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Can American democracy save itself from a dark road ahead? – IrishCentral

We have reached the stage where one party in this nation no longer accepts any election results where they are not winning. So the question is – how much longer can this go on? 
Everyone knows that this nation has become divided in just about every way that a nation can be: politically, culturally, racially, economically.
That’s because, despite what they say, one of our main political parties and its media outlet at Fox News have been busy promoting and stoking those dangerous divisions for decades. 
In 2016, Trump correctly identified the seething resentment and anger that still animates the Republican base and he played to it relentlessly, stoking their anger in a never-ending presidential campaign of scorn and hate even after winning the presidency. 

The scale of the mayhem in the Capitol building during the insurrection is still only coming to light

The scale of the mayhem in the Capitol building during the insurrection is still only coming to light

The scale of the mayhem in the Capitol building during the insurrection is still only coming to light
So what’s the source of that seething resentment and anger? Well, the GOP base out there in the heartland are angered by the continuing loss of their economic and political power, they are angered by a newly dominant politics that questions their historic fitness to have ever held on to that economic and political power, and they are angered by a growing sense that their position at the top of the socio-economic totem is no longer assured. 
Their resentment and anger haven’t gone away since Trump did. If anything, it’s simply been festering in the shadows, waiting for another more politically astute figurehead to appear and show us all who’s still boss.
I’ve read a lot of hand wringing articles about what could lie just up ahead of us in this nation soon, with some of the most serious observers suggest a time of smoke and fire.
But considering the season of hell we all just passed through, where it’s not hyperbole to say our lives, our nation, and our democracy were often – and frighteningly – in the balance, isn’t it time to ask ourselves where all this strife could be leading us soon? Shouldn’t we urgently ask ourselves if we really have to take this dark road? 

We have reached the stage where one party in this nation no longer accepts any election results where they are not winning. So the question is – how much longer can this go on? Doesn’t recent Irish history and the January 6 insurrection teach us where that level of violent division can lead? 
Since Trump’s bitter loss, the GOP have responded to unwelcome demographic shifts and growing diversity with gerrymandering and voting restrictions, as if they can stave off the inevitable by simply blocking the right to vote. 
Instead of engaging with the wider electorate and listening to their concerns, they are only seeking ways to silence them. There will be no reaching out, there will be no listening, there will only be blatant poll rigging and vote theft. 
It is heartbreaking to see such a large percentage of this country take the same supremacist path of Ulster unionism, in the foolish belief that they can hold on to their political power by taking the drastic step of ending our political democracy. We saw where this movie leads in Ireland. Why can’t we see where it ends here? 

June 9, 2002: Members of the British Army patrol the streets in East Belfast. (Getty Images)

June 9, 2002: Members of the British Army patrol the streets in East Belfast. (Getty Images)

June 9, 2002: Members of the British Army patrol the streets in East Belfast. (Getty Images)
Given that the stakes are becoming sohigh, it’s not surprising that conservatives have sought to game the system through the courts and through voting restrictions, but even those plays cannot stave off the same fate that is confronting Ulster unionism in Ireland: when history and demographics move on, power eventually moves with them. 
In their increasingly maniacal pursuit of a win at any price, the GOP have missed something important, electing a new leader on a sinking ship doesn’t stop the ship from sinking. Winning the battles and insurrections may feel good but do they really matter when you’re losing the war?
The truth is that the changes the far right in the GOP fear most have already occurred. The culture war is already over. For decades now conservatives have had an opportunity to win based on their ideas and their platforms but instead, they opted for demagoguery and a threatening authoritarianism. 
We live in the moment between the realization of their great failure and their decision to do something drastic about it. We have been living here for a long time. I’m sorry that they took the path they did but I’m not sorry that they and Trump lost. They deserved to lose. Elections are fought on ideas, not identity. 
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