Opinion: Even Canadians fear America’s democracy will end soon


Marche is not the only Canadian worried about the future of its neighbor to the south. Just days before the publication of The March book, political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon – the executive director of the Cascade Institute, which focuses on ways to deal with threats to society – wrote a powerful editorial in Canada’s Globe and Mail which begins with a similar warning. “By 2025, America’s democracy could crumble, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence,” Homer-Dixon writes. “By 2030, if not sooner,” he adds, “the country could be ruled by a right-wing dictatorship.”

As Americans, our first instinct when someone outside of the United States says something critical of our nation is often to dismiss the comment (or poke fun at their country; be honest. !). In this case, however, neither Marche nor Homer-Dixon wrote their words to demean America or to make Canadians feel better about their country.

In fact, as Marche explained on my SiriusXM Radio Show last week, it’s the opposite: Marche wrote his book because he “loves” the United States after having worked and lived within its borders for years. His hope, he says, is to warn Americans of the direction the nation is heading before it’s too late.

In the case of Homer-Dixon, the warning is even more disturbing because the chronicle is directed not to Americans but to fellow Canadians, to prepare them for what could happen to them if America’s democracy collapses. Homer-Dixon bluntly warns his compatriots: “A terrible storm is coming from the south, and Canada is woefully unprepared.

When Canadians begin to advise each other on the threat to American democracy, you know we are in dire straits. It is not about scoring political points; rather, it emanates from a place of genuine concern for their own nation.

It’s a sobering reminder that if our democratic republic comes to an end it will have ramifications not just for our nation but for the world – from strengthening autocratic leaders, such as those former President Donald Trump praised, to the weakening of Western democracies.

Homer-Dixon’s words carry real weight: as he puts it, for over 40 years he has studied the causes of war, revolution and social collapse. “Today,” he wrote to his compatriots, “as I watch the crisis unfold in the United States, I see a political and social landscape flashing with warning signals.”

To those who might view his premonitions as exaggerated, Homer-Dixon adds, “We shouldn’t rule out these possibilities just because they seem ridiculous or too horrible to imagine. In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would also have struck almost everyone as absurd. “(Point taken with that one!)

This violent conflict specialist sheds light on the range of factors that currently plague the United States and contribute to the vulnerability of our institutions, from growing income inequality to the demographic change that has prompted some “right-wing ideologues” to stoke. “Fears that traditional American culture will be erased. and the Whites are “replaced”. (Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has long peddled this “replacement theory” – though he denied that he did – and he was rightly denounced. And at least one other GOP elected official, Representative Matt Gaetz, joined him, claiming Democrats are “importing new voters” from other countries. Like at Carlson, Gaetz insisted his opinions had nothing to do with race.)
Homer-Dixon even believes that using the “F word” – fascism – to describe the state of the GOP is correct, citing point of view by the Canadian-American conservative David Frum: “Trumpism increasingly resembles European fascism in its contempt for the rule of law and the glorification of violence. I couldn’t agree more.

But what really touches me is Homer-Dixon’s assessment that the ‘underlying’ of our policy ‘is a vital set of beliefs and values’, and’ if a sufficiently substantial fraction of a population no longer holds those beliefs and values, then democracy cannot survive. ”

This is the revelation America is still waiting for
Alarmingly, a recent NPR / Ipsos survey found that two-thirds of Republicans agreed with the blatantly false statement that “voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election.” Less than half of Republicans, according to the poll, agree they are prepared to accept the proven election results.
How can we have a functioning democratic republic when one party apparently believes that only the elections it wins are “legitimate”? The fact that so many Republicans reject the 2020 election results was probably part of the motivation behind this memorable line from President Joe Biden’s speech a year after the January 6 bombing: “You can’t love your country only when you win. “

For Homer-Dixon, it all comes down to one crucial question for his country: How can Canadians prepare for the worst? On the one hand, he said, “We must begin by fully recognizing the extent of the danger.” He continues: “If Mr. Trump is re-elected” and usheres in an authoritarian right-wing regime, “the risks to our country in their cumulative effect could easily be existential, far greater than any in the history of our federation.

For example, he theorizes, “What happens … if prominent political refugees fleeing persecution arrive in our country and the American regime demands them return.” Are we obeying?

Biden just threw down the gauntlet of democracy

To prepare for this kind of possible scenario, he implores the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to “immediately convene” a committee made up of representatives of the various political parties in the government which “should receive regular intelligence analyzes and meetings. information from Canadian experts on political and social issues. developments in the United States and their implications for democratic failure there. ”

There has been a lot of talk lately by US leaders about the threat posed to our democracy by today’s GOP. Former President Jimmy Carter wrote an editorial for the New York Times titled “I Fear For Our Democracy,” raising concerns that since the January 6 attack, “promoters of the stolen election lie have taken over a political party and stoked mistrust of our electoral systems “.

But there is something deeply compelling about reading the words of skinless Canadians in the game of American politics to offer such blunt words and warnings about the red flags they see.

As Marche details in his book, there are Americans who have a “desperate faith in the institutions of their country which is almost tantamount to delusion.” These Canadians are warning us to free ourselves from these illusions and understand instead that “it” can happen here – with “it” ranging from fascism to a civil war that would collapse our democracy – and to grasp that reality beforehand. let it be too late.

About Timothy Ball

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