Anti-democratic malefactors are winning in the United States. This is what it looks like.
The Republican-majority Senate recently released an intelligence report, which conceded that Russia and others had significant influence in the 2016 election (surprise, surprise). Nothing has been done to prevent this from happening again.
Since 2016, the situation has only worsened.
The divisions forged on the internet by bots, hate-mongering and sophisticated targeting techniques are turning into increasingly explosive real-life conflicts.
The incredibly toxic and divisive social media environment created and enabled by tech conglomerates, international and foreign malefactors, and the current unprincipled administration is seeping into real life with alarming regularity.
A 17-year old is charged with murdering two Black Lives Matter protestors after being radicalized by hateful rhetoric online. The lies spun on social media in order to garner support for Trump have once again – nope, this isn’t the first time – incited murder.
The way the American public was manipulated, lied to, and gaslighted is a crime.
In addition to relying on social media sites to spin his “alternative facts”, Trump has suggested postponing the 2020 election and is currently sabotaging the US postal service in order to prevent mail in votes from costing him the election. According to the Washington Post, Trump told 25 lies in his speech accepting the Republican nomination. This is textbook fascism.
With the country in complete disarray, a neglected pandemic breaking new records every day, intense political and racial contentions everywhere, and a government with no interest in being accountable to its citizens, the US is a premonition for those of us in countries that have not yet fully fallen to the tide of fascism.
Countless videos of extreme police brutality and misconduct, especially against people of color, serve as a reminder that fascism and the erosion of democracy happens gradually at first – but then all at once.
Here in the UK, it is still happening gradually, but we are headed towards all-at-once.
The 20 reforms laid out in our report Defending Democracy in the Digital Age would drastically diminish political organizations’ ability to radicalize citizens and politicize every topic under the sun.
There is still time for us here in the UK, and we can learn a harrowing lesson from looking across the pond.
The buck stops here.
We at Fair Vote UK are up for the fight, as always. It is not too late.