By Alliance President Terry Gips
Yes! There is finally lots of good news to celebrate. I’ll get to that in a moment but we also need to sound the alarm because we’re facing 3 dangerous threats to our democracy I’ll then share.
The Good News! The Senate has passed $369 billion in climate investments which will cut US greenhouse gas emissions nearly 40%. This is the largest-ever climate funding and is part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which also includes caps on prescription drug prices, continuation of subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and a new minimum 15% tax on corporations making over $1 billion.
In addition, Congress passed three historic bipartisan bills on gun violence, US Semiconductor Production and support for veterans who experienced burn pits. Despite the horrendous challenges from the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, there is positive news that voters in the conservative state of Kansas overwhelmingly rejected efforts to remove reproductive rights.
Meanwhile, US job creation has grown dramatically and gas prices have continued to drop. A jury sent a message by finding conspiracy theory broadcaster Alex Jones guilty of defamation and is forcing him to pay Sandy Hook families $49 million for his false claims and vicious attacks. The Congressional January 6 Investigation is further uncovering the conspiracy to overthrow our government and the Justice Department is investigating.
BUT, there is Bad News that demands our attention. Our democracy is facing three threats:
- Control of Our Elections – There are at least 6 far-right Republican nominees for Secretaries of State and Governor who are election deniers. As CNN’s Inside Politics pointed out, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Arizona is Mark Finchem, who’s a member of the Oath Keepers and attended a QAnon Conference. He was at the U.S. Capitol Jan 6 and sponsored a bill to allow the Arizona legislature to overturn the election results and is still pushing to decertify the 2020 results. He has said that if he were Secretary of State, Trump would have won Arizona.
- American Conservatives Seek to Replicate Dangerous Authoritarian Leader – The recent Conservative Political Action Conference featured Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who received thunderous applause for his attacks on democracy.
Orban’s quasi-democratic authoritarianism has shut down independent media by revoking broadcast licenses and having his allies buy them, gerrymandered legislative districts to give his party more power, changed other election rules to make it harder for the opposition to win seats, and given the executive branch effective control over the judiciary, as Inside Politics pointed out.
His approach is to get elected once and then rig the rules of the election to make it impossible for the opposition to ever win again. His playbook is heralded by Fox News and being copycatted by the election deniers and the extreme right across the country.
- Calls for a Constitutional Convention – As the article in the Alliance newsletter points out, there’s a threat to remove even more fundamental rights by conservatives seeking to call for a Constitutional Convention to rewrite our Constitution.
We need to celebrate each victory and then work even harder. We’re committed to that at the Alliance and hope you’ll join us in creating a world of sustainability, health, equity and kindness.