What do you do when democracy is dying?

An upside down flag is as signal of dire distress. We are now there.

Dear World,

I never thought I would be writing a diary like this. It’s so…dystopian. It is a country, however, that is fast propelling itself into –I’m just going to say it, although it may not be as accurate as I want–oligarchic authoritarianism. It wasn’t like we weren’t warned it was coming. But it’s all very confusing. I sit and observe over the years how easy it is to tear apart a democratic republic. Who am I? I’m a public school teacher, a mother, a woman witnessing history speeding by at 100 mph reeling from the realization that the United States may no longer be free.

I am keeping this journal not just to inform the world community about what it is like to live this way. Many of you in some countries have already experienced what I am–shock, fear, dread, anxiety, wanting to do something to stop the Supreme Court from continuing to take our rights away, but not knowing really what to do besides demonstrate. I am also keeping this journal to help myself through this extremely unsettling time.

I know now, in a way I never have that Americans have been exceptionally spoiled to live in a stable democratic republic for so long without fear of invasion or war. Even during World War II I don’t think folks actually believed the Germans or Japanese were going to actually invade the country. To never have fear that your government will turn against you is a gift that we have taken for granted.

“Democracies may die at the hands not of generals but of elected leaders—presidents or prime ministers who subvert the very process that brought them to power. Some of these leaders dismantle democracy quickly, as Hitler did in the wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire in Germany. More often, though, democracies erode slowly, in barely visible steps.”

― Steven Levitsky, How Democracies Die

I and other people that live near me who are Democrats are doing everything we can to turn this around. I serve in my county party. I have gone to events, signed people up to volunteer, done phone banking to get out the vote, and protested this weekend. I am attending Democratic party trainings on how to get the vote out through text messages. I am taking resistance training through a women’s march program that teaches nonviolent resistance during arrests at protests. I work full time at my job, and when I come home, it’s straight to online trainings to get out the vote. There are women’s marches planned across the country for July. It gives me some kind of hope that we are not lying down and rolling over while our own Supreme Court takes away our rights. The Court announced through Clarence Thomas (I refuse to call him “Justice”), that they’re looking at taking away the right to contraception (the racists want more white women having babies because of projections that brown and Black people are supposed to outnumber White people in the next few years. Sounds just like Hitler’s Germany when women were not allowed to do war work and were given medals for cranking out kids. I bet Republican leaders weren’t banking on the fact that vasectomies for men have shot up in the last week since they overturned our right to our own bodies.

I try to stay centered, to have quiet time, to play with my cats, and not watch the news. But I cannot escape the knowledge that I can and MUST resist, I must stand up alongside of my fellow sisters in the women who are laying it on the line for our freedom and our rights. Our Supreme Court has made history, not for conferring a right, but for the first time, taking away a constitutional right. Other rights will follow. Any kind words are appreciated, as well as encouragement. I’m really, really scared but I also know I cannot stand by in silence and watch this democracy fall. I am resisting. Be back soon and thank you for reading.

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2 responses to “What do you do when democracy is dying?”

    • No we must not. I truly believe that this country is capable of doing great good in the world and I’ve gotten way more politically active than I used to be. It is so nice to know that people are like you are out there and I was very happy to follow you. ❤️

      Like

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