pass state laws that will suppress voting rights and nullify the outcomes of elections. If anyone thinks that the Georgia state legislature is going to certify a Raphael Warnock win in their senate race, for example, then you haven’t been paying attention. They aren’t going to do it.
Our government is paralyzed. Our populace divided. We are no longer a functional society. We are existing on momentum alone at this point.
Step-by-Step We Abandon The Fight
The Time article chronicles the response of CEOs to Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 election, and it mirrors the reaction of most Americans. I’ll use select quotes to illustrate the points I wish to make.
[T]heir [Corporate CEOs] normal political goals—lower taxes, less regulation—weren’t worth much without a stable democracy underpinning them.
“The market economy works because of the bedrock foundation of the rule of law, the peaceful succession of power and the reserve currency of the U.S. dollar, and all of these things were potentially at risk,” former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer
First, that’s my thesis right there. Corporations need a stable government in order to function well. To a degree, they prefer a democracy, but only to a degree. They’ll take any stable government authoritarian or otherwise as long as it is stable. The transition from democracy to authoritarian is by necessity unstable, so the CEOs oppose it. Once the transition moves far enough along where stability is being reimposed, then, the CEO class is all, Meh, whatchya gonna do, knowwhatimean?
“They chose in that moment to see themselves as part of civil society, acting in the defense of democracy for its own sake.”Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny and authoritarian scholar
Smart CEOs realize that their business cannot function in societies that don’t function,” Polman tells TIME. “We have to be responsible and speak up, not just lobby in our own self-interest.”Paul Polman, Unilever CEO
Snyder is talking about the actions that the top corporations of the country took after being organized by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the well-known Yale School of Management professor and author. They publicly distanced themselves from Trump and the Republican Party after the election and increased that distance after the 6 January Insurrection. They went on to take very public stances against the Georgia and Texas state voter suppression and nullification laws. There has been notable and obvious back sliding on the part of the CEOs. More on that in a moment.
Nearly a year later, 78% of the companies that pledged to withhold donations [to supporters of the coup and 1 January Insurrection] have kept true to their word, according to Sonnenfeld’s analysis of the latest campaign-finance data. One D.C.-based fundraiser for Republican candidates tells TIME she has virtually given up seeking money from corporate PACs as a result.
Interestingly, though, many of the corporations have continued boycott the Republican Party, their candidates, and their PACs, at least according to Sonnenfeld.
“Trump’s whole modus operandi, his one trick his whole life, is to break collective action,” Sonnenfeld says. “The whole NAFTA battle was pitting Canada against Mexico. He constantly tried to divide France and Germany, the U.K. vs. the E.U., Russia vs. China. He tried to build up Bernie vs. Hillary, just like he did with the Republican primary candidates. As pathetically puerile a device as it is, with the GOP it worked magnificently well.”
Again, this is my thesis. Trump seeks to divide because as Jebus and Lincoln said, “a house divided cannot stand against itself, that house cannot stand.” Trump doesn’t care if the country is destroyed and left a smoking hole in the ground as long as the gaping narcissistic wound of having lost an election is salved. The Republicans are using Trump as the wrecking ball to destroy our democracy and house their single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule autocracy in its hollowed out shell.
The coalition that rallied with such alacrity to defend American democracy now appears splintered, unsure of the extent of the continuing threat or how to confront it.
And, now we see how Glenn Youngkin won election in Virginia. The opposition is splintering and confused. Not only the CEOs, but the entirety of the American electorate. Where once we stood united in opposition to a clear attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in our democracy, now we’re wondering which is better to have a school system that is free of CRT and vaccine and mask mandates or a functional government? Hmmm… these choices are just so tough to make, aren’t they?
On the one hand we can mitigate the erosion to our democracy, climate change, #COVID19, poverty, and our crumbling infrastructure, on the other CRT. You can see why the CEOs and the American independent voter are confused, right?
How Big Business Got Woke and Dumped Trump
BY MOLLY BALL NOVEMBER 1, 2021
The CEOs started calling before President Trump had even finished speaking. What America’s titans of industry were hearing from the Commander in Chief was sending them into a panic.
It was Nov. 5, 2020, two days after the election, and things weren’t looking good for the incumbent as states continued to count ballots. Trump was eager to seed a different narrative, one with no grounding in reality: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” he said from the lectern of the White House Briefing Room. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
The speech was so dangerously dishonest that within a few minutes, all three broadcast television networks spontaneously stopped airing it. And at his home in Branford, Conn., the iPhone belonging to the Yale School of Management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld began to buzz with calls and texts from some of the nation’s most powerful tycoons.
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Categories: Social Psychology