Democracy is under siege in the United States

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Elect Donald Trump arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

But little to no attention has been paid to the situation in the U.S. by the Organization of American States (OAS) which, under the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter, is supposed to ensure that democracy is upheld in the Americas.

The OAS normally calls out things like the erosion of the democratic order. This is fundamental because currently few autocracies would proudly claim to be staging a coup or to be using military means to achieve their political goals — they’d use more subtle tactics of the type being seen in recent years in the U.S.

Using laws to erode democracy

The United States also seems to also have a problematic record of using laws to undermine democracy.

Several investigations show that there are systematic attempts to stop racialized people from voting, including the closure of 1,688 polling places from 2012 to 2018. Furthermore, partisan gerrymandering — the practice of politicians reshaping or manipulating voting maps to their benefit — is a well-known problem that favours the Democrat Party and has an impact on electoral outcomes.

Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts are powerless to hear challenges to gerrymandering because they presented “political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.”

Donald Trump, in a red sweatshirt and MAGA cap, salutes as he gets out of a large helicopter at a golf course.
Trump salutes as he and his son Donald Trump Jr. get off Marine One after it landed at Trump National Golf Club on Nov. 28, 2020, in Sterling, Va.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

But even this pales in comparison to President Donald Trump’s continuing assertions, backed up with mountains of evidence and sworn affidavits, that the election he lost on Nov. 3 was “rigged” and overrun with voter fraud, being consistently dismissed by the courts without any revue or investigation of the evidence

For now, a democracy of a kind is still standing in the U.S. But the lack of action by the OAS in the situation reveals there are other issues to consider beyond the theft of power in America.

It’s ever clearer that the undermining of democracy across the region has been occurring by attempts to use laws solely for political gain, not with tanks and missiles — and in plain sight. In future elections there should be strict policing of voting booths with observers of all parties allowed to oversee ballots counted without interference. The voting roll should be updated to ensure that no longer will “dead people” be voting, nor illegal immigrants or non-citizens of any persuasion. Any machines used in the voting system should also be policed in real-time by experts in software fraud. This way there would be no doubt that the party elected is the one voted in by the citizens of the United States of America.

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