Trump is a mortal danger to US democracy. Progressives need a strong message for 2024.

EDITORIAL


JANUARY 6, 2021 should have been the day that discredited Donald Trump forever.

He became the first US president to be impeached twice. His hardline supporters remain in utter denial about the result of the 2020 election, insisting their president was robbed of a win.

The denial of reality shown by MAGA Republicans has the potential to lead to a dangerous place. Their willingness to overturn the results of a democratic election – even if under their own delusions – shows that US democracy is fragile.

A democracy can only flourish if the people who live in it continue to believe in it. The bedrock of any democratic institution is faith in the system.

Joe Biden has been more forthright than many progressives expected in calling out the problems of the growing far-right in America, but Democrats can’t expect to win on opposition to MAGA alone.

Voters eventually tire of choosing between a perceived lesser of two evils.

Biden’s brand of centrism may have been enough to coast to victory in 2020, but Trump continues to poll alarmingly well ahead of 2024.

The former president’s poor handling of the Covid pandemic undoubtedly sealed his defeat in the last election, but that factor will dwindle in the next – not least as he no longer shoulders the responsibility of office.

Instead, Democrats must offer a positive vision for the future if they wish to win. The average American must be able to point to how Biden has improved their lives if their votes are to be counted on.

The cross-national inflation crisis will no doubt make this more difficult. But after years of division and bitterness, Americans need something to vote for, not against.

Serious healthcare reform, for one, remains an endless talking point in the US. Polls show that progressive policies are popular.

To counter the rise of the populist right, the left needs a populism of its own.

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Featured Image: Gage Skidmore @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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