Our Democracy Threatened

I don’t write about politics but with the current situation in America, I feel that I need to. Donald Trump is a man unfit to lead America for another four years. In addition to being unfit to lead he is also a threat to our Democracy. If you don’t believe that please take the time to read Gary Kasparov’s CNN op-ed Russian democracy is a farce. Putin wants the same fate for America.

Putin’s apparent desire for fresh conquest brings us to his most successful operation yet, the ascension of Donald Trump as US president. The degree of influence Russian operations had on the 2016 election can never be known for sure, but whatever Putin invested, it’s paid off a thousandfold. Even aside from Trump’s bizarre loyalty to Putin personally, America’s role as a global champion of democratic values has evaporated in a cloud of quid pro quos thanks to a president who is more likely to criticize traditional American allies than dictators like Putin and Xi Jinping.

For Putin to cross another border, he needs to know he won’t face any serious opposition from the US, or from a NATO that is toothless without American support. In other words, he needs Trump to be in the White House, not Joe Biden.

I watched as Putin destroyed our fragile democracy by focusing only on his own power and wealth while mouthing nationalist rhetoric and attacking the free press. Now I’m watching Trump use many of the same techniques to chip away at democracy in my new home, although I cannot complain of exile when some of my Russian colleagues have been jailed or killed.

But Trump has yet to do his worst, a prediction I make with confidence not because I know what he will do, but because I know what such people are capable of.

Russian democracy is a farce, and Putin would like nothing more than to inflict the same fate on the American version. In this he has a partner in Trump, who accuses Democrats of trying to rig the elections, attacks voting by mail, and has done little to prevent the raging coronavirus pandemic that looks set to continue into November and sow chaos at the polls.

An ounce of deterrence is worth a pound of retaliation. US lawmakers, and candidate Biden, must make it clear that any attack on the integrity of the 2020 election will be met with the harshest penalties — regardless of whether those attacks come from the Kremlin or from the Oval Office.

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I write about whatever the f*ck I want to write about. RSS feed: medium.com/feed/@ldstephens

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