A Fourth of July Vow: In November, We’ll All Vote for Democracy

Carla Seaquist
4 min readJul 7, 2024


On the Fourth of July, we Americans love to celebrate, noisily with firecrackers, our beloved American Democracy — a form of government that truly was something new under the sun.

In contrast to centuries of monarchs, who invoked from God a divine right to rule all his or her subjects, our Founding Fathers, here in the American colonies, conceived a radically new form of government, one dedicated to the “self-evident truth” that “all men are created equal” — well, all except slaves and women (whose notional equality would not come until 1865 and 1920, respectively). This equality of all American citizens, also conferred by God, included certain “unalienable rights,” among them Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Such a radical concept required, after “a long train of abuses and usurpations,” a Declaration of Independence from the British king.

Which is precisely why the Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day: The new nation, powered by citizens embracing their personal freedom, declared its independence from the abusive king. And it conducted a seven-year war to secure it, then four years later convened a Constitutional Convention to draft a Constitution for the new nation. It was the citizens during the ratification process in the states who insisted that their rights be enumerated in the Constitution, thus the Bill of Rights was added, enumerating the right of free speech and a free press, the right to assemble and protest, to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to due process of the law, etc.

So it is beyond bewildering that, according to polls, nearly half the electorate is ready to cast their ballot in November for the candidate — Donald J. Trump — who has announced (and no one but no one should disbelieve him) that he will rule as a dictator from Day One, thus doing away with American Democracy.

To enact his dictatorship, this radical candidate (Trump), if he felt citizens protesting his dictatorial rule were out of line, would invoke the Insurrection Act to put them down or put them in prison. To enforce the Insurrection Act, he would revoke posse comitatus. which bars the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

So: It’s back to kings! Unilateral kinglike “abuses and usurpations” — in less than three centuries!

And now, in an astonishing and historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court grants presidents, like kings, immunity from prosecution for all acts official and presumptively official. And with Trump’s criminal record, past and growing in the present, were he to be re-elected in November, look to a fast-and-loose interpretation of his power as he creates an Imperial Presidency, since he can take recourse in the Court’s immunity ruling. An Imperial Presidency shielded by an Imperial Judiciary.

Thank God for liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who in her scathing 20-page dissent made the connection explicit: “The president is now a king above the law.” Writing this “extraordinary ruling has no basis in law,” she wrote if Trump ordered Navy Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival he would be exonerated; she then concluded, “With fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

Is this really-really what Trump’s supporters want: the effective abolition of rule of law, in essence the establishment of tyranny? Trump’s MAGA supporters — ”Make America Great Again” — rail against tyranny. As did the American colonists They railed against the tyrannical King George III. What made America great was precisely its democracy — the strict rule of law that guarantees absolute equality before the law and that no one is above it.

We need the most vigorous defender of American Democracy in this, her gravest hour of peril — and, sadly, President Joe Biden is not it. Failing miserably to acquit himself in the recent Trump-Biden debate, Mr. Biden now needs to step aside as the Democrats’ nominee, as I urged post-debate.

If Mr. Biden stays in the race, as it now seems he will, he takes an extremely risky gamble that he can carry the battle against a radical candidate bent on destroying our beloved democracy. Does he truly understand that risk? And once gone, how ever will we get our democracy back?

But even if the enfeebled Mr. Biden stays in the race, he still is dedicated to American Democracy and I hope all voters will vote for him. And, of course, I hope the anti-democratic Trump will get fewer votes than expected.

Ideally, we will “do democracy”: Hold an open Democratic convention and nominate stronger and younger candidates to come roaring out of the convention and run as president and vice-president — and then we and American Democracy will win!



Carla Seaquist

Our times examined via politics, culture, morality. Author, "Can America Save Itself from Decline?" (Vol. II). Playwright. Fmr. HuffPost. www.carlaseaquist.com.