The world is watching: America plays poisonous politics

Important Takeaways:

  • Why the World Is Betting Against American Democracy
  • Ambassadors to Washington warn that the GOP-Democratic divide is endangering America’s national security.
  • When I [Nahal Toosi] asked the European ambassador to talk to me about America’s deepening partisan divide, I expected a polite brushoff at best. Foreign diplomats are usually loath to discuss domestic U.S. politics.
  • Instead, the ambassador unloaded for an hour, warning that America’s poisonous politics are hurting its security, its economy, its friends and its standing as a pillar of democracy and global stability.
  • The U.S. is a “fat buffalo trying to take a nap” as hungry wolves approach, the envoy mused. “I can hear those Champagne bottle corks popping in Moscow — like it’s Christmas every [blank] day.”
  • For example, one former Arab ambassador who was posted in the U.S. during both Republican and Democratic administrations told me American politics have become so unhealthy that he’d turn down a chance to return.
  • “I don’t know if in the coming years people will be looking at the United States as a model for democracy,” a second Arab diplomat warned.
  • Donald Trump’s name came up in my conversations, but not as often as you’d think.
  • The diplomats focused much of their alarm on the U.S. debate over military aid to Ukraine
  • In particular, they criticized the decision to connect the issue of Ukrainian aid and Israeli aid to U.S. border security. Not only did the move tangle a foreign policy issue with a largely domestic one, but border security and immigration also are topics about which the partisan fever runs unusually high, making it harder to get a deal. Immigration issues in particular are a problem many U.S. lawmakers have little incentive to actually solve because it robs them of a rallying cry on the campaign trail.
  • So now, “Ukraine might not get aid, Israel might not get aid, because of pure polarization politics”

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CNN correlates Christians that went to January 6th event to America’s Greatest Threat

  • An ‘imposter Christianity’ is threatening American democracy
  • Three men, eyes closed and heads bowed, pray before a rough-hewn wooden cross. Another man wraps his arms around a massive Bible pressed against his chest like a shield. All throughout the crowd, people wave “Jesus Saves” banners and pump their fists toward the sky.
  • These were photos of people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021
  • The insurrection marked the first time many Americans realized the US is facing a burgeoning White Christian nationalist movement. This movement uses Christian language to cloak sexism and hostility to Black people and non-White immigrants in its quest to create a White Christian America.
  • A report from a team of clergy, scholars and advocates… concluded that this ideology was used to “bolster, justify and intensify” the attack on the US Capitol.
  • Here are three key beliefs often tied to White Christian nationalism.
    • A belief that the US was founded as a Christian nation
    • A belief in a ‘Warrior Christ’
      • They follow the Jesus depicted in the Book of Revelation, the warrior with eyes like “flames of fire” and “a robe dipped in blood” who led the armies of heaven on white horses in a final, triumphant battle against the forces of the antichrist.
    • A belief there’s such a person as a ‘real American’
      • Such language has been co-opted into a worldview held by many White Christian nationalists: The nation is divided between “real Americans” and other citizens who don’t deserve the same rights, experts on White Christian nationalism say.
  • Gorski, the historian, says White Christian nationalism represents a grave threat to democracy because it defines “we the people” in a way that excludes many Americans.
  • “The United States cannot be both a truly multiracial democracy and a white Christian nation at the same time,”… his is why white Christian nationalism has become a serious threat to American democracy, perhaps the most serious threat it now faces.”

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