Opinion: Even Canadians fear that American democracy may soon end

Marche is not the only Canadian worried about the future of their southern neighbor. A few days before Marche’s book was published, political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon – the CEO of Cascade Institute, which focuses on ways to address threats to society – written one powerful op-ed in Canada’s “Globe and Mail,” beginning with a similar warning. “By 2025, American democracy may collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence,” Homer-Dixon writes. “By 2030, if not sooner,” he adds, “the country could be ruled by a right-wing dictatorship.”

As Americans, our first instinct when someone outside the United States says something critical about our nation is often to reject the comment (or mock their country; be honest!). In this case, neither Marche nor Homer-Dixon wrote their words to demean America or to make Canadians feel more comfortable with their country.

In fact, as Marche explained in my SiriusXM radio program last week it is the opposite: Marche wrote his book because he “loves” the United States after working and living within its borders for years. His hope, he says, is to warn Americans of where the nation is headed before it is too late.

In the case of Homer-Dixon, the warning is even more disturbing because the column is not aimed at Americans, but at his fellow Canadians, to prepare them for what may be on the way if America’s democracy collapses. Homer-Dixon even warns his countrymen: “A terrible storm is coming from the south, and Canada is sadly unprepared.”

When Canadians start advising each other on the threat to American democracy, you know we’re in a serious position. It’s not about scoring political points; rather, it springs from a place of sincere concern for their own nation.

It is a sober reminder that if our Democratic Republic ceases to exist, it will have consequences not only for our nation but for the world – from strengthening autocratic leaders, such as the type praised by former President Donald Trump, to undermining Westerners. democracies.

Homer-Dixon’s words really matter: As he says, he’s been studying the causes of war, revolution, and social collapse for more than 40 years. “Today,” he wrote to his countrymen and women, “when I see the crisis unfolding in the United States, I see a political and social landscape flashing with warning signs.”

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To those who may see his preconceptions as exaggerated, Homer-Dixon adds: “We must not reject these options just because they seem ridiculous or too horrible to imagine. In 2014, the proposal that Donald Trump would become president, also had had thought almost everyone was absurd. ” (Point taken with it!)

This scholar of violent conflicts highlights the range of factors that currently plague the United States and contribute to the vulnerability of our institutions, from growing income inequality to demographic change that has prompted some “right-wing ideologues” to fuel “fears of traditional American culture. is being deleted and whites are being ‘replaced’. (Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has long dealt with this’ replacement theory ‘- though he has denied that is what he does – and he has been rightly condemned. And at least one other GOP elected official, Rep. Matt Gaetz, has joined him, and claims that Democrats are “importing new voters” from other countries. As with Carlson, Gaetz insisted his views had nothing to do with race.)
Homer-Dixon even believes that it is correct to use the “F-word” – fascism – to describe the state of the GOP, with reference to the perspective by Canadian-American conservative David Frum: “Trumpism is increasingly similar to European fascism in its contempt for the rule of law and glorification of violence.” I could not agree more.

But what really resonates with me is Homer-Dixon’s assessment that “the support” of our policies “is a vital set of beliefs and values”, and “if a significant enough fraction of a population no longer has those beliefs” and values, then democracy. can not survive. ”

This is the revelation America is still waiting for
Alarming, a recent NPR / Ipsos poll found that two-thirds of Republicans agree with the demonstrably false statement that “voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election.” Fewer than half of Republicans, the poll shows, agree they are willing to accept the documented results of the election.
How can we have a functioning democratic republic when one side apparently believes that only elections they win are “legitimate”? The fact that so many Republicans are rejecting the results of the 2020 election was probably part of the motivation behind this memorable line in President Joe Biden’s speech a year after the January 6 attack: “You can not love your country only when you win . “

For Homer-Dixon, all of this begs a crucial question for his country: How can Canadians prepare for the worst? First, he says, “We need to start by fully acknowledging the magnitude of the danger.” He continues: “If Mr Trump is re-elected” and heralds a right-wing authoritarian regime: “The risks to our country in their cumulative effect could easily be existential, far greater than any in the history of our federation.”

For example, he theorizes: “What happens … if high-profile political refugees fleeing persecution arrive in our country and the US regime demands them back. Do we comply?”

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To prepare for such possible scenarios, he urges the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to “immediately convene” a committee of representatives of the various political parties in the government, which “should receive regular intelligence and briefings from Canadian political and social experts. developments in the United States and their implications for democratic failure there. ”

There has been a lot of talk lately from US leaders about the threat to our democracy of today’s GOP. Former President Jimmy Carter wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, entitled “I fear for our democracy,” giving rise to concern that since the January 6 attack, “proponents of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over a political party and aroused distrust in our electoral systems. “

But there is something deeply compelling about reading the words of Canadians, who have no skin in American politics, to come up with such blunt words and warnings about the red flags they see.

As Marche describes in his book, there are Americans who have a “desperate belief in their country’s institutions that is almost equivalent to delusion.” These Canadians warn us to break free from these delusions and instead understand that “it” can happen here – with “it” as everything from fascism to a civil war that would collapse our democracy – and to seize it reality before it is too late.

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