Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is toying with a judicial reform bill that would curtail the powers of the nation’s Supreme Court. Half a million Israelis, roughly 5 percent of the population, gathered in Tel Aviv in protest to this democratic crisis.

Though softened from its original form, Netanyahu’s call for judicial reform, if implemented, would strengthen the Israeli parliament, weaken its Supreme Court, and chip away at the notion of checks and balances. 

Israel, the “strong partner and friend” of the United States, according to the Department of State, is drifting from democracy. And the worst part about it: it’s not an isolated phenomenon. One year since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russian forces are continually advancing Westward; the Chinese invasion of Taiwan appears to be a matter of course; on the homefront, polarization and inflammatory politics mean people can’t seem to entertain each other’s most basic forms of expression. 

In 2023, Republicans and Democrats are living within a political culture of pointing fingers. Both sides consistently villainize each other and are unwilling to hear the perspective from across the aisle. 

This year’s State of the Union address literally elicited screaming across the aisle. Democratic President Joe Biden accused Republicans of deviously plotting to cut Medicare and Social Security, to which notorious Republican House-personality Marjorie Taylor Greene bluntly responded, “liar!” 

At this point, we might as well stick our tongues out too, because domestic lollygagging is no match for the international threats to democracy that are beginning to encircle the globe. As foreign powers begin to threaten our allies’ freedoms through slashes to judicial review and even overt military force, now more than ever, the United States must remain just that: united.  

Americans must hold tight to our nation’s founding principles, the “classical liberalism” that defines our most basic system of democracy. The right of the individual to make choices and pursue one’s lifestyle independently, as well as the role of the collective to fairly and justly respond to the pleas of the individual, is a careful balance. But, it is certainly one worth fighting for. 

If you distill our ideologies into basic political principles, most people just want to be heard. We believe in the freedoms of the people versus the corruption of a central power. Red or blue, this camp or that, there’s a lot, I’d hope, on which we can agree.

As war rages on, protests continue and the world braces itself for what could be another large scale conflict, it’s important remember what we have in common.

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