American Democracy Is Under Serious Threat

AUSTIN -- If American democracy were a wild animal, it might not be on the endangered list, but it would most certainly be threatened.Endangered, according to the law, means on the brink of extinction like the red wolf of which only about 50 remain. American democracy is not there. Threatened, however, means at the brink in the foreseeable future throughout all or part of its range. We are there now.Three essential threats have arisen: The first is politicians, aided by wealthy interests, gaming the system to produce undemocratic results. The second is the Trump administration's assault on the value system of the Constitution, with the support of a small but vocal minority of Americans. The third? Americans lulled into believing our choices are limited when the choices are wide open.Democracy is often inaccurately understood as the mere right to vote. But even expanding that to free and fair elections describes just one part of a functioning, liberal democracy. Democracy also means the ongoing participation of citizens in politics and civil society. Democracy requires the rule of law through a transparent, independent judiciary and it rests on the protection of rights, equally, for all citizens.Gerrymandering  Continue reading...

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