OPINION: Democracy in Our Country is in Grave Danger

The nature of the current political climate gives a glimpse into the stakes of future elections.


Edward Bunch III, Staff Writer

During a tumultuous time of political and global conflict, groups like QAnon are slowly attempting to undermine the democratic process that the United States prides itself on.

The shades of nazism and patriotism mixed into one bold movement is a bit frightening when familiar with the processes necessary to implement a fascist government.

Public trust in our government, its elected officials and most recently our electoral processes has been slowly eroding since the first Red Scare nearly a century ago.

During the emergence of the United States as a world power, our nation paraded itself as an all-inclusive place of opportunity while simultaneously oppressing groups of people who didn’t fit the status quo. This demonstration even inspired the policies of dictators such as Adolf Hitler.

While spreading our imperialist roots across the globe akin to a parasite, we branded our land and diplomats as full-fledged believers in and advocates for freedom and democracy.

In retrospect, it is easy—and widely agreed upon—to see how the U.S. violated the rights and livelihoods of countless people domestically and abroad; Jim Crow, Hiroshima, internment camps, etc. are often regarded as the darkest moments of U.S. history that the country has since grown past.

In reality, the United States’ entire history is full of unethical conduct and hypocrisy by those in positions of power, during which our collective response as citizens has amounted to naught.

During times of tragedy, there would often be small groups of citizens invested enough in the issue to take a stand against our policies, but their efforts were often thwarted by the same government that was supposed to protect them.

Most of our media—owned by those in positions of power through wealth—often chose to ignore broadcasting these issues because of personal interests. Yet again, to the outrage of a tiny percentage of American citizens.

This lack of outrage towards the media took a turn once the likes of the Black Panthers and The Civil Rights Movement began to take up space in the tabloids.

Reporters and publications then began to be called accomplices of evil, anarchy and “communism” by shining even the tiniest bit of light on the issues, similar to what we see today with public education and universities.

With criticism for their ethics and policies flowing in, those in power began to dismiss the credibility of the media in order to make it perpetually easier to lie to their supporters.

Former president Ronald Reagan knew the power of myth and storytelling best, morphing criticism for his policymaking into points of strength.

Reagan created foreign policies supporting far-right dictators in Central America and criticized leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King for spouting “communism”; yet, he is remembered for being one of the best presidents of our time by Republicans.

When the media of the time attempted to gain a full picture of the former president, his administration refused to allow any negative connotation to be associated with his presidency.

Years later, this has resulted in a muddled depiction of the sole denominator in a number of problems within modern America’s institutions.

By manipulating their depiction in the media, one can prime their support base into hive or cult-like behavior. These groups become void of critical thinking and thus can be manipulated into a grander, more wicked scheme.

During his rise to power, Adolf Hitler studied many different ideologies. His understanding of concepts like socialism, fascism and most of all manipulation helped the Nazis silent takeover of Germany occur with controllable criticism.

Hitler identified a “common enemy of the state” which sought to destroy Germany through its wealth and manipulation of education.

He named his party the “National Socialist Party” to draw in patriots willing to fight in order to protect their party, in addition to being appealing to socialists and communists.

And he utilized propaganda to subtly change the empathetic threshold of Germans, preventing the citizens from realizing the evil they had been happily participating in.

Many think that history repeats itself by coincidence, but most often it’s by design. Just as Hitler learned from the work of American racists and architects of Jim Crow, Republican influencers like Donald Trump and Roger Stone have incorporated many of Hitler’s principles into their policy.

Like Hitler, Trump often cries for his patriotic supporters to help him save his nation.

He has asked for “totally loyal” generals who have absolute ties to him, like Hitler had.

He brandishes critics as criminals, communists, unpatriotic and traitors to their country, yet when accused with similar names for allegations supported with evidence, Trump brands it as lies and slander meant to defame his image.

In order to fix society, he demands a return of Christian values to American culture and politics, even though the constitution explicitly forbids a union between church and state.

Worst of all, he refuses to take accountability for the things he’s done, is currently doing, and will try to do in order to forcefully achieve his goals.

Unlike Hitler however, Trump has the precedent of history fighting against the return of authoritarian and fascist techniques.

The use of media manipulation and implementation of disinformation is attached strongest to the beliefs of one of Roger Stone’s most profound rules: deny, deny, deny. By doing so, you can gaslight a support group into believing anything you say, such as the presence of a nation-wide conspiracy to rig a presidential election.

QAnon and groups like it—such as The Proud Boys—are the modern neo-Nazi force Trump is attempting to mobilize for his overtake of the government.

Prior to the 2020 election, and during the “Summer of Love” protests, QAnon and the Proud Boys began to rise in numbers due to the support of people like Roger Stone.

By rounding up groups and individuals with latent and explicit beliefs rooted in white supremacy and patriotism, Trump and his circle of accomplices were able to stage the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt without getting their hands dirty.

Even though members who participated in the insurrection are beginning to get prosecuted, Trump and other officials like Marjorie Taylor are referring to these people as “patriotic political prisoners” in order to garner support and deflect responsibility simultaneously.

In order to avoid accountability, a discrediting of your critics or ignorance by your supporters is needed. Donald Trump and the “MAGA” Republicans of today have accumulated both and have openly stated that they plan to spread their beliefs across the country after taking over.

Not only is this group demonstrating a sore lack of ethical standards and care for ALL of its constituents, but it is modeling itself after Europe’s cruelest dictator and aligning itself with a modern one.

The United States is one of the strongest global powers, and the potential fallout of MAGA rhetoric and Christian white nationalism intertwining with military and foreign policy could leave ripples on democracy for decades.

“Conservatives” in Italy, France, and Scandinavia recently secured huge political wins in their respective nations, with others like Brazil potentially following.

Trump has communicated support for these groups at rallies and through social media, indicating a potential connection for global fascist cooperation.

Should Trump or the MAGA ideology fester too strong in the hearts of many Americans, it is likely that global crises will follow soon after. Will entrusting the presidency of a global power to a pathological liar provide faith to anyone aside from those in his cult-like circle?

Although America has yet to operate as an ethical country for a sustained period, it is still important to try, before it’s too late, to correct its course.