A hundred years from now historians will have a clear picture of how our democracy was lost. No doubt they will wonder why we let it happen. What was it that took our 231-year republic—a beacon to the world—from freedom to despotism?
Was it our insistence on electing an ignorant, racist, megalomaniac just to see what would happen? Or because he might "shake things up"? Or because Whites wanted to maintain their position at the top of the food chain?
Or was it the slow, almost invisible slide of our attention away from education, from voting rights, from union rights, from civil rights, from the all encompassing right to domestic tranquility? What were we doing that kept us so earnestly looking away from what was happening? And how was that more important than preserving our country?
And why was it that those in leadership positions, powerful men like McConnell in the Senate and Ryan in the House, and all their minions, how was it that they refused to speak up? In fact, they used their power to protect the megalomanic; knowing, as they must have, that he was chopping at the underpinnings of our country.
Or perhaps the historians will say it was due to outside influences; the growing trend toward authoritarianism across the globe, or the pressure of Russia's Putin on a weak-headed president who admired all despots. Maybe it was the failure of global leaders, the United Nations, or the European Union. Why did they not raise their voices? Surely they had influence.
Was the destruction of American democracy planned by some deep state or fifth column, or was it simply a series of interlocking events, each one unimportant until joined by the rest. Could it have simply been a fateful accident, unnoticed until it was too late?
Perhaps it was all these things, and the people in charge, ourselves, were just too blind to see, or too busy to take action. Or maybe we did see, but we just didn't know what to do. Or maybe we knew what to do but we didn't do it. Whatever the cause, whatever the rationale, the result makes a shameful, sad tale.