Meeting Three Existential Challenges

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The world is now faced with three existential challenges – climate change, COVID, and authoritarianism. Not since the 1930s and 1940s have we been in such great peril.

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The Good Guys And The Bad Guys

During those decades, the great challenges were a worldwide depression and the spread of fascism. The United States, under the leadership of President Franklin Roosevelt, was able to meet these challenges, but only after a tremendous amount of human suffering and loss of life.

In political terms, most of the good guys were Democrats and most of the bad guys were Republicans. After all, it was the largely hands-off presidential leadership of Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover that got us into the Great Depression, and it was the American-firsters – most of whom were Republicans – who slowed our rearmament and entry into World War II.

But there were many vile Democratic politicians – especially in the South – who had virtual veto power to prevent negroes from benefiting from any federal government measures to end the Great Depression or to fight World War II. In addition, Roosevelt bears full responsibility for our lack of preparedness for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Once we entered World War II, nearly every American – Republicans and Democrats – joined in the effort to defeat Germany and Japan and make the United States and much of the rest of the world safe from fascism.

Dealing With The Three Existential Challenges

Today, we need to ask: How are the Republicans and Democrats trying to deal with climate change, COVID, and authoritarianism? The answers are crystal clear: Virtually all of the Democrats in Congress and in the Biden administration are fully committed to taking very strong measures to curb climate change, get America fully vaccinated, and fight authoritarianism in the United States and abroad.

And the Republican politicians? With just a few vocal exceptions, they are ignoring – if not denying -- climate change, against urging or requiring Americans to get vaccinated, and are willfully imperiling our democratic form of government solely to return Donald Trump to the White House, even if that results in creating an autocracy.

What is most frightening is that the Republicans appear to have an excellent chance of regaining control of the federal government within the next three years. They are now favored to recapture the House – and very possibly the Senate – in 2022, and maybe even the presidency in 2024.

Because the Republicans have become the party of authoritarianism, they have no qualms about cheating their way to electoral victory by passing laws curbing voting rights and taking over the election apparatuses in many states. In fact, they may succeed in destroying democracy itself by convincing Americans not to bother voting because our electoral system has been corrupted.