Presentation Title

Democracy Through "Dictatorship": Preserving Democracy in Trump's America

Faculty Mentor

Richard Worthington

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 4

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Democracy, by most measures, is under siege. U.S. voter turnout, citizen engagement rates, and trust in government totals are at record lows. A recent New Republic article claims: “Yes, Donald Trump is a fascist.”

At the same time, international agreements have made significant headway. The UN Global Compact, the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and the Paris Climate Accord have affirmed sustainable integration.

Through ethnography, conference, and reading, I studied uncertainties in contemporary democracy. Delving into corporate – government relations, transnational advocacy networks, and political philosophy, I sought to answer the question: how do we preserve democracy?

I find, when citizens engage with – and are engaged by – political institutions, democratic trust builds. The U.S. must rebuild this trust, if it is to preserve democracy. If it does not, global democracy is susceptible to various system threats, including fascism, corporatism, and terrorism.

The U.S. can do this by encouraging public-private partnerships, eliminating barriers to entry, and engaging more directly with the citizenry. Corporate entities, similarly, can reach out to NGOs and network closer with communities.

Open public discussion, ultimately, is the key to democratic longevity.

Summary of research results to be presented

This research project consolidates into three key findings: one must be clear, be positive, and be essential.

To "be clear" is to keep words and thoughts clear. It requires one to pause when necessary, and the understanding that in any given moment, there is only one thing that must be done. One must recognize moments where one is “less than your best” and understand that these temporary states are often reflective of negative mindsets. If one’s mindset changes, one’s behavior changes; if one’s behavior changes, one’s mindset changes.

To "be positive" is to recognize negation breeds negativity. Saying “I will not do this” or “I cannot do this” does not say what one can do. There is an infinite number of things one cannot or will not or have not done. Meditating on these causes inaction. Inaction causes discomfort. To act, one must say what one plans to do.

Lastly, to "be essential" is to recognize self-government as the most powerful force in life. One must meditate concretely on what one wants, recognizing non-essential goals. Removing non-essential goals and recognizing (and appreciating) one's ability to adapt to your surroundings makes every moment special.

These three pillars can make a hectic political climate bearable. It allows one to "take the power back" and renew control over one's life. These are important lessons for the 21st century.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Democracy Through "Dictatorship": Preserving Democracy in Trump's America

BSC-Ursa Minor 4

Democracy, by most measures, is under siege. U.S. voter turnout, citizen engagement rates, and trust in government totals are at record lows. A recent New Republic article claims: “Yes, Donald Trump is a fascist.”

At the same time, international agreements have made significant headway. The UN Global Compact, the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and the Paris Climate Accord have affirmed sustainable integration.

Through ethnography, conference, and reading, I studied uncertainties in contemporary democracy. Delving into corporate – government relations, transnational advocacy networks, and political philosophy, I sought to answer the question: how do we preserve democracy?

I find, when citizens engage with – and are engaged by – political institutions, democratic trust builds. The U.S. must rebuild this trust, if it is to preserve democracy. If it does not, global democracy is susceptible to various system threats, including fascism, corporatism, and terrorism.

The U.S. can do this by encouraging public-private partnerships, eliminating barriers to entry, and engaging more directly with the citizenry. Corporate entities, similarly, can reach out to NGOs and network closer with communities.

Open public discussion, ultimately, is the key to democratic longevity.