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To Be or Not To Be a Democracy

Our democracy is in danger. A phrase from the soliloquy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To be or not to be”, must be carefully pondered as we approach our next presidential election in 2024.

The nominating process has just started, and so much more has to unfold before we actually know who the candidates will be. But the leading Republican primary candidate, Donald Trump, is spending an unprecedented amount of time and energy promoting himself through attacks on the principles of our democracy.

Trump has characterized America as a “dying third world” country. He has called Americans who do not support him “our enemies.” Under possible indictment on several fronts caused by his disdain for state and federal laws, he has stated that if he is prosecuted “I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it,” and that “death and destruction” would follow.

Several key members of Congress have supported Trump’s attacks on democracy and the rule of law. Senator Lindsey Graham has stated that if Trump is prosecuted for mishandling classified documents “there’ll be riots in the streets.” Congressman Jim Jordan has tried to use his authority as the House Judiciary Committee chairman to “investigate” the State of New York’s case generated by Trump’s hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. Congresswoman Marjory Taylor-Green wants another secession of states from the union.

The Rule of Law is a key pillar of American Democracy, just as important as Free and Open Elections. It cannot be forsaken just because a crazed, authoritarian, narcissistic old man has convinced his followers that he should not be investigated just because of the position he once held but then lost due to his own malfeasance.

I have come to feel that this election will be the most important in the history of this nation. “To be or not to be” a democracy is the decision that must be the basis of everyone’s vote no matter who the candidates may be.

Ed Shaffer


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