September 10, 2022
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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At this month’s D-Cubed and D-Squared events, we will discuss the threats faced by American democracy, both those involving violence and those posed by subversion of electoral and political processes. These threats come primarily from the extreme right and while their origins trace back to the late 20th century, they have been magnified and accelerated by Donald Trump’s words and actions, as candidate, president, and ex-president. We will consider the nature of various threats, how the “death” of our democracy might transpire, and what we as citizens can do to preserve and improve our democratic form of government.
D-Cubed (Discussion, Debate, and Dinner) is a monthly gathering sponsored by HumanistsMN and hosted by Jerry Smith and Mark Thoson. Jerry will be moderating this month’s discussion which will take place in the live Saturday (D-Cubed) and on-line D-Squared (No dinner!) sessions. The same topics will be covered in each session and the discussions should be quite similar.
As usual, we are assigning “homework” in the belief that preparation will help participants contribute to a thoughtful, informed discussion. Please try to read/view some or all of the following before the event:
Last month’s Think! Book Club selection, “How Democracies Die,” provides an excellent treatment of our topic. If you weren’t/aren’t able to read it, take a look at this YouTube interview with the authors. This Atlantic article provides a useful overview. A review of two other books adds additional perspectives, as does this panel discussion.
Specific threats to American democracy are identified in this Vox article and by Darrell West of the Brookings Institution, which sponsored a conference on the topic. Thomas Edsall cites relevant academic research in an essay that highlights Trump’s role in these developments.
So what can be done? Francis Fukuyama identifies various “paths to depolarization” that address a major underlying cause of our difficulties. Threats to election integrity are the focus of prescriptions by the Center for American Progress.
Assuredly there are many more articles and videos of relevance to our topic. So if you aware of other online resources that would enlighten us, feel free to suggest them by posting links in the “Comments” section below.
At 4:30 PM or shortly thereafter, we will wrap up our discussion. Those who wish to continue conversing on these and other topics are welcome to join Jerry and Mark for dinner at Pad Thai, a moderately priced Thai restaurant located at 1681 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, a short drive from the library. We’ll provide directions to the restaurant and have tables reserved for our group.
This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted! Donate or join through our home page.
To register or comment on this event, view listing on Meetup.com.