From the Democrats of Hemet-San Jacinto

“Democracy’s a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it’s no longer democracy, is it? It’s something else. It may be an inch away from totalitarianism.” This is a quote of Pulitzer Prize winning Sam Shepard.

“The fabric of democracy is always fragile everywhere because it depends on the will of citizens to protect it, and when they become scared, when it becomes dangerous for them to defend it, it can go very quickly.” This quote is by Margaret Atwood.

We are aware of failed democracies in other countries. As a country, we have tried to establish democracies in other countries, mostly without success. But because our American Democracy has survived for 244 years, we seldom think our democracy as fragile. The recently concluded election cycle clearly demonstrates shows just how fragile our democracy is. We usually assume that a threat to our democracy would come from outside our country but early in our history, it was understood that a threat could come from within. The first members of Congress developed this simple 14-word oath:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

The current oath was enacted in 1884. It reads:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

The shenanigans of Donald Trump and his enablers was (and is) an internal threat, a domestic threat to our democracy. They have sought to restrict voting of the people by making it difficult to obtain IDs, by limiting access to voting and ballot drop off locations, by limiting voting days and hours. They tried to knee cap the ability of the U.S Postal Service to deliver ballots on time. Trump has even tried to persuade State lawmakers to disregard the vote of the people and to select alternative electors favorable to Trump to vote in the Electoral College. Fortunately for America, Trump is just not smart enough to pull this off nor are his hand-picked lapdogs and lawyers. A smarter conspirator might have been able to pull off such a coup. It is incumbent that our next Congress take action to strengthen our democracy. We need to make our democracy less fragile.

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