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Readers Respond

Democracy’s death? Readers weigh in on state of the union | READER COMMENTARY

Founder idealism has always been a fairy tale

In his letter to the editor, “Are we witnessing the death of democracy?” (Jan. 16), Edwin Schneider laments that “it is sad that I have lived this long [73 years] in a free and democratic nation to watch democracy being demolished from within.” He is absolutely correct in identifying the destruction as being internal, but I would offer that the seeds of this disintegration were sowed in the country from the very first day.

We live in a pseudo-democracy. Votes are not equal. The Electoral College, enshrined in the Constitution, has carved this concept in stone with little to no likelihood of it being abolished. The Constitution also declared lofty and fantastical Enlightenment concepts of liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, which are, in truth, impossible to attain. Rights for women and Black people have been hard-fought and continue to this day to be battlegrounds. The idealism of the founders has always been a fairy tale; they never had the imagination to conceive how real human Americans could take, for example, a small bit of their ideas and turn the country into an arsenal of weapons.

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Some would call our “democracy” a failed experiment. I agree. The rich just get richer; the poor, poorer. Equal rights are still not automatic; they must be fought hard for. My vote is not equal to the vote of every other voting citizen.

The United States’ pseudo-democracy is being demolished from within, just as Mr. Schneider has lamented, but that destruction shouldn’t surprise anyone. The seeds were there to begin with.

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N.L. Bruggman, Jarrettsville

Political system on life support

I was nearly moved to tears after reading Mr. Schneider’s letter “Are We Witnessing the Death of Democracy?” Our political system in America is indeed on life support. Everyone wants to blame President Biden for the country’s woes, but he is only one man. Our Constitution was written with checks and balances to avoid any one body having too much power. The former president sought to destroy that. It’s hard to stomach the continued propagation of the “Big Lie,” Republican officials’ deference and obvious fear of crossing the former president, the rights of women and minorities being minimized. The Democrats’ infighting constantly blocks President Biden’s progressive agenda. Add to that a pandemic that has ripped this country apart, instead of bringing it together like polio epidemic of the 1950s.

These current events have me dreading the upcoming elections this year and in 2024.

Delane Morris, Edgewood

Dems and moderate Republicans need to wake up

Letter-writer Edwin Schneider bemoans the increasing threat to our democracy, saying it is “being demolished from within” (“Are we witnessing the death of democracy?,” Jan. 16). I share Mr. Schneider’s concerns.

Whatever complaints harbored by those on the extreme right, who continue to insist on the “Big Lie” that President Biden is not the rightful occupant of the Oval Office, one fact cannot be disputed: They view their cause as a life-or-death struggle. This mindset was more than confirmed by the violence perpetrated on Jan. 6 one year ago.

As New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg recently wrote, “The fact that speculation about civil war has moved from the crankish fringes into the mainstream is itself a sign of civic crisis,” which reinforces the notion that characterizing the problem in terms of life and death is not just hyperbole.

Democrats and moderate Republicans (if any still exist) need to wake up. President Biden is our lawfully elected president, and the intractability of the extreme right in its belief to the contrary not only threatens our democracy but risks a level of civil unrest not seen since the Civil War.

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Howard Bluth, Baltimore

Democracy ‘down the toilet’

Bravo Mr. Edwin Schneider (”Are we witnessing the death of Democracy,” Jan. 16) You have expressed exactly how I feel. Like you, I served my country: a tour of duty in Vietnam, along with several years in Germany. Like you, I voted in every election since I turned 21, and not by party lines, but for whom I believed to be the better candidate. Now, at 72-years-old, I watch as the democratic country I knew and fought for goes down the toilet. What a shame we are leaving this mess to our children and grandchildren. Pray the perpetrator of the “Big Lie” and his supporters do not obtain office again.

Bob Eberwein, Middle River

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