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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Threat to Democracy

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law.  Our next book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.  Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellioncoups, and secession.  

Ashley Parker at WP:

... Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), whose own state has been on the front lines of post-election fights spurred on by Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen, said that Trump’s behavior while in office — from potentially using the presidency to enrich his own family to smashing through other traditional guardrails — raises concerns that a 2024 Trump victory could lead to a newly fortified and shameless president, eager to further upend democratic norms.

“All these other things that are just not the normal ways that we operate as a country, that are parameters that elected officials are held to — he never was,” Hobbs said. “And the fact that there’s been a lack of accountability for any of that and then, in fact, potentially rewarded by being reelected is highly, highly problematic.”

Experts said that perhaps the most precipitous recent threat to American democracy, however, remains Trump’s election claims.

“Democracy depends on the belief of losers in a given election to trust the process, and to marshal support so they can win another day,” said Nate Persily, a professor at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project. “If we have entered a phase where the process is simply not trusted, that is a dangerous situation to be in, where people do not trust elections as being the way that we replace authority.”

A number of Republicans have used Trump’s false claim as a catalyst for overhauling election and voting laws, even in states where the 2020 election ran smoothly. At least 250 laws being proposed in at least 43 states would limit mail, early in-person and Election Day voting, changes that Democrats say could especially disenfranchise minority voters. There are also some Republican-led efforts pushing to allow state legislatures to overturn election results.

“I do hear from the community and faith leaders the concern that we’re losing the ground we gained through literal blood and tears and death during the civil rights movement and so many struggles, that we’re backtracking,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in Texas’s largest county.