Saturday, December 17, 2016

North Carolina Exhibit One On How GOP Could Destroy National Democracy

Demostrators rail against an undemocratic power grab
by North Carolina Republicans. At least 20
were arrested, including at least one journalist.  
Autocrats entering the White House under Donald Trump need to look no further than North Carolina on how they can end democracy and usurp the will of the people.

The Republican legislature in North Carolina this week basically launched a coup d'├ętat against the recently elected governor, a Democrat.

As numerous news organizations, including Daily Kos point out, Republicans in North Carolina, at least, don't give a shit about such niceties as the rule of law, the will of voters and fair elections.

The Republicans in North Carolina held a surprise special session in which they took a lot of powers away from the governor and gave it to the legislature. That's because a Democrat, Roy Cooper was just elected North Carolina governor.

They also changed the Supreme Court into elected positions, to ensure Republicans get on the state's highest court from the Republcans' badly gerrymandered districts.

That's because the North Carolina Supreme Court has in the recent past ruled against the Republicans' shenanigans, power grabs and voter suppression moves.

If you think this is just a North Carolina thing, it isn't. That's why you should be worried. The Donald Trump administration is likely to do similar things writ large in the entire United States.

Your rights to pick and choose who leads the nation might be going by the wayside, which is a truly terrible and terrifying thing.

North Carolina has been at this for awhile. It's a lot of work destroying democracy, apparently, but they've proven it can be done.

Daily Kos notes that this has been the M.O. of some GOPers for awhile, and it might only get worse.

"Republicans had previously gerrymandered the legislature so aggressively that they won to-proof majorities in 2012 despite losing the popular vote, and they easily maintained them in 2016 despite McCrory's loss. 

A courty in 2016 struck down those maps as unconstitution racial gerrymanders, meaning the North North Carolina Republicans are using an illegally obtained legislative majorityto ursurp the powers of the fairly elected new Democratic governor. 

Democracy relies on electoral losers recognizing the legitimacy of the victor, and this breathtaking power grab can only be describd as a full-blown legislative coup d-etat design to subvert democracy itself."

Slate describes how serious the North Carolina situation is:

"What's happening in North Carolina is not politics as usual. It is an extraordinarily disturbing legislative coup, a flagrant effort to maintain one-party rule by rejecting democratic norms and revoking the will of the voters.

It is the kind of thing we might expect to see in Venezuela, not a U.S state. It should terrify every American citizen who believes in the rule of law. This is so much more than a partisan power grab. This ia an attack on democracy itself. "

Oh, sure the courts might overturn what North Carolina Republicans did. Until we get new judges. In North Carolina, newly elected governor Roy Cooper plans to sue the legislature for what they've done.

What do we do when Trumpsters get rid of federal judges that rely on things like the rule of law and precedent in favor of hacks that would do their bidding?

Then, we would see the North Carolina-style autocratic rule go nation wide. Democracy would die.

As a patriotic American who has used his First Amendment rights to criticize, praise or mock elected officials, I really worry if my ability to do so will soon end.

 We can all hope that cooler heads prevail, and lawmakers, judges and such will find their moral compass and act in accordance to the Constitution, and not some autocratic dimwit like Donald Trump and his ilk .

But we can't count on it. North Carolina Republicans didn't find their democratic moral compass, so why should we rely on others?

Since Trump was elected, I've kept hoping that my fears about the stability of our democracy and rule of law were overblown.

Unfortunately, those fears look more and more like they're well placed.

I don't know if we as citizens can fight back all that well. Still, the time might be coming for a new American Revolution.

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