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tv   Democracy in Peril  CNN  January 19, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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a reminder, don't miss "full circle," our digital news shows. it gives us a chance to have in-depth conversations. you can catch it streaming live at 6:00 p.m. eastern on mondays, wednesday and fridays at cnn.com/full-irk circle or watch it on the cnn app. the news continues with full circle and a democracy in peril. brianna? hello, i'm brianna keilar and this is "democracy in peril." we are dedicating this hour tonight and in the nights to come to look at the threats to american democracy, ongoing efforts to erode basic fundamental american principles like your right to vote and that vote counting and candidates
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accepting the results of elections. tonight we're looking at a congressional race that was a total blowout. the winner receiving almost 80% of the vote. and yet the loser refuses to accept the result, won't concede even as his opponent is sworn into congress. we're also on the ground in georgia where those in power are actively making it harder for citizens there to exercise their right to vote. >> this is about good old boys, their power and their will to stay in control. >> and we'll go to texas where a new restrictive voting law is having widespread impact. huge numbers of registered voters seeing their applications for mail-in ballots, ballots to which they are entitled, rejected. and where local election officials face possible felony convictions with jail time if they help voters clear simple hurdles. >> you registered using a driver's license and now you use a form using your social, i don't a have a way to verify that social. >> and as we watch efforts to
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ensure voting rights flounder in congress, obstacles to voting are going up undeterred in states and counties across the country. and not just in states that donald trump refuses to admit he lost. >> there's no way we lost georgia. in michigan -- pennsylvania. take a look at wisconsin. nevada. we found a lot of votes in new hampshire. >> also in florida where trump not only won in 2020 but increased his 2016 margin, a state that of course that he calls home, the state where his biggest potential rival for the republican nomination for 2024 calls home. republicans are working to tip the scale to fix a voter fraud problem that does not exist. ron desantis himself just months ago touting how the election went in florida in 2020. >> i think we had the best-run election in this state that we probably ever have. >> so well-run, in fact, he wants to spend millions and
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millions creating something called the office of election crimes and security. it's a staff of 52 to investigate with the authority to arrest people. in florida, a state where there were on average only two election fraud convictions a year for the past two decades. in a state where 11 million people voted in the last presidential election, where there are 14 million registered voters. an election law enforcement squad without the oversight that other agencies under florida's department of law enforcement have but would instead report to florida's secretary of state, who is appointed by, you guessed it, governor ron desantis. desantis also wants to redraw the state's congressional map to give his party a significant advantage. less than seven years after florida's supreme court threw out the state's congressional map as too gerrymandered in favor of republicans, as the gop-led florida legislature debates a new map, desantis took the rare step over the weekend
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of drawing up his own map, which one expert calls, quote, the most brutal gerrymander proposed by a florida republican yet. desantis has restricted very standard press coverage of his efforts to restrict voting. back in may he booted every news organization from being in the room as he signed into law an election bill that makes it harder to vote. instead, making that event a fox exclusive. desantis has also rejected the will of florida voters outright. in 2020, when floridians voted to allow ex-felons who served their time to vote, desantis led the charge to redefine what it means to complete a prison sentence in florida. but one of the most head-scratching rejections of a democratic, little democrat outcome in florida, just happened in an election in florida. the democrat won with 79% of the vote and the republican candidate, jason
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mariner who lost by nearly a 60-point margin, still will not concede. he told a local station, quote, now they called the race, i did not win, so they say, but that does not mean that they lost either, it does not mean that we lost. total gobbledy-gook there, right? and he added in a somewhat trumpian fashion, quote, we'll also have some stuff coming out that we recently discovered. she's actually the winner of that race, she was just sworn into the house of representatives and she's with us now. i want to thank you for being with us tonight. and can you just tell us what is going on with this race? >> what we saw during the election was that the republican candidate, he had a lot of different white supremacist groups at the polls. he called the police on especially a lot of the black voters or black people who are there trying to push for the democratic process. and now that there is this loss, he's refusing to concede, only to kind of do the trump 2020
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thing, which is to kind of make people question the election. but the election was very clear. and despite all their tactics of voter suppression and voter intimidation, we were able to win the election in close to a landslide. >> so some people might look at this and say, well, hey, you know, ultimately you won, you were sworn in, why then does it matter that he still will not accept the outcome? >> well, it's a precursor to what's going to happen, what they're trying to do for the 2022 election. that's what causes us to receive these red flags. in the areas where we saw they had the white supremacists there, proud boys, those were in historically black areas where we've never seen that kind of activity. the election coming up in 2022 is so vital to our democracy. seeing someone testing the waters in that area, it's very scary for us because we see there's a whole bunch of voter suppression bills, even seeing the voting rights bill that's struggling to actually pass, it gives us real concerns about the black vote, the minority vote,
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especially in florida. >> let's talk about this election security police force that governor desantis is proposing. he says it's about combating voter fraud. what's your concern that it's about? >> we question what the real concern is, especially when we saw the recent map that was submitted that totally reduces black areas. what is the real reason behind these tactics moving forward? we've never seen a governor put forth a map, ever. now we're coupling it with this group or this organization that he's putting together. so the concerns are there. and when you add everything, the cumulus of this, it's very concerning for our district and very concerning for our state of florida because it seems like our minority votes are under attack. our minority representation is under attack. and our democracy is under attack. >> on this election integrity
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force, it's interesting because when you look at state lawmakers, republicans in florida, they don't seem to be fully jumping on this bandwagon of this idea. do you think ultimately that they will go along with this? >> well, you know, i would hope to say they wouldn't. but if you look at the trend of what's going on, it seems like republicans are jumping onto these rules and these voter suppression tactics. even these laws that really erode the ability for people to vote. so i would like to say i don't think they will, but i'm frightened, i am actually frightened that they might. if we look at the totality of what can happen to our country, our nation, at this time, it's a really frightening place. as we see today, trying to even pass the voting rights bill in the senate was a difficult task for us. and these are the same -- we have 16 republicans who voted in 2006 under a republican president to preserve the voting rights. but now they're turning their backs on it and actually participating in obstruction. so we have to ask ourselves, as a country, what is really going on?
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what is the gop's real strategy going into this midterm election for them to actually gain control of the house and the senate? >> what happens to your district if governor desantis' redistricting map is approved? >> our district more likely than not would not have a chance for a minority leading the district. the district now is going to be watered down. we only have a minority number of 40%. we're going from a district right now that's 60% african american and anywhere between 18% hispanic. so that would totally erode any kind of power that we have. my concern also are for the other congressional seats. we see that al lawson's seat would no longer be there. val demings' seat wouldn't be there also. so there's a lot of concern throughout the state because we only have a certain amount of minority seats, and his map will erode all of the black representation. >> you know, some of these efforts he may not succeed at. that's very clear. some of them, if he does, are
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ripe for lawsuits. so what do you think he's doing -- what's his motive do you think for doing this? >> i think he's really trying to push the envelope and see what he can actually get away with. this is the first time we've seen a governor put out a map. the map was put out the day before mlk day. on mlk we had a statement from his attorney about how serious he was about this map. it's frightening that he felt like it was okay to do something like that as we celebrate freedom and martin luther king. that's what concerns me. and i think that every step that's going on, moving forward, is intended to erode our right to vote, intended to erode our accessibility to vote and intended to really put the gop in a place where they can win the election and totally disenfranchise the population. >> congresswoman, thank you for being with us, and congratulations on officially becoming a member of the house of representatives. >> thank you. so next we're going to head to georgia, a republican-controlled state that notably went for joe biden in
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2020 and also put two democrats in the senate representing the peach state. we're in one county where voting locations are at risk of disappearing. election officials aiming to shut down six out of seven polling places. this is democracy in peril. >> vo: my car is my after-work decompression zone. ♪ music ♪ >> vo: so when my windshield broke... i found the experts at safelite autoglass. they have exclusive technology and service i can trust. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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he is planning to hold a vote to change senate rules to allow for a talking filibuster on the voting legislation and lower the threshold to break the filibuster from 60 votes to 51 votes. that is expected later tonight. it is also expected to fail. to georgia now, where voting could be getting harder soon in a little-known county. unless you live there, of course. the board of elections in lincoln county is considering reducing the number of polling locations from seven to just one ahead of the midterm elections later this year. and this would particularly affect black communities. there was supposed to be a final vote on this tonight. that has now changed. cnn national correspondent dianne gallagher is there for us. >> reporter: reverend denise freeman is on a mission. >> how y'all doing? >> reporter: going door to door. >> i didn't know you stayed there. >> reporter: gathering signatures from voters in an effort to stop the new lincoln county board of elections from replacing all seven of the
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county's voting precincts with just one voting center, the colvin curry recreation complex in lincolnton, for the entire rural county. >> this is a huge county. people live so far away. we don't have public transportation. we don't have access of calling lyft or uber or a taxicab. we have nothing. >> reporter: just about 7,700 people live in the east georgia county where donald trump won more than 68% of the vote in 2020. notices for public hearings went out last september, advertising a move to make voting, quote, easier and more accessible. >> well, we probably had about 15 to 20 people at each public hearing. >> reporter: election director lavinda bolton said the board pitched the rec center has being big enough to support social distancing and voting equipment while also allowing the county to reduce staffing and travel
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needs. >> i mean, i don't see how making things better is such a bad thing. >> reporter: but freeman, a former school board member, says most of the people she meets knocking on doors didn't know about the proposal until last month. she and other voting rights activists believe eliminating all but one precinct in a 250-square-mile county that's nearly 30% black in an election year is just another example of voter suppression in georgia. >> i think it's meant to disenfranchise people of color. i think it's meant to disenfranchise the poor. this is about good old boys, their power and their will to stay in control. this is not what fair elections are about. >> i don't want to disenfranchise anybody. nobody, from being able to vote. >> reporter: county commission chairman walker norman in lincoln county politics since he was 18, says more than half the county votes early and by mail,
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although mail voting has new deadlines and i.d. requirements under the state election law. still, he doesn't think the change will affect most voters. >> some of these election days, you don't have 30 people voting. >> reporter: do you think by closing those precincts, those 30 people may not bother? >> no, i think anybody who wants to vote is going to vote anyway. >> reporter: for some voters, it will take a lot longer to do it. we made the drive ourselves from the northeast lincoln community of broad river to the proposed voting center. midday, midweek it took us 26 minutes to get there. to their original precinct, less than ten. >> the people who are doing this need to sit and think. is this going to hurt us in the long run? or if it's going to help us. and i'm here looking at you, talking to you, telling you that it's going to hurt them. >> reporter: director bolton took us around the county from precinct to precinct. she says the main issue is old, tiny, inefficient buildings that don't adequately support the
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election needs and she can't find the new ones. >> if i had the structures, yes, it would be more than one. but the structures are not there. that is the reality of lincoln county. >> reporter: like election departments across the country, she's struggling to find poll workers to staff multiple locations. >> they left me a mess. >> reporter: and claims the toxic nature of american politics has prevented churches and even fire departments from stepping up to offer larger spaces. >> they don't want to be associated with anything political. >> including the democratic active voting? >> that's right. >> reporter: but adding to the suspicion for many is the board itself. last year, after georgia's controversial election overhaul law was signed by the governor, the republican-controlled state legislature passed laws reorganizing six county election boards.
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lincoln county was one of them. >> particularly in georgia, we know that folks wanted to believe the big lie. but we do know there is a coordinated effort to close the margin of the 11,000 votes across this state. and how this is happening is they want to cherry pick these smaller, rural counties that definitely don't have the same advocacy, the same agency, the same empowerment tools as other bigger counties, to really get this strategy done. >> reporter: state senator lee anderson, who sponsored bills that dissolved and reappointed the board, didn't respond to our interview requests. norman says the republican and democratic party used to each nominate a board member but the state told them last year it wasn't allowed. >> that's when they abolished it and it started over. >> reporter: now norman's all republican commission nominates 3 of the 5 board members. bolten says the state played no
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role in the state consolidation proposal. >> we had no influence from anybody. >> reporter: before a supreme court ruling gutted the voting rights act in 2013, closing polling places in georgia would have required federal approval to ensure it would not hurt minority voters. now, the five-person lincoln county board of elections can make the decision with a simple majority vote. >> the petition we are submitting meets the 20% threshold. >> reporter: but due to reverend freeman's efforts, the vote has been tabled, at least for now. >> we will not vote tonight. >> reporter: reverend freeman says she's not giving up. >> get off the fence! do the right thing! >> reporter: and warns that people should pay attention to election-related decisions in small counties. do you think this is a test run for bigger counties? >> i think this is a test run for the entire country. >> and dianne gallagher is with us now. dianne, thank you for that report, and tell us what
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happened with this board of elections meeting tonight. sounds like it got pretty heated and came to an abrupt end. >> yes, brianna, so this was supposed to be the meeting where they voted on this consolidation proposal. a lot of members of the community over the past couple of weeks, because of that petition, people going around and also because of local news coverage, are now familiar with the plan, and they showed up to the meeting to voice their frustrations. they ended up tabling that because of the petition that was delivered by reverend freeman and the other activists. but the community still wanted to speak out about it. this was not a public hearing, the board kept trying to say that, the people kept speaking anyway. they got a few of their comments in, the board started talking back, and people yelled suggestions and ideas at them and they abruptly ended the meeting, saying they would have another meeting that the public could attend in the near future. >> it's important that this is aired. so what is going to happen next
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with the vote being tabled? >> so, again, this isn't necessarily over, right? it's just on pause right now. and according to the election director, starting tomorrow morning, she'll start going through the 600 individual signatures delivered in that petition from the three different precincts. now, technically this could have the power to stop at least this original plan right here. but the director said she's going to go through, she's going to match each one, see if they are in fact registered voters. and then the county board, the election board is going to kind of talk to each other. they say they'll review some of the suggestions made tonight by community members. they're going to come up with a plan idea that may be the same plan, and then they'll have another meeting, let the community come to that and present a proposal. again, it could be the exact same proposal. but this petition definitely throws a wrench in that plan. this was something that was organic. it happened throughout the community. it's been going on since
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mid-december. they're going literally door to door, trying to get their own community members involved. the reverend told me she'll do it again if she has to if they feel like any other plans that are proposed are inadequate. of course the county says they feel like their hands are tied because the election director says she simply, again, does not have the building or the resources to properly conduct elections right now. >> dianne gallagher, live for us from georgia with essential reporting tonight. thank you. so we're not done tracking some little known efforts to undermine democracy. up next, why texas election officials are now rejecting hundreds of mail-in ballot applications, and who it will impact the most. the clerk of one county there arguing that this is what voter suppression looks like. she'll join us, ahead. some of my best memories growing up, were cooking with mom. she always said, “food is love.” so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part of our financial plan. ♪
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the pandemic made teaching and learning really hard. but instead of working to help students safely return to the classroom, the san francisco school board focused on renaming schools and playing politics. and they've even saddled our district with a $125 million deficit. our children can't wait for new leadership. here's our chance for a fresh start. on february 15th, please recall school board members collins, lópez and moliga before our kids fall even further behind.
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in texas, we are starting to see the repercussions of the voting law that republicans passed and republican governor greg abbott signed into law last summer after it was delayed by democrats leaving the state to try to prevent passage of the bill. it's called sb 1 or senate bill 1. and because of it, hundreds of texans who are requesting mail-in ballots are seeing those applications denied because of new i.d. requirements in the
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bill that are downright confusing. i want to bring in someone who knows firsthand what's happening on the ground. her county includes austin, texas. the travis county clerk is joining us now to discuss what is going on in her county as well as other counties. dana, thank you so much for being with us. can you tell us how many applicants you have rejected so far ahead of the march primary? >> we started out with a 50% rejection rate. and that was very disturbing. that's much, much higher than we should have. and we tried to go back and see if we could clarify that. it may be much lower. it may in reality turn out to be more like a 27% rejection rate. even that is way too high. so i started contacting the secretary of state's office to tell them that their new vote by mail tracker system was not working. their response back to me was, well, all you have to do is call us.
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the tracker system is blank. there's no data in it. and when you try to call the secretary of state's office you have to try 30 or 40 times to get through and oftentimes it's a complete failure. there's no help here. >> i do want to ask you about that, but first, i just want to explain to people who are not applying in texas for a mail-in ballot, if you are going to, this application, it asks for a driver's license or a texas basically state i.d. number. then it says if you don't have that, the last four digits of your social security number. so what if the voters used another form of i.d. when they initially registered to vote, what happens? >> well, you've asked the right question. the trick to this whole thing is, is that whenever a voter first registered, perhaps decades ago, they gave either a social security number or probably a driver's license number. now, you have to remember all those years ago which number you gave and is in your permanent record with the voter registration file and guess what
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that number is for you to put on your new application and that number must match what's on the voter registration roll and if it doesn't match, it's an automatic rejection. now, here's the thing. the common sense thing is to tell voters, well, write both numbers on your application, your social security number, and it's just the last four digits, or your driver's license number. except the new state law prohibits election officials doing anything to promote by mail voting, at the penalty of a state jail felony. if i assist a voter by saying to them, just put both numbers on there, i am in danger of a state jail felony and so are my colleagues around the state. >> the application is clear, it asks for the driver's license or state i.d. number and if you don't have that, the last four digits of your social. if someone's application for a mail-in ballot is rejected, what can you do to help them out? or do they have to proactively
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seek help from you? how does it work? >> that is correct. the ball is entirely in the voter's court. now, it used to be we would just look at the information the voter sent us, call them up on the phone, send them a text or email and we could often resolve problems within hours or days. we cannot do that anymore because i'm not allowed to promote by-mail voting. so that's most unfortunate, because voters don't know what's wrong. and if they've tried to use a previous form that doesn't ask for that information, then they're not prompted to provide it. it's most unfortunate. and the thing about it is, that this is a round trip. this is, you know, a round trip, because you have to place that correct number on your ballot when you send it back in as well. so you have to get it correct when you ask for the application, and you have to get it correct again when you send your voted ballot back in. >> so dana, i know you said you reached out to the secretary of state who is a republican. their office seems to say that
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actually they proactively were reaching out to you. but even by their own admission, the numbers they're saying of 50% rejection rate going down to a 27% rate is the one that you mentioned, it's still incredibly high. you know, what is your response to the secretary of state? it seems accepting that rejection rate of 27%. >> well, i think they would probably accept that rejection rate except for my colleagues around the state are not having it. this 50% rejection rate is happening in a lot of counties. and so my position of calling the secretary of state to task for not having the website ready and not being able to answer their phone so we can get our questions answered, not doing the training programs that would help us help voters, all of that is -- they've been too little, too late, and they've only just now started scurrying around to provide us with this information. so i am glad that my criticism
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of the office has caused them to suddenly get in gear and provide all of us in texas the information we need to properly process ballots. >> dana, is this going to stop people who want to vote from voting in the primary in march, do you think this will discourage them or even stop them? >> i misunderstood your question. no, it should not stop them. in fact, when you're facing voter suppression and this is what it looks like on the ground -- when you're facing voter suppression, the only thing to defeat it is to go out and vote anyway. fight back. that's what we're telling voters to do, no matter what your question is, call your party, because you're going to be participating in a party primary. get the party to help you. they want to help. republican or democrat, call them. >> dana, thank you for being with us tonight from austin. >> enjoyed it, thank you. coming up, how significant
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are the threats to american democracy? our next guest studies what happens when democracies back slide and the precursors to civil wars. she says there are trends that we're seeing here in the u.s. that need to be reversed. we'll be right back.
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three retired u.s. generals are among those warning about the possibility of another insurrection. we spoke to two of them this week here on "democracy in peril." >> january 6th was not a one-off. we are going to see it again. >> we need to imagine the unimaginable. imagine what happens if we get people like stewart rhodes out there creating havoc. >> so these generals say that
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the u.s. military needs to prepare for another potential coup attempt. they're actually worried about a possible civil war, and they're not alone in that concern. my next guest has studied how civil wars erupt around the world and the early signs that are often missed. barbara walter is the author of "how civil wars start and how to stop them." that's also a member of a cia advisory panel that assesses where future conflicts might arise. it's called the political instability task force. barbara, thank you so much for being with us. i want to start, you know, if we think about this as a recipe for a civil war, let's talk about the ingredients that you're seeing right now in the u.s., because in your book you talk about three risk factors. there's transitioning on democracy, factionalism, and loss of status. what are you seeing right now in the u.s.? >> yes, so i was asked to serve on this task force in 2017. and i served on it until the end of last year. and the job of the task force was to come up with a predictive
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model that would help the u.s. government predict where around the world civil wars, political instability, and political violence was likely to break out. we were not allowed to look at the u.s. we were not allowed to discuss the u.s. and frankly, you know, back in 2017, it wouldn't really have occurred to us to think about it that way. and this model, we put in many different factors. poverty, income inequality, how ethnically diverse a country was, how big it was, all the things we could think of that might matter in a lead-up to a civil war. only two factors came out highly predictive. the first is what we called inocracy, whether a country was neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic. it was something in between. you can think of it as a partial democracy. and the second factor was whether in those countries, those partial democracies, the citizens began to organize their political parties around -- not
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around ideology but around ethnicity, religion, or race. and of course i'm on this task force, and i start looking at what's happening in my own country. and i start seeing both of these factors emerging. so the measure that the task force uses for inocracy, it's a measure that comes from a nonprofit in virginia called the center for systemic peace. in 2016, the center downgraded the u.s.' democracy for the first time. in 2019, it downgraded it again. and then by the end of the trump administration, they downgraded it for the very first time since 1800 to an inocracy. it's since been upgraded since we did have a peaceful transfer of power. but the decline in our democracy was quite precipitous. then when i looked at the second factor, whether the u.s. had
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ethnic factions were predatory, that was the definition the task force uses, and that too has emerged. as late as 2008, white voters here in the united states were fairly equally divided between the republican and the democratic party. but that changed starting in 2008, when obama was elected. the white working class voters who had found their home in the democratic party began migrating to the republican party. and today, the republican party is not only 90% white, but seems intent on acquiring power at all costs. and that's our definition of predatory. >> so look, we see right now, and this is just a fact, the movement away from traditional american democratic principles is much more the realm of the republican party.
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>> yes. >> what's the most concerning thing about the trends you're seeing in the republican party right now? >> again, i study the outbreak of civil wars. i focus on the factors that we know increase the risk. racial parties increase the risk significantly. the thing that worries me the most about the republican party is that they're intent on only appealing to one segment of our population. and that's white christians. and they are a minority of our population. and they're going to become increasingly more of a minority. and if they are intent on holding on to power, then their only option at this point is to dismantle our democracy. and when that no longer works, if you look historically across cases outside the united states, when that no longer works, then extreme elements in those types of parties tend to organize for war.
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>> i do want to -- this is a conversation i could have all day with you, barbara. really quickly, though, before i let you go, there are some people, as you know, who say this is kind of alarmist talk. what do you say, quickly, to them? >> yeah, before i wrote this book, i thought about this a lot. i am a careful person. i'm a researcher. i don't say things lightly. and my response to them is really twofold. i've interviewed a lot of people who have lived through civil wars, in sarajevo, in baghdad, in kiev. they all told me the same thing. they said, we didn't see it coming, which see the signs, we were going about our daily business, going to work, taking care of our kids, and one night, the lights go out and we heard machine gunfire in the hills. but we know what the warning signs are. i've worked on a task force that
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knows the warning signs. and so if we're able to get that message out, if we're able to tell them what these factors are, then we have time to turn things around. and the second thing i would tell them is, if we keep quiet, if we say nothing, violent extremists continue to organize. they don't stop just because we're not talking about them. in fact that's exactly what they want. they want us to be silent, they want to be ignored, the element of surprise is really important to them. they don't want us to be clear-eyed about what they're doing. >> barbara, i thank you very much for this important discussion. barbara walter. we appreciate it. and, you know, you hear a lot about the two voting rights bills backed by president biden and his party. you see the republican resistance to it. unlikely allies in congress are working on reform that could change what we saw inside of congress last january 6th. john avlon will have tonight's reality check for us, next.
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the democratic push for voting rights is poised to fail in the senate tonight. but there are some who say reform isn't dead. there is still a little-known arcane law called the electoral count act, and it could factor big in 2024. john avlon has tonight's reality check. john? >> that's right, bri. this is this 1887 law that was the toe hold that trump and john eastman used to argue that that could effectively overturn the election in that infamous six-point memo. they argued that basically the law was so badly written, that possibly, quite possibly, vice president pence could intercede, objection could be taken to the floor, and the will of the people, in effect, subverted. what that has done has hung a lantern on the need to refine
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and refocus, and rewrite this law to clarify that the vice president's role is a mere functionary, and to raise the threshold for these sorts of challenges. and that has taken on some bipartisan urgenensy. members of both parties recognize it's in the national interest to clarify this law. now, the big question is whether mitch mcconnell will remain open to it as he has indicate. you got bipartisan senators meeting, that's great. but mitch mcconnell's got to sign on because this thing has to be bipartisan to get done. >> look, this isn't the same thing as, you know, full voting rights reform, to be clear. i want to listen to what something -- a democratic member of the january 6th committee, pete aguilar, said about this. >> what we have said is it's no substitute for dealing with voting rights, which is what we are focused on this week. there will be a time and a place to address the electoral count act but this is also an item that could be a recommendation out of the january 6th committee. >> this isn't the full deal the
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democrats want at all. >> not at all. and to be clear, it is necessary. it is not sufficient. this is the -- the baseline of what congress should be able to do in a bipartisan fashion. we desperately need election reform. we need to counteract voter suppression and election subversion efforts that are going on. the democrats are doing what's necessary to defend our democracy with these bills. but in the absence of republican support, if reforming the electoral count act is the very least that can and should get done. and members of both parties may have their own reasons. importantly, also, the january 6th commission could see this very well as the legislative purpose that justifies a recommendation. so, look for the jan 6 commission to endorse this because it is necessary to strengthen the loophole trump tried to exploit to overturn our election but more importantly it has got to remain bipartisan. mitch mcconnell has to back this for it to get done.
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it is what congress, the least they can do to stop the next constitutional crisis before it starts. >> myes or no, does it get done? >> yes. >> john avlon, thank you so much and we'll be right back. i'm gonna earn 3% on dining including takeout with chase freedom unlimited. that's a lot of cash back. are you gonna stop me? uh-oh... i'm almost there... too late! boom! earn big time with chase freedom unlimited with no annual fee. how do you cashback? chase. make more of what's yours. ♪ limu emu and doug.♪ and it's easy to customize your insurance at libertymutual.com so you only pay for what you need. isn't that right limu? limu? limu? sorry, one sec. doug blows several different whistles. doug blows several different whistles. [a vulture squawks.] there he is. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty♪
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thank you so much for watching. i will be back here on friday night when democracy in peril looks at the personal toll of election lies on the people who work to make sure that elections are carried out properly. "don lemon tonight" starts right now. >> good evening, briana, and we are watching in action before you go, i just want to take a look at the senate floor so you and i can talk a bit about what is going on. chuck schumer now talking about -- what they are trying to do is they are talking about the nuclear option to change the filibuster rule. they have already voted now, um, to block voting rights legislation. so, they should vote on this any moment but we are watching our democracy -- the direction at least it's going and as you have been reporting, it is in peril
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when you don't allow as many people as possible access to the voting booth. >> yeah, and i -- i think chuck schumer was speaking and now it's mitch mcconnell and it's so important to hear from both of these leaders, right at this moment. >> yeah. >> over this issue. you know, one of the things they are actually looking at something right now, don, and it's kind of like pie in the sky pollyanna but democrats are looking at this idea of changing the senate rules so that it would actually be a filibuster like mr. smith goes to washington. >> right. >> you know? and -- and like, there's no way this is going to happen. but i think it would be so important to have the discussion, and i am not talking about, you know, ted cruz green eggs and ham style. i am talking about actually discussing, you know, what is at stake, and hearing from both sides here. to see what they think and to see if it makes any sense. >> yeah. i think we're beyond that. it would be great. you're right. if we could actually do it in a democratic way, small-d democratic way but we shall see.

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