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Robert Reich: The Greatest Danger To American Democracy – OpEd


The greatest danger to American democracy right now is not coming from Russia, China, or North Korea. It is coming from the Republican Party. 

Only 25 percent of voters self-identify as Republican, the GOP’s worst showing against Democrats since 2012 and sharply down since last November. But those who remain in the Party are far angrier, more ideological, more truth-denying, and more racist than Republicans who preceded them. 

And so are the lawmakers who represent them. 

Today’s Republican Party increasingly is defined not by its shared beliefs but by its shared delusions.

Last Friday, 54 U.S. senators voted in favor of proceeding to debate a House-passed bill to establish a commission to investigate the causes and events of the January 6th insurrection. This was 6 votes short of the number of votes needed for “cloture,” or stopping debate – meaning any further consideration of the bill would have been filibustered by Republicans indefinitely. 

So there will be no investigation. 

The 54 Senators who voted yes to cloture – in favor of the commission – represent 189 million Americans, or 58% of the American population. The 35 who voted no represent 104 million Americans, or 32% of the population.

In other words, 32% of American voters got to decide that the nation would not know about what happened to American democracy on January 6. 

Furthermore, the 35 who voted against the commission were all Republicans. They did not want such an inquiry because it might jeopardize their chances of gaining a majority of the House or Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. They also wanted to stay in the good graces of Donald Trump, whose participation in that insurrection might have been more fully revealed. 

Eight of these Republicans voted against certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6. Some of their constituents were responsible for the insurrection in the first place. 

The Republican Party is also pursuing new laws in many states making it harder for likely Democrats to vote and opposing voting reforms in Congress.

It is actively purging any Republican who has temerity to criticize Trump. They have removed from her leadership position Liz Cheney, who called Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and his role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot the greatest “betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” 

Local Republicans leaders have either stepped down or been forced out of their party positions for not supporting Trump’s baseless election claims or for criticizing the former president’s role in inciting the deadly Capitol riot.

American democracy is at an inflection point. 

Senate Democrats must get rid of the filibuster and push through major reforms – voting rights, as well as policies that will enable more Americans in the bottom half – most of them without college educations, many of whom cling to the Republican Party – to do better. 

In the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt noted that the survival of American democracy depended on the adoption of policies that comprised the New Deal. In that Depression decade, democracy was under siege around the world, and dictators were on the rise. 

Joe Biden understands that America and the world face a similar challenge. And like FDR, Biden is making a strong case that the adoption of his policies will buttress democracy against the forces of tyranny, not only as an example to the rest of the world but here at home. 

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

2 thoughts on “Robert Reich: The Greatest Danger To American Democracy – OpEd

  • June 1, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Robert Reich is so far on the left, he was kicked out of Clinton’s cabinet, where he served as a labor secretary. But it’s refreshing to hear a radical leftist’s opinion about the dangers for America.
    And it’s not the violent riots that destroy American cities for a year now. It’s not the dozens of killed people, during this leftist revolution that the Robert Reich-s turn a blind eye on.
    It’s neither the censorship in our social networks, that forbids entire subjects, such as Corona virus, vaccines, last election results, and much more.
    For Robert Reich it’s not a problem that American media had betrayed its audience, and instead of reporting facts, it covers them up, lies and advocates for the Democratic party.
    The problem for America are Republicans – he believes, and once again, ignores facts. Like the FACT that on the last election the Republican candidate received 14 million votes MORE than on the previous elections. The FACT that despite the intense brainwashing from media, the manipulation from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, American conservatives did not bend and keep their sanity.
    Robert Reich will be disappointed once again. Because revolution devours its kids, and the young, indoctrinated leftist extremists are coming for him.
    The left never learns, and never adapts to democracy. They always end up imposing censorship and limiting freedoms.
    The proof is: the MILLIONS that flee from Democrat governed cities and states, and move to Republican states. Just like millions fled from socialist to capitalist countries, and never the other way around.

    • June 2, 2021 at 1:33 am

      Ridiculous and dangerous. I wonder how an intelligent person can come up with this stuff. It’s the overwhelming hatred of the progressives. That hate blinds seemingly normal people and leads them to believe that trump won the election. That Jan 6 insurrection was Antifa not proud boys. It’s a mental illness.


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