“Trump’s ex-spy chief warns American democracy may not survive November election” Intelnews September 18, 2020.
Dan Coats, former U.S. Senator from Indiana, served as Trumps Director of National Security from the beginning of the Administration until resigning last year. His warning came in a New York Times op ed Thursday:
We hear often that the November election is the most consequential in our lifetime. But the importance of the election is not just which candidate or which party wins. Voters also face the question of whether the American democratic experiment, one of the boldest political innovations in human history, will survive.
Our democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic, want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people; that our public discourse has been perverted by the news media and social networks riddled with prejudice, lies and ill will; that judicial institutions, law enforcement and even national security have been twisted, misused and misdirected to create anxiety and conflict, not justice and social peace.
If those are the results of this tumultuous election year, we are lost, no matter which candidate wins. No American, and certainly no American leader, should want such an outcome. Total destruction and sowing salt in the earth of American democracy is a catastrophe well beyond simple defeat and a poison for generations. An electoral victory on these terms would be no victory at all. The judgment of history, reflecting on the death of enlightened democracy, would be harsh.
The most urgent task American leaders face is to ensure that the election’s results are accepted as legitimate. Electoral legitimacy is the essential linchpin of our entire political culture. We should see the challenge clearly in advance and take immediate action to respond.
The most important part of an effective response is to finally, at long last, forge a genuinely bipartisan effort to save our democracy, rejecting the vicious partisanship that has disabled and destabilized government for too long. If we cannot find common ground now, on this core issue at the very heart of our endangered system, we never will.
Our key goal should be reassurance. We must firmly, unambiguously reassure all Americans that their vote will be counted, that it will matter, that the people’s will expressed through their votes will not be questioned and will be respected and accepted. . . .
Ken, a nascent reckoning is emerging in Washington these days, whether the establishment realizes it or not. Everyone is picking sides, i.e. the dead enders who have inextricably stuck with him and are strapped into the crazy car headed toward the cliff (think GQP senators and sycophantic right wing media) vs. guys like Coats who are seeking to acquit themselves in history. When the dust settles we’ll be asking, “who lost our democracy? Who enabled Trump to happen? Who stood up against him when it mattered? Much like the “who lost China?” Beltway narrative back in ’48 when Mao took power. -DB
Thanks, Dominic. I agree with you as best I can see and hear from outside of Washington. Of course the questions afterwards will have to be asked even more quietly because of the cost of questioning the interests and position of the President and his circle will be higher, especially in the context of the tremendous advances in technology from the early days of the first Cold War in the Fifties.