Democracy is Dying

The world is in sad shape. All over the globe dictators are rising, anarchists are seizing control over populations, and support for democratic processes in many countries is on the decline.

For example, in Hungary the dictatorial leader, Viktor Orban, has seized control of all the media in the country. There is now no free press or individuals/organizations that will be able to counter his claims and comments. People there are concerned that the population will not be able to get any fair information about the state of the economy or other serious issues.

In China, President Xi Jinping, has seen legislation passed that eliminates the prior two term, 10 year limit, essentially allowing him to be president for life. President Trump praised China and said (according to a recording obtained by CNN), “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great.” “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.” Some thought Trump was kidding; people in China took it as an endorsement.
Vladimir Putin just saw legislation passed allowing him to rule until 2036, allowing his to run for two additional terms. He has already held power since 1994. His power is being extended essentially until the end of his life (age 84), too. And Trump has repeatedly praised Putin as a strong leader, as well.

Around the world we find Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Kim Jong Un in North Korea, Pierre Nkurunziza of Berundi, Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, Idriss Deby of Chad, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea as functioning dictators of their respective countries. They have worked to control the media, have dissidents killed or jailed, and basically are working to control many/most aspects of their countries.

And now President Trump is moving in the direction of becoming an autocrat. He has sent federal troops to control protestors in several cities…against the wishes of the state governors. He has filed legislation to seek control over electronic media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook. He is seeking to remove funding from National Public Radio. He continues, as most autocrats do, to claim the press is “fake” and the only true news comes from him and his associates. He is undermining the upcoming elections by claiming voting by mail is going to be fraudulent (even though he and his family have voted by mail numerous times). And finally, he is talking about delaying the elections because of potential widespread mail-in votes…..even claiming earlier that if there was widespread voting, including voting by mail, Republicans would never win another election.

There are lots of other moves by the president that indicate he wants to control the country by himself. He has threatened to cut school funding if schools to not have in-person classes. Some claim this is an abuse of power…he can’t cut funds when Congress has already passed legislation to provide the funding.

Dictators are on the rise around the world….and perhaps in our own country. Democracy might not survive this next year…..let’s hope people realize the danger and show up to stop it.

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