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Democracy in the US is being “tested,” experts warn. Here’s how to fix it – National

As the far-right movement continues to expand its influence in American politics and looks poised to win a few races in Tuesday’s midterm elections, one expert says pro-democracy forces are playing their own game. You have to try to beat them with

Anand Giridharadas, Former Foreign Correspondent, Columnist and Author The Persuader: At the Front Lines of the Battle for Heart, Spirit and Democracyargues that the march toward fascism and authoritarianism can be countered using the same methods successfully employed by the right wing: addressing people’s real concerns and feelings. , adds that fear and anger should be kept away from the conversation.

“The idea that you can’t change people’s minds is simply not true,” he told Global News on Tuesday, as voters were still casting their ballots across the country. It’s not possible.”

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Republicans seem poised to overrun at least one House of Congress and blame the Democrats and President Joe Biden for spending the past two years with a unity government.

A majority of Republican candidates questioned or outright denied Biden’s 2020 election victory, reflecting former President Donald Trump’s false allegations of fraud and mistrust of the system. Some candidates openly vowed to make it harder for Democrats to win in the future by changing state voting laws.

Despite Democratic warnings about threats to democracy, polls show rising inflation and crime as voters’ top priorities amid constant Republican messages blaming Biden and left-wing policies. indicates that there is

According to Giridaradas, these discussions prey on emotions such as fear and anxiety while also giving people a sense of being part of a movement to “take back” America and bring order to a chaotic world. said to be successful.

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Biden and his party sought to improve people’s lives and communities while addressing progressive issues such as rising prices and climate change with real policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act and groundbreaking infrastructure financing. tried to point out the results of

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But Giridharadas says a “cold” policy debate is unlikely to drown out the right’s more emotional narrative.

“I think Democrats in the United States fall into a pattern of imagining where they want their voters to be and speaking to that virtuous person … and speaking to the gut rather than actually the ‘throaty’ party.” I can’t speak to a reptilian brain,” he said.

He adds that making that change also requires adopting a more proactive stance.

“In honor of what Michelle Obama said a few years ago, ‘When they go low, we hit higher.’ I think you can say,” he said.

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Over the years, researchers have pointed to a variety of reasons for increasing political polarization, leading more voters to embrace anti-democratic positions. Some criticize the rise of social media for being unheeding and quick to rage. Others say that far-right figures capitalize on real feelings among citizens that their lives are worsening, both economically and socially, while ruling politicians offer real solutions. I say no.

Giridharadas has another reason. Conservatives in the United States are desperate to reverse decades of social progress that has made life relatively better for women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ Americans.

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“Many, many Americans celebrate this and want to be a part of these changes, drive these changes and live in that world,” he said. We are all inherited. ”

While economics and crime dominated this year’s midterm campaign, there has been a notable increase in right-wing rhetoric targeting transgender people, with so-called “groomers” trying to instill gender-inclusive education in their children. Warning, but no evidence to support such a claim.

Right-wing media figures and politicians are also increasingly embracing the “great change” theory, which suggests that the Democratic Party imports voters from other countries to stay in power. The conspiracy is growing in response to reports that racialized Americans will eventually outnumber whites, despite growing support for the Republican Party among Hispanics.

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“They are not a bold movement that inspires big ideas for the future,” said Giridharadas of the far right. “They are the sad backlash that clings to the past. They are the barnacles of our progress.

“I don’t live in their world. They live in mine.”

Democrats, therefore, have an opportunity to tell “patriotic, inspiring and thrilling stories about America” ​​and “efforts to build an incredibly multiracial democracy,” he said.

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“The story needs to bluntly beat the talk of those who seek to break the country rather than share it.”

Giridharadas does not underestimate the influence of social media and its ability to easily spread disinformation. However, he believes the problem is endemic rather than something that can be stopped completely, and that education focused on how to resist falsehoods and conspiracy theories should become an important aspect of modern life. It suggests that

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He also said more of America’s allies, including Canada, need to be candid about what’s going on in America and call it out.

“It would be great to see more world leaders speaking out about the erosion of democracy in America, in a way that speaks confidently about what is happening in so-called ‘third world’ countries,” he said. Told.

Combined, these strategies could determine whether the defeat of anti-democratic forces in one of the world’s oldest democracies will occur in the short term or decades later, Giridharadas said. say.

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“If it is to be quelled soon, it is because we have increased our persuasiveness and mind-altering skills, and indeed once again believe that persuasion can defeat this rebellion against the future.” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Democracy in the US is being “tested,” experts warn. Here’s how to fix it – National

Source link Democracy in the US is being “tested,” experts warn. Here’s how to fix it – National

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