Good news for citizens needlessly concerned about the bullish good health of their democracies
Do you worry that democracies rely on all candidates for elections accepting the basic legitimacy of the electoral process and the peaceful transition of power, in case of defeat?
Do you wonder how long your democracy can continue to function if candidates with mass support repeatedly refuse to commit to the peaceful transition of power, while declaring their possible loss, well in advance, to be “rigged”, and at the same time, support efforts in multiple jurisdictions to restrict voting rights to your fellow citizens?
Do you ever ask yourself whether many things now accepted as legitimate, like calling statutory bodies “fraudulent” without any pretence to evidence, would have been unthinkable for people in public life to say even twenty years ago, and ask where this is trending?
Do you worry when candidates who have in the past failed to commit to the peaceful transition of power, then have called up an armed mob to prevent the ratification of election results, are kind of just accepted as legitimate runners for a second shot at the prize, backed by millions of your fellow citizens and growing components of the political, mediatic, and business elites?
Do you lie awake at night wondering whether people should really just shrug their shoulders when a leading candidate for the highest office in your democracy repeatedly promises his followers that he will “lock up” opponents, if he can, once he achieves office, and calls openly on foreign powers to assist him in his struggle against personal and political foes?
Does it concern you that democracies rely on a media which accepts a basic commitment to try for accuracy and fairness, to hold authorities accountable, but that this idea has been aggressively ridiculed for years by hyper-partisan actors, at the same time as a media subsystem choc full or mis- and disinformation has hyper-trophied?
Do you wonder whether fear and outrage, on an accelerating diet, is any more healthy for your nation’s culture than it would be, say, if it was rattling around inside the head of an…