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 Democracy is fragile. It’s freedom allows opportunity for opportunists who seek to pervert it.

The first democracy in ancient Greece was ultimately conquered by Alexander the Great who turned it into a monarchy. The same happened to the ancient Roman republic when it was turned into a monarchy by Julius Caesar. France’s brief turbulent unsuccessful first flirtation with democracy was ended by Napoleon who crowned himself emperor. Germany’s democratic Weimar Republic after World War I lasted about 10+ years until Hitler took over and changed it into the most brutal dictatorship in history. Around the same time, Mussolini turned Italy into a fascist dictatorship. Since the end of World War II, most of Western Europe has formed democracies which have stuck so far.

The most long lasting democracy in recent centuries has been ours in the USA. It has not always been perfect. In the beginning it allowed slavery for a period of around 90 years, and we are still working on the after effects of that slavery. But our democracy has lasted and gradually improved in quality over a period of about 245 years. The original framers of our system of government took great pains to create a system of checks and balances because they feared that a tyrant might someday try to overthrow our democracy.

Now we are facing a challenge. A wannabe dictator (Trump) was elected president 4 years ago by less than the majority of Americans through the inequity of the electoral college and the help of a foreign dictator (Putin) who has used his neo-KGB (his spies) to influence our elections through social media in Trump’s favor. Trump has seized the levers of government to consolidate his power by removing people of integrity from high administrative offices in the government and replaced them with sycophants who do not represent the interests of the American people and who hide facts to benefit Trump (and Putin). Trump’s grab at tyranny has been supported by most Republican senators who fear losing their elected seats if they cross him because many true conservatives have left the Republican party leaving behind Trump’s loyal Radical Right.

To my Conservative Republican friends, in this election put country above party. Once we have removed the tyrant from the White House, next time we can duke it out with a new and improved Republican Party. The upcoming election is the greatest test American Democracy has faced. It is existential for America.




This post first appeared on An American Hebrew, please read the originial post: here

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