Which do you believe is the bigger threat to democracy in the US?

Not to hijack, but THAT is the biggest single thing the Democratic party needs to work on- singing from the same hymnal. People assume that when AOC or Ilhan Omar says something that’s out there on the far left fringe, that it’s the Democratic party stance on the matter, or at best, the heretofore unstated eventual party goal.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are all singing from the same insane hymnal- dogcatcher candidates all the way up to Presidential candidates.

And liberals are getting blamed for not effectively countering the right-wing disinformation machine. Which, as I’ve mentioned before, is comic-book-villain logic: “It’s your fault for not stopping me from doing bad things”.

I think this question is sort of like asking which is a greater danger to humanity, Covid-19 or an giant asteroid strike.

The voter suppression is like the Covid-19, it is bad but generally manageable. For the majority of our history we had voter suppression much worse than anything we hare likely to have in the near future. The last 4+ years have been a big step backwards as far as civil rights go, but it is just a step in a long steady march forwards.

The claim that the election was stolen is the asteroid strike. If it takes off to the point that a substantial portion of the electorate (say 30%+) firmly believe that the election was stolen, not just in an armchair sour grapes “Dems are bad, so yeah they probably cheated.”, but in an alarmist “There is a vast left wing conspiracy that installed an illegal president, so we can no longer rely on elections as a way of choosing government.” Then we are on the verge of civil war.

However the Democracy destroying asteroid strike is a theoretical possibility that IMHO is probably not going to happen, while the voter suppression/Covid is pretty a done deal which we are definitely going to have to deal with.

Putting it all together I’m going to have to go with the election stealing being the greatest threat. No its not very likely but unlike suppression it could lead to total destruction.

Agree with Atamasama and Horatius that these two phenomena aren’t really separate or separable (though aspects of both of them could be present in different contexts).

Perhaps genetically stupid assholes. But, for instance, my father-in-law, who has an masters degree in a hard science, has been transformed from an intelligent and thoughtful person, into someone who believes some very, very stupid things.

RW media makes people effectively stupid. It short-circuits the ability to think and feeds stupid person answers to life’s questions. Small lies told over and over again over years wreck brains. Now there are enough people like this, that they’re actually being elected.

We are actively manufacturing imbeciles, and they have more power than they should, owing to our system bending over backwards to give empty land voting power.

What particular stupid things does he believe?

What gerrymandering has always done is give the team that wins decennial elections an opportunity to stack the deck in their favor, which is something that both parties have done over the years. I’d like to see more done to minimize the practice, but in politics, the realist in me accepts that there’s a certain level of gamesmanship.

What’s different now is that because of misinformation and decades of propaganda, these districts, which might previously have tipped the scales in the favor of one party or the other, instead falls into highly partisan, polarized camps. The voters in these districts have radically different worldviews about their cultural identities and their political expressions and behaviors are a reflection of that.

Increasingly, voters and political figures in Republican districts, perceiving the inevitability of losing their status as the ethnic and cultural majority, have resorted to ethno-nationalism. The newly gerrymandered districts will almost certainly be more hyper-partisan and more ethno-nationalist.

Like the American South in the years leading up to the Civil War, they believed that they were the true Americans, and that they were the best representation of the Constitution’s original spirit and the vision of the Framers. They are traditionalists, and not in a good way, and they will use that power to nullify the power of the diverse cities and metropolitan areas. And these attempts at nullification will only become more and more extreme.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought gerrymandering produces extreme candidates by the side being gerrymandered against, and moderates by the side doing the gerrymandering.

The idea being this: Suppose you’re the Republican mathematician in charge of gerrymandering Swing state XYZ, which is a relatively centrist state. Let’s say that this state gets to send 10 representatives to the House. Then you want to draw things up so that you force most of the Democratic vote into, say, just 2 overwhelmingly blue districts while the other remaining 8 districts are a slightly reddish tinge.

That means that the 2 Democrats representing your state will be diehard liberals, but the 8 Republicans will have to be moderates since they’re running for office in districts that only lean slightly red. If those Republican candidates were strongly conservative, they might lose.

But generally those two blue districts would have voted Democratic anyway. Putting more Democrats into those districts doesn’t necessarily mean that their future elected reps will be more liberal than their current reps.

And you’re also assuming that Republican voters might cross over if their candidate was too conservative. I think recent history has shown that a vast majority of GOP voters vote for party over ideology.

The election was stolen, creationism should be taught in schools (despite being a Catholic), Dems are literal communists, Antifa is trying to overthrow cities, he faithfully listens to Fox, Levin, Savage, Limbaugh (or at least he did), reads all of Dinesh D’Souza’s books, has a Trump flag on his house’s flag mount, etc.

He doesn’t think Hillary eats children, so that’s a plus.

I am surely restating much of what has already been said. I think the biggest threat to democracy in the US is the Republican party, working in concert with foreign actors.

What I have observed is that over many years, there has been a focused, significant, relentless campaign to undermine trust in our institutions by the Republican party. Education, justice, government, elections, the media, all have been targeted and successfully altered to their liking.

It is guided by billionaires and others in power who belong to or subscribe to the aims of the Federalist Society. At every opportunity, they have undermined education, spent almost unimaginable amounts of money to elect their preferred candidates at all levels, to take over state legislatures and insert their judges throughout the legal system. They make sure their candidates infest school boards. They nudge up against and work closely with religious entities to push their agenda. It includes extreme gerrymandering and efforts to pervert the Census. Nothing is out of bounds for them.

They gin up opposition to hot-button issues such as immigration and abortion to goose election turnout. They exploit existing racism in this country to achieve their aims.

This has been happening for decades. It is the system that permitted the selection of George W. Bush over Al Gore as president in 2000. Bush became president based solely on the vote of Antonin Scalia.

Under Trump, the Federalist cabal went further than they ever have before. They have been shameless and bald in their pursuit of power, including enlisting help from abroad.

The Republican party today stands for absolutely nothing but taking power for power’s sake. They hope to impose a society that pretends to be a democracy but where the game is perpetually rigged in favor of themselves. This includes manipulating an uneducated public with lies intended to frighten them and undermine reasoned thinking. Much like Russia.

There’s no bottom to it. They don’t care if they kill their fellow citizens by spreading pandemic misinformation. They will use illegal and unethical means to spread lies about, well, everything: Democrats, government, education, science, climate, fossil fuels, events like January 6th. The list is long. They will lie about anything they perceive will assist them in their long-term goal.

They believe they are at the end game now. They have their Supreme Court in place, didn’t care how many rules they exploited to accomplish it. They are currently setting the table via state legislatures to overrule the outcome of any upcoming election and let their candidates choose their voters rather than the reverse.

If we don’t stop them now, they will succeed.

The biggest threat to democracy, not just in the U.S., is a fundamental lack of critical thinking skills among the electorate, the results of which are magnified by instant amplification on social media. The only viable and long-term solution is early and repeated instruction starting in elementary school on how not to be taken in by costly and destructive bullshit like your parents.

Short-term, I’m all for eliminating gerrymandering in favor of bi/multipartisan districting commissions and diligent use of rapid-response expert debunkings of toxic online memes.

That one’s especially weird, in the sense of not being a mere crazy conspiracy theory so much as a fundamental category error. If you really don’t understand what the ideological differences are between liberalism and communism, you don’t really understand anything about either of them.

Thinking that liberalism is the same thing as communism because they’re both not conservatism is kind of like thinking that German is the same language as Swahili because they’re both not English. You cannot even start a meaningful conversation about politics (or linguistics, for that matter) with somebody who doesn’t know any better than that.