America needs a definite reminder.
America is a country based on the idea that people can believe and say whatever they want. Those core values have helped create a country with a rich tapestry of viewpoints but oftentimes they come into conflict.
The key to the nation’s survival is how we can make peace with that conflict. It hasn't always been easy, but we've always pulled through these struggles by embracing a common belief in democracy. Unfortunately, given the recent spread of election conspiracies, America’s way of healing itself and finding peace in a pluralistic society is in danger. This problem is confounded by the fact that in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections, nearly 300 Republican candidates don't believe that Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020.
Many are rightfully fearful that the widespread acceptance of election denial will come to a head during the midterm elections, further weakening American democracy.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made a strong statement in support of democratic values Monday, October 24 on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” He made a simple, but powerful statement to reaffirm the core values that each American must support to maintain a civil society.
\u201c"When you lose, you accept the outcome." \u2014 @SecretaryPete on what it means to live in a democracy.\n\nSee more of Pete and @StephenAtHome's discussion tonight at 11:35/10:35c on @CBS or @paramountplus.\u201d— The Late Show (@The Late Show) 1666658653
“One of the most important principles in democracy is that when you lose, you accept the outcome,” the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and onetime presidential candidate told Colbert. “And I’ve had to do that. Winning is much more fun than losing. I’ve done both.”
We can all have different views, but the one thing we must have in common is a belief in the process of how we make decisions.
“And the reason that’s so important is because we expect the same thing from citizens in terms of policy decisions,” Buttgieg added. “Part of what it means to live in a democracy is that we have this process for getting decisions that all of us have to live by―those of us who agreed with the decision and those of us who were against it.”
“And so if we all have to live with the outcome of each of these policy choices, it’s only fair that the people who make them have to live with the outcome of when we choose which one of them is going to be in charge,” Buttigieg continued. “That’s how the bargain works.”
The idea that we have to reaffirm these core values that the vast majority of us hold dear to our hearts is a bit frightening. But as history has shown us, democracy should never be taken for granted. Since the dawn of civilization, democracy has been the exception not the rule and it has to be continuously fought for in the face of humanity's innate bend toward tribalism and authoritarianism.
At a time when there are so many issues that America faces as a country, Buttigieg is right to promote the need for us to reassert our belief in democracy. Because once that’s gone, all the rights that we have now may soon be lost, too.