Leading Democrats are becoming cartoon characters, repeating absurd anti-Republican rhetoric, as if nonsense makes sense. Calling Republicans “enemies of the state,” a “threat to democracy,” “extremist,” pushing the trope that “democracy is at stake” is not just shrill or desperate. Parties that intentionally delegitimize free speech, seeking to silence their critics, are the real threat to democracy.
Unpacking reality, free speech cannot be suppressed in representative democracy that expects to survive. It is the corrective mechanism – constitutionally baked into our republic – that allows truth to emerge from the competition of ideas and assures fear does not replace open offensive discussion.
When free speech, including non-violent protest, social media, media, basic school board and town meeting, and neighborhood talk, is chilled or clipped by physical, educational, employment, or practical fear, the corrective mechanism required to keep us one, is dulled, chilled, eventually nullified, silenced, unable to work.
When a party aiming to grow and consolidate federal power eventually gains the upper hand, control of the executive and legislative, then observably refuses to enforce laws against its own, while misusing, overusing, and abusing federal power against the opposing party, flashing lights should come on.
When is “democracy at risk?’ Not when critics – those out of power and concerned about individual and states’ rights – speak up, finally get noticed, offend the powerful, or rile the public, but when those in power and determined to expand power through use of money, media, mandates, dictates, executive action, and rule-changing on the fly … begin to silence those critics.
To be crystal clear, when top Democrats – including Biden – tell the country Republicans are the threat, that “democracy is at stake,” presumably because their narrative is Trump and 74 million who voted for him want to centralize power, or Republicans favor political violence, this turns the world on its head.
Think hard: Who is in power? Who jammed Americans with four trillion in overspending, higher gas prices by shutting down much of the energy sector, created inflation that will not quit – even with double the interest rates?
Gas was $1.98 on January 21, 2021. It averaged $3.75 last month. Is that lower than $5.00 in June? Yes, because Biden tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a supply reserve set aside for national security not pre-election political games. Today, it is still 88 percent higher than 21 months ago. No lie.
Who refused to decry political violence across 200 cities, then methodically disparaged, defunded, demoralized, halved the recruiting for, and elevated shootings, ambushes, and suicides of America’s police? Who did that? Google the numbers, it is shocking, an undeclared national emergency.
Who mandated all the gains of Title IV for girls be dropped in favor of literally 72 genders, bizarre new sex ed and hormone therapies for small children, and placing transgenderism above equalizing male-female access to sports, while creating an invasion of female privacy, security, and safety for girls?
Who unilaterally changed federal laws protecting the border, city streets, even Supreme Court Justices? Who has tried to take away the rights of average citizens to own, carry, and use a gun for self-protection – including record background checks for law-abiding minority and female citizens?
Who has made a religion of secular political issues, pushing atheism and discriminating against religious schools, medical facilities, and non-profits? Who has tried to discourage those of faith from living it, showing it, and abiding it in schools and places of employment?
Who created fear around changes in weather or climate, vilifying any public discussion of data, even seeking to criminalize it, shutting down full discussion by trained scientists of how solar cycles, ice ages, the balance of carbon production and absorption, sequestration and trends occur?
Who used the federal government, specifically the FBI, to investigate and chill discussion of parental rights at the local level, in school systems, even trying to criminalize speech by parents seeking to protect their children against federal and union gender and sex reeducation, ideas like causing little children to question their gender, or stopping the intrusion of anti-American, pro- Marxist, and CRT lessons?
If you stop and think about it, which party is about punishing critics, raising taxes, spending more and more of money people cannot afford to just hand over to the government, as if no consequences? Which party has pushed these power-grabbing changes in authority, spending, and culture? Is there any question? Do you see any change in sight? Does calling the other side “extremist” convince you?
By contrast, which party is – and has always been – chiefly about reducing federal power, reigning in massive overreach, decentralizing authority, limiting government, reducing regulation, taxes, mandates, dictates, giveaways, handouts, bureaucracy, and government growth? Which party has historically championed rights of the individual and states, versus every greater federal growth?
Through the lens of history – and global governments – anyone can see clearly that those who seek to expand their power – are cut from one cloth. Those who seek to keep government more limited, respect the Constitution’s text, rule of law and citizenship, who honor separation of powers, and protect citizen rights – are cut from another.
The first can get downright oppressive, the second tends to stay focused on keeping government in check, overreach down – not People. I leave it to you – in this uneasy day, filled with wild rhetoric, midterms weeks away – to assess which more threatens your “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.”