Thursday, July 04, 2024

America's dark future

Today is July 4th, the day the US traditionally celebrates its independence. But in the wake of the Supreme Court's turning the clock back 375 years to rule that America's president actually is an unaccountable absolute monarch after all, effectively creating a turnkey tyranny for the next Republican president, there seems to be nothing to celebrate.

American democracy has been in trouble for a long time: since the 90's, when it became clear that Republicans would not accept losing elections; or the 2000 election, when the Republican Supreme Court decided they'd pick the president; or 2016, with the election of Trump; or the 2020 election, and the various Republican attempts to overturn the will of the people; or Trump's attempted coup on January 6th; or the recent lawless rampage of the Republican Supreme Court. But the trajectory from here on out seems particularly dark. In four months, there will be an election, in which one of the candidates promises a dictatorship from day one. If he doesn't win, and he fails to steal it (because he will try), then in six months time there will be another attempted coup. And if that fails, then we can expect the same again in four years time, and four years after that, and four years after that, because the US Republican Party has decided that they are done with democracy and elections and done with pretending. And they only need to win once to end democracy in America (and in fact they might not even need to win at all, if stopping the monster makes monsters).

That's terrible for America, but its bad for those of us in other democracies too, because American diseases spread. Look at the way Trumpism has infected even parties in quiet little Aotearoa. So if they go fascist, things could get very ugly in a lot of the world.

I have no message of hope here. America desperately needs deTrumpification - but that's simply not going to happen. And the far-right billionaires pushing to end democracy are not going to stop. So all I can say is: if you are American, good luck. Please don't take us down with you.