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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Weakening Democracy

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Like many of you, I grew up with the mantra the United States is the greatest democracy in the world. But what I never realized is how precariously fragile our democracy is. We've taken this for granted, as we have always comfortably assumed that no one would willfully poison our democratic waters, least of all the president.

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Credit Carl Nelson / WNIJ

But for the last five years, we have had a president who at every turn has flagrantly denigrated and delegitimized our most sacred institutions that support our democracy; the press, the National Intelligence Community, the Foreign Service, the military, and now our elections and the citizens who make them possible. Months before the election, Mr. Trump began to claim that if he lost it was because the election was rigged. Since the election, his baseless claims of widespread fraud have been rejected in 30 courts. The funny thing is, he never made one suggestion about how to secure elections while planting his poison pills. Nor did he protested numerous cases of voter suppression.

As Mr. Trump and others support baseless claims of fraud, they spit in the face of the thousands of elected officials, poll workers and volunteers that make our elections possible: American citizens. His antics have weakened our international standing and the strength of our democracy. What we have missed in our declarations about our democracy is that its key ingredient is trust. Trust in our institutions, trust in our fellow citizens and elected leaders to always defend democracy, not use it for selfish ambition, and trust that we all fundamentally believe our ideals are more important and more powerful than any one cult of personality.

I'm Joseph Flynn, and that is my perspective. Please everyone, practice wearing mask social distance and take care of yourself and others.

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