Our democracy requires a spirit of decency, civility and unity with a common purpose for our common good, that we resolve our differences by seeking and speaking truth, and that we hold free and fair elections and respect their outcomes. 

LDAD’s Democracy Heroes are selected for their adherence to these ideals and Democracy Threats are selected for their departure.

This month, LDAD’s Democracy Hero is Phil Scott, the Republican Governor of Vermont. At a time when states across the country are restricting ballot access, Governor Scott signed legislation to expand voting rights. Among other protections, the bill provides that all registered voters will receive mail-in ballots. 

Moreover, as many elected officials across the country undercut science-based efforts to combat the scourge of Covid, the state of Vermont has led the nation in Covid vaccinations and other public health measures. In stark comparison to states that have resisted these public health measures, Vermont has had low death rates, low infection rates, and a thriving economy. 

This month’s Democracy Threat is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, California, who embodies the disunity of our nation’s politics. The January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, undertaken to prevent the counting of the Electoral College votes, was executed by assailants who came “prepared for war.” Yet Minority Leader McCarthy has continually sought to thwart Congressional investigations of these events, undermining the formation of a bi-partisan commission, opposing the work of the House Select Committee, and threatening reprisals against American telecommunications companies for complying with House Committee requests and subpoenas for communication records relating to those who may have played critical roles. 

Speaking at the 9/11 memorial honoring the passengers of Flight 93, former President George W. Bush warned of the danger posed by domestic extremism as exemplified in the events of January 6, and stressed the need to unify as we did after the 9/11 attacks: “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”