To the Editor:
Our fragile democracy is endangered; so say scholars, historians and concerned citizens nationwide: “Populism is a Political Problem that is Placing Democracy at Risk,” fsi.stanford.edu; “Creeping Fascism in Historical Parallels,” idsnews.com; “Is American Democracy at a Breaking Point?”penntoday.vppenn.edu; “Whether the United States will remain a democracy,” bostonglobe.com, June 3.
In “A Democratic Paradox,” Wikipedia describes an escalating, internal conflict within modern democracy that is created by the union of two separate strands of political thought, the tradition of classical liberalism of human rights and individual liberty versus the tradition of democratic theory, each strand challenging the other for a place of dominance within our system.
“Democracy at Risk-A Global Prospective,” by the Keough School of Global Affairs, highlights a number of scenarios in the 2020 election and identifies struggles to safeguard our democracy, recommending long-term structural reforms and reducing future electoral risks by enhancing voter access and security.
Further, a major cause of democratic decline is a state-led weakening of political institutions that sustain our democratic system such as a peaceful transition of power within a well implemented electoral system.
These articles have one common thread of constructive agreement: we all must be active, responsible voters. Despite the threats to our democracy from within, including conspiracy theories, “truth is not always the truth,” “ alternative facts,” disinformation, etc., we in the Lowcountry must demand accountability and trust with independent thinking, bipartisan progress by our government and its officials while continuing to protect both our individual rights and shared freedoms.