American Democracy Is Only 55 Years Old

That’s why it’s so messed up now. You’re young

Some white guy meeting America’s founders

Americans want to know what the fuck is going on? I understand, but this is the wrong question. The most important question is when. Americans think they are 225 years old when in fact they are only 55. This is why you can’t handle your electoral alcohol. Democratically speaking, you’re children.

You’re obviously wasted. Just lie down in the bathtub and try to understand.

When am I?

American democracy was not founded in 1776. I know your mythology says this, but please think for a minute. At that time only 6% of the population could vote. Enslaving Greeks and Romans would be like 👍🏽, but those are two-thousand year old pedophiles. No one would call this a modern democracy.

American democracy was actually founded by black people in 1965. One person, one vote. 56 other countries (including Sri Lanka) had universal suffrage first. We also fucking suffered after, which is what America is experiencing now.

Democracy is the worst form of government (besides all the others) and it’s especially messy during the teenage years. Which is where you are now. Consider this a rhetorical mixtape from an elder cousin.

Where am I?

When you first get a proper democracy everyone is uncomfortable. The elites are like ewww, common people. The common people are like ewww, other races Paradoxically, the most uncomfortable people seem to be the majority.

Every majority voter in a democracy faces a dilemma. What if we just fuck everyone else over? Some politician always tries it and it almost always explodes. Sometimes the politician explodes. Race is like the crystal meth of politics. It’s the fastest way to get high, but also makes your teeth fall out.

When Sri Lanka was a young democracy we were like ‘fuck Tamils’ which worked for a while (government jobs, yay) but then Tamils were like ‘fuck you’ and we fought for 30 years. Which was horrible. Racism has a long fuse on it, but when it blows it blows.

You can see this play out all over the world. Bumiputera policies in Malaysia. Hindutva in India today. That sweet, sweet electoral meth. This strategy doesn’t always explode, but it’s always risky AF.

This is where America finds itself today. Y’all are going through the post-independence, racial tension that most democracies went through decades ago. If you remember other countries going crazy and fighting last century, congratulations youngsters, you’ve caught up.

Who am I?

Until Barack Obama was elected, you didn’t have to say white President. Presidents were white. After Obama, however, race became a salient issue. That’s the gap that Trump filled. Donald Trump is America’s first white President. The minute white voters got uncomfortable, white power became a winning electoral strategy.

When Trump started talking about ‘illegal’ immigrants he was really talking electoral politics. Racism is not just evil, it’s strategic evil. The Republican fear has always been that the 10 million undocumented people would vote, and vote Democrat. They’re not just blocking people, they’re blocking the vote.

Sri Lanka did the same thing, 72 years ago. Our elites were scared the Indian Tamils would vote so we disenfranchised nearly 1 million of them, to our eternal shame (I’m sorry, fucking monstrous of us). This is what your Republicans are trying to do today. I mean, they’ve done it.

Sri Lankans were way ahead of you on this racist shit. We’re always talking about restoring some ancient Sinhala Buddhist kingdom and even had a ‘Sinhala-Only’ act. What do you think Make America Great Again is? And America First? Same shit different day. Countless democracies have been doing the racism meth for decades now. That’s why we’re so fucked up.

If Americans could see themselves as a young democracy, then they could learn and maybe avoid our mistakes. But no, American exceptionalism is also hell of a drug. Your really think you’re 225 years old.

Hence, like everything else, you’re taking the electoral racism that other nations dabbled in and taking it waaaay too far. America’s about to go full fascist on us.

Where am I going?

People say Republicans are craven and Trump is a moron, which is true, but that’s not the point. What they’re pursuing is a rational electoral strategy. In Germany, 61 years after male franchise and 14 years after universal franchise (WTF ladies) the Nazis rode the electoral system to power, and then broke the system behind them. Race works, until you find yourself with a gun in your mouth and the Soviets approaching.

Americans aren’t there yet, but the century is still young. You came really close to electing fascism and Trump is destroying the system on the way out anyways. This is also something I’ve seen in Sri Lanka, and it’s not irrational.

The Nazis set the Reichstag fire to say only they can fix it. Republicans want America to burn to say the same thing. Who cares right? Once you make a deal with the devil for white power, nothing else matters. It’s a tribal affiliation, you can break any rule, cause any damage. White makes right.

It worked in Sri Lanka. The same dudes that threw chili powder and chairs inside Parliament got elected to fix it. And you know what? It made sense, because our democrats were so useless and limp. How’s your Democratic Party standing up?

As long as this destructive strategy works, the Republicans will keep doing it. You have to prosecute them for this attempted coup or they’ll keep coming back until it’s done. That’s one thing I can tell you, having been there before.

Where does it end?

Shit, I don’t know. I only know how it goes wrong. Sri Lanka has the military making drivers licenses and running public health now. The only thing we have somehow managed to preserve is elections, which is what worries me about America. Elections are the crown jewels of democracy, and Trump is kicking you in them, hard.

I don’t know your answers. Maybe ask South Korea? Honestly though, it’s probably up to your kids, y’all fucked this up so bad. That’s what happened with us. It took generations. You have to 3D print less stupid people in vaginas and wait for them to grow up.

All I can give you are better questions. When is America? America is 55 years old. Where has this happened before? Everywhere, ask anybody, you might learn something. What do you do with this information? I don’t know. But Americans are blind drunk on their own mythology right now. Before you do anything, you have to sober up.

Written by

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him. indi@indi.ca. Videos: tiny.cc/indication and podcast: anchor.fm/indication. patreon.com/indication

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