Letter: Don’t let the US become a ‘managed democracy’

It’s very disturbing to see the increasing similarities between an autocratic or dictatorial country like Russia and the United States. Efforts are being made by many state legislatures to limit voting rights, civil rights and freedom of the press, moving our country away from democratic practices.

Vladimir Putin’s autocratic reign in Russia, which he calls a “managed democracy,” is set up so that all “rights” are superficial. Russians are allowed to vote in manipulated elections. They participate in peaceful public protests which result in their arrests. They have a puppet legislature that defers to Putin’s agenda, and Russians are fed misinformation by Putin’s controlled propaganda media.

Putin’s role is much like Trump in that most elected Republicans and party members defer to him entirely. Are we heading toward a “managed democracy?” Well, let’s take a look:

1. Gerrymandering of congressional House districts, state house and senate districts to exclude the voting power of minorities.

2. Voting suppression of legal and registered voters in order to elect right-leaning conservative candidates.

3. Control of Congress by powerful, wealthy, corporate special interests.

4. Right-leaning conservatives seem to be motivated by power and greed rather than the needs of the people.

5. Right-leaning conservatives are supporting foreign autocratic government heads.

6. A Supreme Court making decisions based on their biased beliefs, undermining our Constitution.

7. Militia groups that believe in violence to overthrow our fairly elected representatives.

8. Multiple physical attacks on state capitol buildings and the federal Capitol Building.

9. Refusal to accept the legal verification of a presidential election.

10. Physical attacks and psychological intimidation of state electoral staff and offices.

11. Rewriting history to reinforce false views and questionable values.

12. Racist and economic injustices toward black, brown, the poor and religious minorities.

13. Consolidation of local media outlets, which reduces fact-based information sources.

14. Major cable media outlets (Fox, Newsmax) that spew disinformation and false right-leaning conservative political party lines to brainwash their listeners.

These attempts to undermine our democracy are a real and present danger. These actions are dismantling our democracy piece by piece. This next election is not your normal mid-term election but rather a vote on whether we have a representative democracy or a Putin-style “managed democracy.” So, even if you are a diehard Republican or an independent voter, cast a vote for a genuine democracy before we lose that democracy. In essence, vote for your country rather than conservative undemocratic Trump-party demagogues.

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

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