Democracy is a fragile thing

To the Editor:

In his Oct. 6 Opinion piece, “You’re not entitled to your own set of facts,” Tom Campbell wonders where the voices of the silent majority are. I think I’ll toss my voice into the ring.

The far right wing of the Republican party has always had more than its share of delusional people: anti-vaxers, hollow-earthers, people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked and those poor souls who believed that the world would end on a particular date at a particular time and sold all their possessions in anticipation.

With the rise of the internet, these kindred spirits found a home. We now have people who believe that the Democrats are running a ring devoted to the kidnapping, sexual abuse and cannibalization of children. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Now, exactly the same kind of delusional thinking has arrived in the form of the Big Lie; the idea that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election and had it stolen from him by a vast conspiracy.

This is now mainstream Republican thought and is being used vigorously by almost all candidates. This is terrifying. If they do well in the coming election, Republicans will see this as a viable strategy and we will never again witness the smooth transition of power that this country has been proud of. Every result the Republicans don’t approve of (those they lose) will be litigated to death.

I think most people believe that our democracy is a strong one, buttressed by our Constitution and the division of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. This is far from the truth. Our democracy is a fragile thing. It is supported by the good will of men and women who put their country above their politics. Well, we just lost half of them.

John McMacken, Cullowhee