In June, Senator Kamala Harris called President Trump a "clear and present threat to American democracy." Two months later, former President Obama threatened, "This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that's what it takes to win."
Yet these same critics speak and act as if America were irredeemable and American institutions were inconvenient obstacles.
The message of late is that America is racist, unjust, and built to sustain inequity.
The Biden-Harris campaign believes that America exhibits systemic racism. Something with a "systemic" characteristic is tainted to its core.
In a Critical Race Theory training seminar, an instructor taught federal employees that "America was built and designed to enslave and discriminate," "and in order to keep that structure in place ... we've had to form systems and structures to hold that in place and use policing and use discriminatory practices ... for hundreds and hundreds of years."
The New York Times argues that "a re-education is necessary" and has developed the 1619 Project as a curriculum to be used in American schools. It features arguments such as "our democracy's founding ideals were false when they were written" and the necessity of understanding the "brutality of American capitalism." Over 4,500 hundred schools nationwide have already adopted the curriculum.
Riots in response to racial struggles over the summer of 2020 featured countless American flags burning and messages of a broken system that must be smashed.
According to Senator Elizabeth Warren, "America [is] a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."
For the crowd that has concerned itself so vocally about Trump's supposed threat to America, nothing from their end can be stated too harshly. And if American institutions are sacrosanct when working to their advantage, this same crowd doesn't hesitate to work around them when needed.
To pack the Supreme Court in response to Amy Coney Barrett's legal confirmation to the Supreme Court would undermine the independence of the Judiciary. Adding ideologues on a whim to garner a majority makes the courts yet another arena for politics. It is unwise and undesirable.
Changing the rules to advance a political agenda undermines democracy, which is what Democrats did to confirm a host of Obama federal court appointees when they couldn't get the supermajority previously required. It was their own action that paved the way for the Trump administration to successfully confirm three Supreme Court justices. Apparently, no lesson was learned. Now they are willing to open the floodgates to a larger and larger Court as the political pendulum swings.
Joe Biden won't answer the question on the campaign trail, but he doesn't need to — many on the left have already embraced the idea.
Last week's Judiciary Committee hearings featured Democratic Senate leaders seeking pre-commitments from Amy Coney Barrett on a host of potential cases that could hurt their policy objectives. Pre-commitments undermine independent judicial review.
Beyond the courts, the electoral college has been questioned and doubted by Democrats since Trump won in 2016. Eighteen of the Democratic primary candidates ran on either expressly eliminating it or being open to doing the same.
And now even questioning the potential for voter fraud has become taboo. Using a formal indictment as the standard, Democrats have waved away voter fraud as inconsequential. Their "nothing to see here" attitude willfully downplays voting security concerns as America grapples with voting in the age of COVID. A safe and secure ballot should be a bipartisan concern. It represents the most fundamental democratic institution of one person, one vote.
Expanding government to act outside the expressed powers of the Constitution undermines the American system.
Democrats want the federal government to become a service provider for things like health care and education. Worse, the government would become the moral weathervane on many issues of individual conscience. From D.C., the American people must be told the right positions to hold on policy points of the day.
It's government or bust. There is almost no acknowledgment or debate on the size and scope of the federal government within the Democratic Party. The solution to most every problem must stem from the government, whether the Constitution grants the authority or not.
A Constitution that limits the power of the federal government, states' rights, and a judiciary insulated from activism all stand in the way of grand and expansive government.
Summarily rewriting the role of government is a "clear and present threat" to American democracy. Liberties acquiesced are liberties lost. The death of the independence of the Judiciary is a clear and present threat. Reading new powers into the Constitution while tossing aside inconvenient limitations threatens American democracy.
Maybe their concern for America is just hollow rhetoric.
Bryan Griffin is a lawyer, author, and senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. He advocates for the causes of free, fair, and limited government and believes in people.