It Is Time for Democracy to Strike Back

We watched in horror on January 6, 2021, as right wing extremist groups attacked the Capitol Building trying to prevent the results of a free, fair and well verified presidential election from being implemented. Our long and unbroken tradition of the peaceful transfer of power was indeed broken. We saw a similar attack occur in Brazil recently, and we watched in disbelief as it took 15 votes to elect a new Speaker of the House. Twenty elected extremists decided that they would exercise their power to stop the proper functioning of the U.S. House of Representatives, and it is clear that they want to keep doing that. They do not want to govern, they want to disrupt our government and gain attention for themselves.

We cannot, we the people of the United States of America cannot, we the people who are not extremists cannot allow this small group to stop the U.S. House of Representatives from being a functioning legislative body.

It is time for democracy to strike back. We the people need to insist on having a well functioning federal government that is working to meet our needs. That means that Democrats, Republicans and Independents need to work together for the good of the country, for the good of the people they represent. We are sick of being a polarized nation. We agree much more than we disagree. We can discuss our differences and work out compromises that meet our interests. That’s how the government is supposed to work. That’s how America is supposed to work.

Most people in this country have similar values around the importance of family, our freedoms of speech and religion, the right to assemble peacefully, the importance of caring for each other, the fundamental values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We don’t agree on everything, but we know we need to coexist on this planet. We need to respect each other and listen to each other.

We need our elected representatives to also respect each other and listen to each other — in support of our common values. We need them to work together to provide legislation and funds that ensure our rights and keep us secure. That is the fundamental purpose of our government. We reject those who lie to us repeatedly. We reject corrupt politicians. We want people who represent us to be good people who care about and work for our interests. We need them to put our needs above their own needs, and the needs of their political party. We need them to work together, to compromise when necessary, to meet our needs. That is what we expect. It is time we demand it.

There are many, many large issues in this country that demand attention — climate change, escalating economic inequality, inflation, gun violence, immigration. That should be the focus of our federal legislators, not on making the other party look bad. We need more from those who represent us. They cannot just sit back and let the extremists win. They need to take a stand for democracy. They need to reach out across the aisle to work together on important legislation. We need bipartisanship. We need to stop being polarized. It is not good for any of us.

We need to embrace our differences. That is what makes us strong as a nation. When we are polarized we are weak. That is why authoritarian leaders work to divide us. Together we can change the world. In opposition we can only focus on what is wrong with the other person, the other group. We need to focus on what is important, what we agree on, and work together to make it happen. That is what we want to do, what we need to do, what we must do if we want to have a desirable future.

We cannot let extremists wreck our system of government. They are a small minority. We are a very large majority. We must win this battle for democracy, this battle to save our country and the world from extremism, from fascism, from authoritarianism. We cannot sit back and let this happen. We must demand more of our legislators and more of ourselves.

It is time we strike back for democracy.



Computer Scientist, Researcher, Systems Thinker and Leader of Reclaim Our Democracy group:

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Fred Van Deusen

Computer Scientist, Researcher, Systems Thinker and Leader of Reclaim Our Democracy group: