Friday, July 7, 2023

Will America''s Democracy See A 250th Birthday?

Democracy Isn’t Inevitable.

July 4th 2023 was America's 247th birthday.

By Rhonda Williams

I remember America's 200th Birthday. It was called the Bicentennial and democracy seemed preputial.  America was the solid world leader demonstrating to the world how a democracy worked; our best export.  

President Nixon on March 10, 1974 announced to the world that the Bicentennial was to be a year long celebration (1975-1976). Here are Nixon's  concluding remarks from that nationwide address:

We can build a future in which 100 years from now another generation of Americans celebrating another anniversary can look back with pride on a time when our generation insured for them a world at peace, a nation healthy and free, and a national heritage which will be a sound foundation for even greater progress in the future.

Little did we know then that there was a massive corruption scandal at the executive level that would cut short Nixon's presidency. Both Democrats and Republican worked together to shore up a fragile democracy and rebuild trust. A rare bipartisan event so needed now. 

Today, three years before America's 250 birthday, one need look no further than the State of Florida which has become a test bed for authoritarianism and the dismantling of democracy. 

Democracy isn’t inevitable nor self perpetuating.  . 

In an editorial in the Palm Beach Post on July 4, Tony Doris describe what is happening in Florida:  

[America] can slide into authoritarianism when leaders are allowed to consolidate power, capturing or marginalizing independent centers of thought and dissent that could challenge their authority. There’s a formula that wannabe authoritarians follow:
  • Reduce the legislature to a rubber stamp; (Check that box in Florida!);

  • Secure control over schools and universities; (Who would have thought that a Florida governor would dictate what can be said, and not said, in a classroom or read in a library?)

  • Limit oversight by the media by blocking access to information;

  • Curtail protests and [fire state employees or elected officials that challenge]. 

  • Delegitimize Elections. 

  • But securing control of the courts is the most significant step. American democracy depends on an independent judiciary to check executive and legislative powers, in no small part to be guardians of minority rights... When judges are appointed because they are willing to discard precedent or agree to figure out how to make terrible policies legal, the effect is consolidation of power in the executive branch.

We are experiencing a legal revolution in Florida in which constitutional values that have been taken for granted are being trashed. These changes could last for years. I don’t think we are prepared for what’s coming.  


A Ron DeSantis presidency would already have a SCOTUS willing to undo years of social progress and rubber stamp his conservative (anti-woke) agenda; just as in Florida. This is a critical step in dismantling a democracy as seen in Hungary’s Viktor Orban “illiberal democracy”. Also, being tested in Israel's with Benjamin Netanyahu attempting to capturing control of its Supreme Court.

Keep in mind Ron DeSantis' 2024 pitch is -  "Make America Florida".

Please read all of Tony Doris editorial.  You may be unaware of all that is happening in Florida. nor the depth of Desantis' authoritarian control there.   

The Good News Update: Steve Cortes, the spokesman for a pro-DeSantis super PAC, admitted the Florida governor was “way behind” in a stark assessment of a campaign that has yet to show DeSantis has national appeal.  


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