In August, I wrote a column entitled “The Failing American Experiment” in which I stated the following:
“As most of us know América is a constitutional democratic republic with three branches of government: executive, legislative, and, judicial. We also know this democracy is a conceptual ideal—often called an experiment — based purely on faith, fleeting trust, and the false notion that all men are created equal, considering that many of the founders, including the first president –Washington — owned slaves.
“As we assess the success of this ‘experiment’, we need to consider the following: When the Executive and Legislative branches fail and the Judicial branch becomes compromised, that is a de facto failure of democracy.
“And that my fellow Americans, is what we are now experiencing in América at the present time. That unfortunate conclusion is demonstrated by the reality that the Republican Executive branch is currently in a total state of chaos and failure under President Donald J. Trump, as evidenced by a myriad of alleged presidential abuses of power that lead to his impeachment. The Legislative branch for its part has failed to provide the necessary checks and balances on the Executive branch, which allowed Trump to obstruct his own impeachment. And the Judicial branch, by way of the Supreme Court, has issued racist rulings that support the white supremacist ideology of the Executive branch.”
Since that time, much has transpired which gives us much hope after Joseph R. Biden, Jr., was declared the President-elect. However, one of the major negative side reactions of a democracy that has veered toward failure is the domino effect it has created. And much of that ongoing decay is what gave us the Trump administration. The resulting authoritarian-like atmosphere that also occurred is now being reflected by Trump’s refusal to transfer power to the new President-Elect.
That type of behavior is generally only seen in third-world banana republics ruled by dictators and not by the world’s premiere Democracy — the United States of América. Yet, that is how far América has now declined and strayed from its origins. And that downward spiral is going to be very difficult to reverse even under a Democratic Presidential administration.
As we all know, our constitutional right to vote is at the very core of our democracy. As a result, when the general will of the people’s majority vote is scorned and dismissed as demonstrated by Donald Trump’s refusal to relinquish power that defies all the norms of any democracy. But when the Republican majority of the most powerful legislative branch of government—the US Senate—also agrees with that abomination—that appears to constitute a potential full-blown Constitutional crisis.
Unfortunately, we are now witnessing a complete failure of not only the Executive Branch but to a large extent, the Legislative Branch as well (which is supposed to check the Executive), in a somewhat dark, surreal historical event. And regretfully, that scenario has now set a very dangerous precedent that will continue to torment the society’s faith and trust in this frail democracy going forward. And without faith and trust, which are the lynchpins of all democracies, it is very difficult for democratic institutions to endure. Already we have seen various democracies around the world that have ended in failure. Let us hope we are not next.
On Monday, The New York Times reported that Trump tweeted, “I won the election!”. The Times then also went on to report that President-elect Joe Biden had amassed 79,002,619 popular votes, and 306 electoral votes. He only needed 270 electoral votes to win. Trump by comparison, only managed to gain 232 electoral votes. But what is most frightening is that he garnered 73,321,929 popular votes. Still, President-elect Joe Biden’s veritable political landslide should leave no doubt that he is the clear winner of this presidential election.
Moreover, it is now predicted that Trump’s refusal to concede power to the President-Elect will result in much unnecessary loss of life due to the additional delays in the Presidential transition. Already the coronavirus death toll stands at over 250,000 Americans dead. Hence, we must urge the President-Elect to pursue all necessary avenues to compel Trump to allow the necessary presidential transition to be fully implemented without delay.”
Furthermore, when the Biden Administration is installed on January 20, 2021, it is important that we continue to remind President-elect Biden that the majority of the Latino community voted to install him as our 46th President of América. As such, we must strongly urge Mr. Biden to reflect the tremendous growth of the Latino community (over 60 million strong), through applicable cabinet appointments, comprehensive immigration reform, and expanded economic assistance to the Latino communities.
Finally, it is important to note that historically América has been a racist nation reflecting back to its earliest history of slavery in 1619. And that has now become América’s greatest democratic failure. As such, those sins of the past have now caught up with América in the form of two deadly plagues: the centuries-old metaphorical plague of racism and the more novel COVID-19 viral plague. But proportionately, most of the people contracting and dying from the viral plague are Black and Brown people of color. And that has occurred mostly because of the longstanding systemic racism that has denied those groups from obtaining proper education and employment; adequate housing; proper nutrition and medical care; and equal treatment in the criminal justice system.
In response, nearly 30 states have now realized those historical wrongs only because of the coronavirus and are in various stages of declaring that systemic racism has become a public health crisis, based on studies from the PEW Charitable Trusts.
Accordingly, it is imperative that the Biden Administration delivers a national declaration that systemic racism is a public health crisis. And that racism must be addressed with much of the same urgency as the coronavirus. Because most of this deadly virus resides in and is devastating the communities of color due to the aforementioned historical societal abuses and neglect of those communities. And until these societies of color are safe from the mayhem of this savage virus, no one else will ever be secure despite the best vaccines.
And that also means that the nation must provide all the necessary monetary and social resources to these minority communities to enable them to establish sufficient normalcy to counter the destructive effects of this pernicious virus. Only then can the nation ever begin to make the necessary amends to these societies of color that the country has collectively desecrated for the past 400 years.
Angel Gonzales is a former teacher with the domestic Peace Corps and is also a retired senior official with the Colorado State Justice Department. He is now a documentary filmmaker living in New México.
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