Letter: Threat to our democracy should be a wake-up call

Sunday, July 08, 2018

In a recent TV interview, the brilliant (former) GOP strategist Steve Schmidt stated with utmost clarity his belief that the current president of the United States and the Republican Party are a threat to our democracy. In laying out his case, he named five behaviors of the president that should concern us all:

“One, he incites fervor in a base through constant lying;

Two, he scapegoats minority populations, and he affixes blame for complex problems to them and them alone;

Three, he alleges conspiracies that are hidden and nefarious and linked to those scapegoated populations;

Four, he spreads a sense of victimization amongst those fervent supporters; and

Five, he asserts the need to exert heretofore unprecedented power to protect his victim class from the conspiracies and the scapegoated populations.”

Throughout history, Schmidt warns, these five behaviors have been observed whenever autocrats and totalitarian governments have risen and democracies have fallen. Moreover, the willingness of current Republican leaders to accede to the president’s autocratic tendencies amplifies the threat to our republic and the international order.

Schmidt is one of several prominent mainstream conservatives who have repudiated the actions of the present administration and are advocating for immediate change, even if it means leaving the GOP and/or voting for Democrats in 2018. This group includes conservative thought leaders Andrew Sullivan and George Will.

I encourage you to watch Steve Schmidt’s 10-minute interview on YouTube. It’s a wake-up call for anyone still sleeping.

Charles Martone