The letter by Frank Daniels (Delaware State News, Sept. 22) had a question in its title, “Am I a danger to our democratic constitutional republic?” The rest of his letter explained where this question came from. It was after listening to a speech in which Joe Biden was trying to warn everybody about the dangers of “Make America Great Again” to democracy. From the letter, it is also apparent that Daniels likes MAGA. And MAGA is Donald Trump’s campaign motto, doctrine and ideology.
So, putting all that together, Daniels is now really, really unhappy with Biden. But Daniels was not absolutely clear on how he felt about the importance of democracy. And he offered no argument to refute Biden’s claim. Daniels did ask, “What did we (retired military or MAGA believers?) do to cause our president to label us as extremists and a danger?”
Here is one answer. If you do an internet search on this sentence: “Majority sees Trump MAGA movement as threat to democracy: poll,” you will get links to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken after Biden’s speech, and it answers Daniels’ question. In short, the poll said 58% of Americans thought MAGA was a threat. That should open Daniels’ eyes.
Here is a second answer. I was shocked when it came out that, soon after the 2020 election, Donald Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and asked him to “find” some votes, so Trump could be the winner instead of Biden. Shortly afterwards, Trump and his buddies created the two-part “Big Lie” (as in “Biden stole the election,” and “Trump won”) and started the biggest-ever multipart effort to overthrow the election results: Lawsuits, fake electors, fake elector certificates and media disinformation.
The bipartisan Jan. 6 congressional committee about the insurrection —and the investigation is still in progress — showed that it was actually Trump that was the one trying to steal the election. It involved a seven-step plan. All this is all over the internet, as well as much of the printed media I have seen. In other words, all this was definitely an attack on democracy.
Let’s get back to Daniels’ question in the title of his letter. I would like to offer Daniels an “out,” and that “out” will allow him to answer his own question. He just needs to do one simple thing: State truthfully that he agrees only with the part of MAGA that does not involve any form of circumventing democracy, interfering with elections, tampering with voting rights or otherwise setting up a dictatorship. Then, if he really believes that, I would say Daniels is not a threat to democracy.
If we lose democracy, then we will likely end up with a one-party government, which will either become a failed state (like a banana republic) or a corrupt, brutal and totalitarian dictatorship, such as Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich with the Nazi doctrine. Look how that ended. Russia’s Vladimir Putin (a Trump buddy) organized and corrupted the Russian government to give Putin more power than is wise, and now, he is in Ukraine in a manner not unlike Hitler was in Europe.
After I wrote this letter, I reread Daniels’ letter. He has a problem common to a lot of people: They see only what they want to see. Some people see things (e.g., QAnon) that are not there. Some people refuse to see Trump’s serious shortcomings that are real. People below a certain age are more likely to believe in Santa Claus than when they get older. Out of history books I have read, all those other American problems Daniels talked about were always out there, somewhere and everywhere, going back many decades. MAGA didn’t solve any of them either. Some problems in human society go back thousands of years. Neo-Nazis think they are a solution instead of a problem.
No matter how Daniels wants to talk about democracy, in all my 78 years of life, I have been comfortable with our traditional politics, our mix of Republicans and Democrats, and have been satisfied with all of our elections. At least until Trump came along.
Trump was divisive and caused a fraction of Republicans to become Trumpanized Republicans with radicalized and extremist ideas. My heroes are Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Brad Raffensperger, Mike Pence, Bill Barr and the Republicans who were “Never Trumpers” right from the beginning or who otherwise came out after the 2020 election and said the election was really OK, and America should continue to be like it was from the beginning. I would vote for them.
Arthur E. Sowers