- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 19, 2021

The idea that American democracy was either in peril or damaged has been bandied about by the press and assorted pollsters and analysts for quite a while.

“Democracy is under attack,” said The Washington Post — all the way back on Aug. 1, 2019. “After [Donald] Trump, is American democracy doomed by populism?” asked the Council on Foreign Relations on Jan. 14 of this year, while a CBS News poll declared  “Americans see democracy under threat,” three days later.

“American democracy isn’t dead yet but it’s getting there,” noted The New Yorker on May 27; “2 out of 3 Americans believe U.S. democracy is under threat“ advised PBS on July 2. “Did Trump damage American democracy?” asked the Brookings Institution on July 9.

Those are just a few examples of a popular subject — and it continues. Over half of U.S. adults now believe that “American democracy is under attack.” So says a new CNN poll which indeed found that 51% of the Americans now think that democracy is doomed.

Some people, however, believe this dire forecast more than others. What constitutes a healthy and thriving democracy is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s not the Democrats who are concerned at the moment.



The poll found that 75% of Republicans agree that democracy is under attack, compared to 46% of Democrats. Meanwhile, 71% of conservatives also say democracy is threatened, compared to 48% of liberals. Moderates and independents agree, 49% and 50%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the poll found that 37% overall felt that American democracy was being “tested” — but was not under attack. There were marked partisan differences here as well. Among Republicans, 22% agreed with that idea — along with 48% of Democrats.

Only 6% overall felt that democracy in the U.S. “is in no danger”; 3% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 7% of Democrats agreed.
The CNN/SSRS survey of 2,119 U.S. adults was conducted Aug. 3-Sept. 7 and released Sept. 15.

CALIFORNIA: ‘IT USED TO BE FABULOUS’

Roger L. Simon — an Oscar-nominated Hollywood screenwriter, author and co-founder of PJ Media — walked away from California three years ago, and took up residence in Tennessee. He now has a public message.

“It is time for all conservatives and libertarians to leave California! Do not pass go! Do not collect $200. Just get out and be grateful. You really are getting out of jail free. California and Californians are beyond repair,” Mr. Simon advises in a new column for The Epoch Times.

Mr. Simon was particularly troubled by the recent California recall election which allowed Gov. Gavin Newsom to remain in office. But he remains hopeful that those who heed his advice and decide to leave the Golden State for more Republican-friendly territory will be a positive force in the bigger picture.

“I think conservatives leaving California will help strengthen the red states they choose because those states are always in the crosshairs of progressives,” Mr. Simon tells Inside the Beltway.

“California itself is beyond redemption. I lived there for 50 years. It used to be fabulous — ironically when there was smog,” he notes.  

FOXIFIED

Fox News remains the highest rated network both in the cable and broadcast realms. Now comes news that Fox News is also besting its online competition both in the number of visitors to its website and the time they spent there.

In August, Fox News Digital scored an astonishing 1.8 billion views. Those users spent 3.7 billion minutes at the site during their visits, according to Comscore, an industry source.

“In the month of August, the digital network surpassed CNN.com in multiplatform minutes for the sixth consecutive month and outperformed all other news brands in the news competitive set,” the network said in a statement.

Fox News Digital hosted 94 million unique visitors. Additionally, the Fox News Mobile App attracted 7.3 million unique visitors in August, beating CNN in the category for the fourth straight month.

Fox News also remained the most engaged news brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with 55.9 million social interactions. For the 84th consecutive month, Fox News remained the most engaged news brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with 55.9 million total social interactions, according to Socialbakers, another industry source.

MOO: IT’S COME TO THIS

Once, those concerned about global warming only warned of methane pollution which came from cows, and their, uh, gastric processes. Now comes something new, so somebody please notify former Vice President Al Gore, a very climate-minded individual.

A new study titled “Learned control of urinary reflexes in cattle to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions” has just been published by Cell, an academic journal.

“Young calves can be successfully trained to poop and pee in designated areas. And the researchers think if expanded on a broader scale, this practice could have a big impact on controlling ammonia waste — one of agriculture’s dirtiest greenhouse gas and pollution problems,” reported Popular Science in its handy review of the research.

Indeed, 16 calves were essentially potty trained by animal psychologists at the Germany-based Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology.

“Cattle, like many other animals, are quite clever and they can learn a lot. Why shouldn’t they be able to learn how to use a toilet?”  the researchers asked.

The process, by the way, was dubbed “MooLoo Training.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 60% of U.S. adults say that President Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election; 24% of Republicans, 55% of independents and 95% of Democrats agree.

• 18% of those who voted for Donald Trump and 98% of those who voted for Mr. Biden agree, as do 60% of men and 61% of women.

• 84% of Blacks and 61% of Hispanics also agree.

• 40% overall say Mr. Biden did not legitimately win the election; 76% of Republicans, 45% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

• 82% of those who voted for Mr. Trump and 3% of those who voted for Mr. Biden agree, as do 40% of men and 39% of women.

• 16% of Blacks and 39% of Hispanics also agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 12-14.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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