Formula to Wreck a Democracy

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One – Excite the anger of your followers. The cause of all evils is on the other side.
Two – Explain the world to them but keep it short and simple.
The Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania has it down pat. He was quoted as saying to his rapt audience, ‘We are the seed of the nation. The holy experiment.’
The rest of us must be second class.
He also joined the chorus of believers that the 2020 election was stolen.
Trump, though, is the master. He didn’t bother denouncing the recent attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, instead went right to questioning the police investigation’s report. According to Trump, someone was trying to get out of the Pelosi home, not break in. Really?
Three – Intimidate. Stoke fears. Go for it.
Again, Trump when he incited the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6th 2021 and is getting away with it.
In New York, the Republican candidate for governor is doing everything possible to remind dwellers how unsafe the city is. He will save New Yorkers. Meanwhile, The Economist, October 29th – November 4th/2022 edition, reports that murders in New York are down by 14% compared to last year. Big cities are problematic. Everywhere. But if you can simplify it then you’re ahead.
Will our democracy survive our ‘leaders’?
The flaws of Mr Trump are so glaring that you wonder how come he’s still viable as a candidate.
What has happened to mainstream America?
I’m optimistic that the idea of dialogue with the other side is still seen as the essence of our political system. But I’m getting worried.
The quality of our candidates for office seems to be getting worse. Intolerance is rising. Plain lying is rampant.
What has gone wrong?
I am with the view that the ease that technology has allowed us is part of the problem.
Through technology we have access to an immense amount of information that is often misused while giving us a sense of self sufficiency that is false and dangerous. So we are more likely to overvalue ourselves while devaluing others.
I am glad we have so much technology and with more on the way, but it is critical we identify how it can impoverish our humanity.
If technology makes us more prone to isolate and be less empathic, we will be losers.
As it is we’re inclined to not be self critical.
Human contact is fundamental to the development of our character and ideas.
I am very glad we now have Zoom and Teams and Slack and the other variants making our connections easier, but there is something unique about live human contact. The touch of the skin, the look of the eyes, the infinite variety of facial and bodily expressions.
Bypassing these unique features of our existence end up diminishing us, and so, too, our thoughts, our ability to forgive and display compassion.
The world will continue to grow more technical. But if the human touch is bypassed, we will end up destroying ourselves.
The difficulties inherent in human contact is what makes it so rich. The more varied our interactions, the better.

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