‘Big lie... big money’: Robert Reich exposes the ‘three powerful forces’ America will have to stop to save its democracy
‘ Big lie, big anger and big money’: Robert Reich exposes the ‘three powerful forces’ America will have to stop in order to save its democracy
In an op-ed published by The Guardian, Reich began by citing the dominant problem Democratic lawmakers are faced with: yet another roadblock for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. With lawmakers adjourned for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays, the president’s critical agenda is now being pushed into the midterm election year. As a result of that looming problem, Reich poses a compelling question: “What should be his, and the Democrats’, first priority when Congress returns in January?”
As the election year approaches, not only will Republican lawmakers be focused on stalling the Democratic agenda, but also their assault on election laws and congressional maps by way of gerrymandering in hopes of continuing their assault on voting rights.
“Republican state legislatures will soon begin drawing partisan congressional maps that federal legislation would outlaw,” Reich wrote. “Several states have already changed election laws in ways making it harder for people in minority communities to vote and giving Republican legislatures greater power over election outcomes.”
According to Reich, “It’s important to put this into a larger context. Saving American democracy requires stopping three powerful forces already on the way to destroying it.”
He began with the first major issue: Trump’s “big lie.” Although it’s been more than a year since Trump began his campaign of falsehoods about the outcome of the presidential election, unfortunately, it’s still a serious problem because many people are still buying into it.
“The first is Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. That baseless claim is now believed by some 60% of registered Republicans,” Reich explained. “The lie fits with the Republican party’s understanding that demographic trends will work against it in future elections unless it shrinks the electorate.”
He went on to highlight the problem being perpetuated by biased media and how social media is contributing to it. “The second is big anger spread by the media, especially Fox News and Facebook,” he noted. “Big anger is boosting their ratings and revenues by inciting divisiveness, racism, panic, and paranoia. Yet it’s undermining trust that democracy depends on.”
Last but not least, Reich noted that big money and wealthy donors are also a major factor in the continued assault on American democracy. Money funds the big lie and the political campaigns that keep Trump’s claims at the forefront of social media and headlines.
“The third is big money, from large corporations and wealthy individuals,” Reich wrote. “ It’s inundating political campaigns, supporting one-sided issue ads, and bribing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support measures that will further enrich corporations and the wealthy and block measures that will cost them.”
He also emphasized how important it is for Trump and his allies to face accountability for their role in the coup to overturn the presidential election.“Trump and his Republican co-conspirators must also be held accountable for their attempted coup in the months after the 2020 election, leading up to the 6 January attack on the Capitol," Reich wrote. "Hopefully, the House committee now investigating it (with the crucial and courageous participation of Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger) will report its findings early in the new year. Timing is essential. Republicans must not be allowed to delay the committee’s work. If they take control of the House next year they are certain to shut the panel down.”
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