By Dr. Zekeh S. Gbotokuma
Democracy is, to paraphrase Pope Francis’ statement during his speech to the Greek Parliament, “on retreat.” Believe it or not, this is the case in many countries and the U.S. is no exception. Our democracy is under assault by anti-democratic forces. It is under existential threat. It must be defended and protected. It is in the power of democracy-loving people and organizations to do what is truly patriotic and right. Voting and having all votes counted correctly is simply and uncontroversially the right thing to do in a country that is also referred to as “the Cradle of modern democracy. “It is the right thing to do for the USA, the land of the free, the land of opportunity, and “the leader of the free world.”
Four years of ‘Trumpocracy’ and ‘Tweetocracy’ led to isolationism and loss of the U.S. global leadership. Fortunately, Decision 2020 fixed this problem and led the free world to believe that “America Is back” and ready to “Build Back Better Together for the World.” I am afraid we were only partially right. The racial healing and national unity that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris hoped to accomplish keep looking more and more like ‘mission impossible.’ Toxic rhetoric, polarizations, partisanship, conspiracy theories, obstructionism, shameless and big lies, and election denialism have become integral parts of the rules of the political games in Washington and elsewhere, especially among MAGA Republicans.
The January 6th, 2021, Trump-inspired Insurrection and the proliferation of voter suppression laws a.k.a. “Jim Crow 2.0” in so many states are a wake-up call that must be taken seriously. They prove that democracy is under existential threat. Inarguably, true democracy and the respect for the U.S. Constitution are necessary to resolve many of our racial, gender, and class problems. They are necessary for the credibility of the U.S. leadership in the world affairs, especially during critical times, the like of which the world is witnessing as the result of Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine. They are necessary for the credibility of the national motto, “E PLURIBUS, UNUM,” or “Out of Many, One.” Democracy, faith in science, and respect for the objective truth are necessary in a concerted effort to fight and win the wars on global poverty, climate change, a crisis that has become an emergency, global pandemics, and authoritarianism.
That is why such heavy weight, admired, and respected citizens as the ‘YesWeCan’ President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey have joined many other people of goodwill and organizations in making their invaluable contributions to save democracy and make the United States and the world a better place to live. The world as it is now is not the world as it should be. What is outrageous and problematic is not the existence of evil in the world, but many good people’s globalization of silence and indifference. It is the lack of audacity to get in what the late Congressman John Lewis of Georgia called “getting in a good and necessary trouble.” That is why I voted and did so early on November 2. Like millions of caring fellow Americans, I couldn’t wait to vote when democracy is so clearly at stake in the Decision 2022.
As an award-winning international educator, immigrant, ‘Naturalized’ citizen of the United States, and author of a Decision 2020-related book titled, “DEMOCRACY AND DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE USA” (2020). I take the duty of my new citizenship and political participation very seriously. I told my story in my memoir-travelogue titled, “Global Safari” (2015). My early vote and all other votes on November 8 are the building blocks and corner stones that are so badly needed to save and strengthen our democracy that has been demonstrably assaulted and weakened by anti-democratic forces. As a tenured university professor, I believe in the power of academic freedom. I am not afraid to name and shame leaders and organizations that have failed to use their political power as a public service. This predicament has many dire consequences, intended and unintended, directly or indirectly, on all of us. I am afraid young people will have to live with those consequences for a much longer period of time than older people.
That is why, I have deemed it necessary to cancel my November 8 (Election Day) classes thereby allow all eligible students to exercise their voting right and carry out the duty of citizenship. Many of them take this right for granted, often not knowing that many people fought and died for it. During these critical times. We should not be spending time, money, and energy on fighting for democracy in the 21st-century USA. I am afraid that is exactly what we are doing these days. It is imperative to understand and act on the ‘fierce urgency’ to “vote as if our lives depend on it” (Michelle and Barack Obama). Democracy matters. Yes, it does. Let us keep our Republic. Let us resist and reject the temptations of Monarchy. It is obsolete and un-American. Let us rescue and strengthen our democracy through free and fair elections. There shouldn’t be any room for election denialism, big lies, and ridiculous conspiracy theories in our system. We are and should be ‘much-mucho’ better than what some of us have put on big screens for the whole world to see. Let us enjoy our democracy as much as possible, because there so many countries around the world, where many people are fighting and dying for it right now. May Decision 2022 be the right one for the USA, for the free world, and for humanity.
Happy Election Day!
About the Author
Dr. Zekeh S. Gbotokuma, Founder, Polyglots in Action for Diversity, Inc. (PAD) & Associate Professor of Philosophy, Morgan State University. He is the author of OBAMANOMICS AND FRANCISCONOMICS: A Call for Poverty Alleviation, Fairness, and Welfare (Europe Books 2022) https://www.europebookstore.com/products/obamanomics-and-francisconomics-dr-zekeh-s-gbotokuma/; Democracy and Demographics in the USA (2020: Paperback: https://amzn.to/2KbcOUV eBook: https://amzn.to/35BsCbN); Global Safari (2015); A Pan-African Encyclopedia (2003).
CONTACT: Zekeh.Gbotokuma@morgan.edu 443-622-3033
The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO. Send letters to The Afro-American • 145 W. Ostend Street Ste 600, Office #536, Baltimore, MD 21230 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to email@example.com
Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member –subscribers are now members! Join here!
The post Decision 2022: I Voted. Therefore, I Care About the Future of Democracy in the USA appeared first on AFRO American Newspapers .