Former Senator Daschle says democracy is being threatened

"I have never been more concerned about our democratic republic"
Tom Daschle

WASHINGTON (KVRR/WNAX) – A former longtime member of Congress and U.S. Senator from South Dakota says he’s more worried about the future of the United States now than anytime during his life.

“We are closer to seeing the demise of our democratic republic than we’ve ever been in my lifetime” according to former Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle.  “I have never been more concerned about our democratic republic, about whether it can survive, about whether it can really get through this terrible morass.”

Daschle, who also served as the highest-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate, says the current standoff in Congress is a major symptom.

“Congress is, in large measure, dysfunctional” Daschle said.  “Because it’s dysfunctional as it is, Congress just isn’t delivering.  People have forgotten that compromise is the oxygen of democracy. And we don’t see it today.  I think we’ve got to see more leadership.  We’ve got to see more of a capacity to govern.”

“We have deep polarization, politicization.  We have media that just emphasizes how much truth now is just an option.  I’m very concerned about the consequences, the future, the long-term future of our democratic republic.

Daschle also blamed social media for contributing to the problem. “Social media has destroyed, in many respects, our ability to generate the kind of truthful understanding of the issues of the day.”

Daschle was elected to the U.S. House in 1978 and elected to the Senate in 1986.  He served as both minority and majority leader during his time in the Senate.  He was defeated by Republican John Thune in 2004.

Daschle is the founder and CEO of the Daschle Group, a Washington, D.C. consulting and lobbying firm.

Categories: South Dakota News