One Year Left to Transform Democracy

One year left to save democracy

It’s no secret that our political landscape has been plagued by conflict and divisiveness for years. Every election cycle, both Republicans and Democrats make grand claims about the fate of our nation, painting apocalyptic pictures of what will happen if their opponents win. These claims are often dismissed as hyperbole, but there are moments when they ring true, when the stakes are truly high. And that moment is now.

We can’t ignore the fact that our country is at a critical juncture. We are a global superpower facing economic decline and internal divisions that threaten to tear us apart. The future hangs in the balance, and it’s up to us to shape it.

The upcoming 2022 midterm elections and the following presidential election in 2024 will not be the sole determining factors of our nation’s destiny. By then, the die will likely be cast, and the results will merely confirm what we already know. Looking back from the future, we may realize that America’s path had been set long before. However, we are not in the future. We are here now, in a moment of great uncertainty and danger.

We have a new president, Joe Biden, who many believed would be a moderate caretaker. But he is seizing this moment of crisis and pushing for bold initiatives to transform our political narrative. On the other side, there is a defeated ex-president who refuses to accept the election results and leads a movement that seeks to uproot our democracy and replace it with an authoritarian regime.

The next year is crucial, not just for the fate of the Democratic Party but for the idea that effective governance can improve people’s lives. Democrats must convince Americans that there is more to the social contract than just tax cuts for the wealthy and convenient online shopping. It’s about showing that government can make a positive difference and create a fairer society for all.

In a way, Biden is attempting to redeem the promise of liberal democracy. He is facing an uphill battle with limited political capital, but at least there is recognition within the Democratic Party that our system needs reform. The engagement and attention of the public in politics, even down to the nitty-gritty details, is a positive sign. We need an informed and engaged citizenry for democracy to thrive.

However, we must also reckon with how we arrived at this point. It will take time and introspection to understand the forces that led us here. Our nation is clouded by myths, lies, and ignorance. It’s not something that can be resolved within a year or two, and it may even be an insurmountable task.

We must acknowledge that Trump’s base holds onto the delusion that the 2020 election was rigged. While their explanation may be unfounded, they sense a larger pattern of disempowerment. They also recognize that the election failed to deliver a clear message to the American people about the state of our nation.

The paradoxes of our current political dysfunction are numerous. The party that seeks to save democracy almost lost, while the party that embraced white nationalism and fascism came dangerously close to victory. It’s a bewildering situation that defies easy explanations.

As we grapple with the question of saving liberal democracy, we must confront the flaws inherent in Western-style liberalism. Our ideals of human rights and representative democracy were built on the exploitation of less powerful nations. The noble principles we claim to uphold were often used as justifications for imperialist endeavors.

The Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, the Patriot Act, and the expansion of the national-security state after 9/11 were all part of this disastrous history. While Biden has shown some willingness to distance himself from these mistakes, it may not be enough. The fate of liberal democracy may already be sealed, and we will look back at this moment as its downfall.

The next year will be pivotal for our nation. We must engage, question, and demand change from our leaders. It’s not just about holding onto power but about shaping a better future for all Americans. We must recognize our flaws and work towards a more inclusive and equitable democracy. The clock is ticking, and our actions today will determine the course of our nation for years to come.