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Geoff Engelstein @gengelstein
, 30 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1. I apologize for once again leaving the realm of gaming and dipping into politics, but I need to express my deep and sincere concern for the mechanism of government in the United States.
2/ Over the years many democracies have slid from true representation into defacto one party rule – what is called ‘illiberal democracy’. Hungary, Poland, and Turkey are recent examples..
3. The process is the gradual undermining of the institutions of government. And there are an alarming and increasing number of incidents that are pushing us in this direction.
4. This is not about policy differences. I am all for vigorous debate of different policies and ideas, and I completely understand that there will be times – many times – when I don’t agree with policies that are being implemented. I’m in my 50’s – I’ve seen a lot over the years.
5. The issue is with the mechanisms of governing, voting, oversight, and responsibility themselves being threatened and attacked. It’s fine and understandable to want to roll back the policies of an opposing party when you come into office.
6. It is another to try to change the system so that you stay in power no matter what.

Here’s just some of what has happened.
7. Gerrymandering has always been an issue, but now it has been weaponized. Big data has allowed egregious conduct in this area. While courts are trying to rein win the worst, most recently in North Carolina, the Supreme Court has been loath to wade in.
8. It is estimated that due to gerrymandering the Dems need to win the national vote by 11% to take control of the House. In 2016 the Republicans had 49% of the vote, and the Dems 48% of the vote, but the Repubs control 55% of the seats – 241 v 194.…
9. The percentage of people who vote in the USA is abysmal. We should be doing everything possible to expand voting, to make it easier to vote. Extend voting to multiple days – there’s nothing in the Constitution about Tuesdays. Make it easier to vote by mail or absentee.
10. And yet there is a movement by Repub legislatures across the country to make it more difficult to vote. Polling places in minority areas in GA are being targeted for shutdown. N Carolina’s laws were found to be clearly targeted at minority voters.…
11. The fundamental legitimacy of certain voters is also being challenged. Just this week it was reported that US citizens of Hispanic descent are being denied passports and the federal government may try to strip them of their citizenship.…
12. Another one from North Carolina: The legislature rammed through a series of laws that stripped power from the newly-elected Democratic Governor. Again, that was an attack on the rules of government, not on policy. All of these are designed to undermine the will of the voters.
13. In West Virginia, the legislature just impeached and removed the entire Supreme Court.…
14. While we’re on the judiciary, an egregious example is the Senate’s refusal to vote on a Supreme Court replacement after Scalia’s death, with almost a year left in Obama’s term. That was a blatant circumvention of the intent of the Constitution.
15. Next up, Trump’s declaration of the press as the Enemy of the People. The operation of a free press is incredibly vital to all democracies. It’s the very first thing in the Bill of Rights. This administration attacks and undermines the press at every opportunity.
16. This is not a partisan game – this is corrosive to the very fabric of our democracy.
17. Also, Trump continues to say loudly and publicly that he would never have appointed Sessions as Attorney General if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. This is an incredibly outrageous statement.
18. What he is saying is that he expects that the Attorney General will personally shield him from any investigations, quashing them from the top. That the rule of law is completely unimportant.
19. How are the Republicans in Congress not screaming about that statement? The President has made his position 100% clear. He has huge regrets over appointing an ATTORNEY GENERAL that follows the rule of law.
20. Another step towards illiberal democracy is the prizing of loyalty above all. Trump wants loyalty over the rule of law, over competence, and over competing ideas. Another element that erodes at the foundations of our government.
21. Trump stated last week that testifying against someone with whom you committed a crime should “be illegal”. Again – loyalty over all.…
22. These things are not attacks against Dems. They are not policy battles. These are attacks on the fundamental basis of the USA.
23. The Watergate hearings were run by the Republican Party. They realized that the President authorizing an illegal break-in to gain dirt on his opponent was an attack against all Americans.
24. In 2016 the Presidential candidate used an illegal break-in to gain dirt on his opponent. And yet this time the Republican congress is turning a blind eye.
25. Even worse, there are many that are actively working to undermine any investigation into this, or any of the other questionable corrupt activities of this administration.
26. It has become increasingly apparent that the Republican congress will not hold this administration responsible. It has become apparent that this is occurring at all levels of government, state and national.
27. I do not think of myself as an alarmist. My default attitude is ‘this too shall pass’.
28. But I don’t think this will pass. There are actions being taken that are designed to be irreversible. The only remedy at this point is to remove from office those who are working against democracy, who are working against the republic.
29. I urge you not to just vote, but to get involved in getting other people to vote. And inform yourself, your friends, your relatives, whoever you can. I truly believe this is an existential crisis to a true representative democracy. Don’t sit on the sidelines.
PS - My apologies, but a factual error was pointed out in the above. The Watergate committee was chaired by the Democrats. I confused that with the fact that Nixon resigned when enough Republicans announced they would impeach.
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