Saturday, April 11, 2020

Wisconsin's election is the authoritarian canary in the coal mine of democracy

American Democracy May Be Dying. Authoritarian rule may be just around the corner. And that scares Paul Krugman (writing in the NY Times) and should scare all of us.

Following are excerpts from Krugman (with thanks to Roving Reporter Sherry).

What we saw in Wisconsin, in short, was a state party doing whatever it takes to cling to power even if a majority of voters want it out — and a partisan bloc on the Supreme Court backing its efforts. Donald Trump, as usual, said the quiet part out loud: If we expand early voting and voting by mail, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

Does anyone seriously doubt that something similar could happen, very soon, at a national level?

This November, it’s all too possible that Trump will eke out an Electoral College win thanks to widespread voter suppression. If he does — or even if he wins cleanly — everything we’ve seen suggests that he will use a second term to punish everyone he sees as a domestic enemy, and that his party will back him all the way. That is, America will do a full Hungary.

What if Trump loses? You know what he’ll do: He’ll claim that Joe Biden’s victory was based on voter fraud, that millions of illegal immigrants cast ballots or something like that. Would the Republican Party, and perhaps more important, Fox News, support his refusal to accept reality? What do you think?

So that’s why what just happened in Wisconsin scares me more than either disease or depression. For it shows that one of our two major parties simply doesn’t believe in democracy. Authoritarian rule may be just around the corner.

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