Saturday, October 10, 2020

Now Democracy is a Dirty Word, Too

For years, I've tracked how virtues like tolerance and compromise and civility have all come under attack from conservatives. I've said, "What I thought made American democracy great is being surely dismantled, virtuous brick by virtuous brick." Ironically, the latest such motherhood and apple pie virtue that conservatives want no truck with any more is "democracy" itself.

On the night of the vice presidential candidates' debate, Utah Senator Mike Lee went on a tweetstorm against democracy. Here's just one sample: "Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that."

So there you have it. A leading conservative describes democracy as "rank." As George Packer of The Atlantic put it, "The Trump administration is using the last weeks of the campaign to soften up the country for a repudiation of democracy itself." And one more virtuous brick is removed from the wall that was the American way of life I thought we all valued and agreed with.

P.S. Before you dismiss me as being ignorant of the argument that we are a republic, not a democracy, know that I'm well aware of that argument and think it's both pedantic and juvenile.

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