Corruption is like acid to a High Trust Democracy. When cheating becomes naked, obvious and there is no pushback, no justice, it unleashes a corrosive force. The circles of cheating spread like ripples on a pond and cheating-feedback waves grow until turbulence consumes everything, and there is no peace or clarity left. Under the surface, the acid spreads, changing the underlying chemistry of every reaction.
First the politicians who were tempted to cheat, but feared exposure, realize they can get away with it (or certain flavours of it). Billionaires and corporate powers who didn’t play the game realize they need to toss some money in the pot.
Then the intrinsically honest politicians watching on, start to doubt that there is much point in staying honest. The honest businessmen start to wonder if they will be left behind if they don’t put hot cash in the right hand.
Trust is the grease that makes Western economies the powerhouses of the world. There will never be enough police, enough auditors or enough spies to catch all the cheaters if everyone breaks the rules.
There will not be enough judges and courts to hear all the evidence — or during the CERN Supercollider high speed transition — almost any evidence at all.
Quickly, the phase change from High Trust to Banana-Republic flips the mostly good to the mostly self-serving like a domino race. Trust is a psychological state, and minds can flip in a day. Each flipped mind leans on the minds around it. Only those with implacable convictions and faith resist the transition, and their power to do anything diminishes immensely after the mainstream players flip to play by the new cheating rules.
Why would any community want to risk tossing a dumpster of Conc Sulfuric Acid in their pond? Once done, the only remedy might be a dumpster of caustic soda. This is not an experiment good people want to play.
When even the FBI favour the corrupt, and ignore a lap-top full of evidence during an election year — which includes the President being impeached essentially for the crimes the Biden family appear to have committed — the phase change is almost upon us.
We’re watching history unfold in front of us and we know it
…now we sit here, two decades later, and we are at a point in history no less important than the fall of the Berlin Wall or the attack on the Twin Towers. When the Soviets or the Islamic terrorists were the enemy, we understood exactly what was at stake: our nation and our culture. Today, both of those things are in peril, but in a far more pernicious way.
The danger today strikes at the foundation of our Republic.
Most Americans don’t quite recognize that the exercise of the various God-given rights we enjoy is protected not by the 231-year-old document displayed in the National Archives, but rather by the fact that most Americans choose to respect the government and institutions that have been built on that document’s words. While the police and other government officials play a role in dealing with outliers, for the most part, Americans pay their taxes, obey the law, and avoid confrontations with their neighbors voluntarily. They understand they are part of neighborhoods, communities, and a country based on laws that find their foundation (mostly) in the Constitution and values that find their inspiration in the Declaration of Independence.
Crime begets more crime:
What happens when citizens who already have a dim view of government in general have to sit by helplessly as they watch widespread fraud steal that right to say out from under them? What happens when citizens go to bed with one candidate comfortably ahead only to discover in the morning that in a nation with over 3,000 counties, the mysterious midnight machinations of a dozen counties flipped the election to the other guy — particularly when data suggest that such an outcome is less likely than finding life on Mars?
When citizens no longer feel as though they have a say in their government, when they feel as though their government has been stolen right out from in front of them, they no longer feel an obligation to live their lives by the framework laid out in the Constitution.
The dumpster of acid sits poised, waiting for Inauguration day.
Should good citizens wait til the 22nd to start protesting?
h/t Roger Knights