Here are some things anyone can do to hold the line against impatient populists and aspiring autocrats:
- Engage in vigilant mistrust, particularly of politicians who seem more willing to ignore or subvert the system rather than engage in free and fair political competition.
- Verify allegations – check in with your Secretary of State, Lieutenant-Governor, Election Board or Commission, or other chief election official. Check in with the press. Check in with civil rights groups. Don’t just rely on what you hear from friends and your favorite social media.
- Your defense should start with your own vote against any politicians who break the rules or advocates doing so. Other tools include referendums, lobbying, contributions to relevant non-partisan organizations, peaceful marches, and non-violent protests.
- Early on, find allies who are willing to help. Get organized. Coordinate.
- If you are too busy with life’s obligations, then provide financial support some of the many non-partisan organizations that defend the principles of liberal republicanism.
Excerpted from Political Trust and Distrust, Part 2 of 2. Free course. One paragraph per day.
Image: Fire-fighters defending the line. Unknown.