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Senate Commission To Address Rising Authoritarianism And Threats To Democratic Elections

This afternoon at 2:00, a special U.S. Senate commission will address the rise of authoritarianism, and threats to fair elections. I say it’s about time.

Thanks to laws like the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act, the United States of America has seen the rise of a surveillance state in which Big Brother uses a medley of commercial and municipal cameras, drones, and electronic communications systems to keep track of where Americans go, who they talk to, and what they buy. Torture in secret prisons remains in practice, despite Barack Obama’s election promises. Indefinite detention without trial has become part of U.S. law, and the military has trampled the principle of posse comitatus by making itself a major power in domestic law enforcement.

Our elections are in trouble too, and not just from voter I.D. laws and inadequate funding of electoral systems that leads to hours-long lines at the ballot box. Independent expenditures in political campaigns have created a shadowy network of corruption that steers congressional and presidential elections, giving undue influence to corporations and wealthy individuals at a time when economic inequality continues to rise.

So, I say thank you to the U.S. Senate for putting together a special commission to investigate these problems of…

…hold on a minute.

Oh. I see.

I’m afraid I overlooked a small detail. A special commission in the U.S. Senate is indeed holding a hearing this afternoon looking into increasing authoritarianism and threats to free and fair elections. However, the commission will not be exploring these issues as they are present in the United States.

The hearing will explore the rise of authoritarianism and threats to free and fair elections in the small nation of Azerbaijan, which is much more important that examining those issues here in the USA because, um…


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