Democracy is bleeding out

by guest blogger Adam-Troy Castro

Trump plans to challenge the 2022 elections.

So this is what we have now. Cries of “fake” and “conspiracy”, and violent invasions of government buildings, are now the default, the things we can expect to happen.


I keep hearing people say that this election coming up is our last chance to hold on to our democracy.

I have to tell you, I think the democracy is gone; the body just hasn’t stopped twitching yet.

Democracy depends, at bare minimum, on the understanding by all participants that the results matter, that we grimace when somebody we despise wins and then accept the results. This is something that, among others, John McCain understood. When he spoke to his followers on election night — the same night Sarah Palin wanted to go on campaigning — they booed the name of Barack Obama, and he stopped them. He said, “No,” and John McCain was not always a towering beacon of character, but in this, he did the bare minimum, and today that looks like greatness, because we have fallen so far.

To have democracy, we need the uniform agreement on the part of everybody that elections matter.

Today the Republican default is that when you lose you start yelling, you start marching with your guns, you threaten violence and you turn the volume up to eleven and you hope that the other side backs down. It doesn’t matter if you’re one percent behind and it doesn’t matter if you’re five percent behind. You lay the groundwork for your own victory being the only possible legitimate result and then you stop at nothing.

You openly do this before the election and you count on nobody stopping you.

This is the new normal and it is here for the duration.

You know, once before, one side refused to accept the results of the election. (Twice before, if you include the Business plot against FDR.) It happens to have been the same side. (Yeah, I know Abraham Lincoln was a “Republican” and the side he opposed, essentially Democrats — but back when Abraham Lincoln was elected those words meant different things, and we had yet to experience over a century of half of shifting alliances and demographic shifts. Lincoln was, among other things, a liberal socialist.)

It was the same side, and this continent ran red with blood.

I am telling you that the situation is WORSE now, but the factions are not as neatly defined by regions.

Half the country does not believe in Democracy, rejects the very word in an inane belief that the very word favors the Democrats. You cannot have Democracy if half the country rejects the principle, if a quarter consider their guy infallible and inviolate.

Worse is coming. Far worse.

Democracy is still twitching. But it is bleeding out, and I do not see a return to sanity any time soon.

This is from a Facebook post and is reprinted with permission. Adam-Troy Castro has written 26 books to date including among others four Spider-Man novels, 3 novels about his profoundly damaged far-future murder investigator Andrea Cort, and 6 middle-grade novels about the dimension-spanning adventures of that very strange but very heroic young boy Gustav Gloom. Adam’s works have won the Philip K. Dick Award and the Seiun (Japan), and have been nominated for eight Nebulas, three Stokers, two Hugos, and, internationally, the Ignotus (Spain), the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire (France), and the Kurd-Laßwitz Preis (Germany). You can also read a recent story of his in my latest anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into…