The death of American democracy and civil liberties
A unique time has come in American history that will shape the country’s future going forward both at home within the 50 US States and abroad. The President ,Donald J. Trump, captured an electoral win by catching the populist wave at the right time shortly after Brexit. Since his election, there have been many changes. All of these changes signal a drastic change in Americans’ freedoms and civil liberties. Below, I highlight some notable changes.
Increasingly confrontational US Foreign policy
As we have seen, Donald Trump has changed his cabinet quite a few times with a slew of high profile resignations or dismissals. In the latest wave of dismissals, a new generation of hardliners have risen to power namely John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. Both of these men are considered by most as hardline conservatives both with aggressive stances towards Iran and North Korea.
During his tenure as US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton has expressed views against the UN. It is well know he was the architect of the Iraq invasion in 2005. Some view him as one who doesn’t do well with foreign policy and prefers war.
In the same vein, Mike Pompeo who was in charge at the CIA has promoted strong ties with Israel and opposition to the Iran deal brokered during the Obama administration. In addition, he has talked about more military action in Iran. Regardless of political view, he has an appetite for confrontation rather than restraint.
Reduced civil liberties at home
Long has been known the paranoia of US officials specifically with intelligence. The US has been nabbed before for wiretapping other foreign officials such as Angela Merkel, German Chancellor. While that paranoia has led to smearing US foreign relations, domestic relations don’t seem better. Here’s what I mean:
This past week, the US congress passed a law aimed at stopping sex trafficking. The bill passed with overwhelming support in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill caused Craigslist to remove its personal ads section which people used for meetings or sexual interactions.
The trouble is the loss in personal liberties both for sex workers who may have used the site as a source of income and for those who wished to have some connection with another individual. It seems to violate the key phrase of the US Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness covered under the veil of removing the opportunity for sex trafficking.
What right does the US Government have to take away a person’s freedom and choice to sexually interact with someone and through a means that they prefer via a publicly available channel?
Intensified racial tensions
The racial issues seen between police and blacks continues. The usual outcome is a black person is shot and killed and the shooting office walks free without any criminal charges. Of course that doesn’t say that some of the shootings could be justified, but not to the large extent that has become the norm. We are already aware of the gun control problems the US faces given the recent shooting in Florida where 17 people were killed.
The issue of gun control is a separate one to the race issue. Charlottesville is a prime example of the racial tensions — KKK members rallying and no sign of abatement by some members of the US Government coupled with the continued police shootings. This suggests one of the divisions that thrives in American politics today and has paralysed the US Government.
Consolidation of power in Federal Government
As noted, the Trump administration has seen high turnover. With that turnover has come more and more hardline appointments as mentioned above. The consequence of both of these actions is the consolidation of power. Of course, the consolidation may not be as extreme as that of Xi Jinping or Vladimir Putin. However, the direction is fairly similar where a select few benefit and the rest are purged in a systematic, calculated way either through pure corruption or manipulation.
The end result is a president with no counter opinions and an aggressive stance to pick a fight.
Economic power roadblocks
Whether intentionally placed or not, economic power plays an important role in freedom and civil liberty. At this point, there is fear by some, as Bernie Sanders mentioned during the Betsy DeVos confirmation hearing, that the “US society is moving towards a oligarchic form of society.” Furthermore, the recent tax reforms seem to align with and suggest a similar movement in this direction.
The dwindled and diminished economic power could lead to a view that it’s a manipulation and way to control the majority of the population. In doing so, the population may not have the necessary means to promote and provide changed needed to debate the current trend. Further, the current sentiment among some politicians doesn’t seem to support bucking the trend or changing its current path.
The US is heading down a murky path where its defining principles are changing and not speaking of true democracy. Money and politics has mired this thought.
It may actually prove that capitalism works but democracy not necessarily. As the supposed leader of the free, democratic world, it has not achieved the expected results in recent times. The current policy seems to suggest continued progression along this path.
Change and reform are the two tools that can desperately change the current course to restore civil liberties and stave off World War III.
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About me: I am a copywriter and storyteller who also manages various projects. I enjoy writing and always looking to improve and collaborate. I am an avid freelancer and looking to become a full time entrepreneur. You can follow me here on Medium or connect with me on LinkedIn.