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Editor:

Killing the filibuster is justified, because desperate times call for desperate measures. Yes, it is risky to take this action, and we might pay a high price for taking it, but not acting aggressively would be irresponsible, considering what’s at stake.

In 1790, George Washington described our democracy as “the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.” Our government was fragile in its infancy, and was often so later, but is particularly fragile now.

Authoritarianism moves fast. Look at China, India, Brazil, Hungary and Poland. Four of these regimes came into existence in the 21st century.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., argues that keeping the filibuster is necessary because the old days of Republicans and Democrats crossing the aisle to support legislation from the other party will resume. (Manchin recently spoke fancifully of 10 good Republican senators who would vote for a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol.)

Democrats will be forced to move forward against headwinds for as long as the sirens of authoritarianism continue singing seductive songs promising a return to a mythical past of total triumph and glory.

The filibuster needs to be eliminated so that President Joe Biden can begin rebuilding our nation into an economically stronger and fairer nation that protects the interests of all its citizens. Manchin needs to recognize the true scope of the threat we face to our democracy if we don’t give Biden a fighting chance to defend it.

Marjorie Clarkson

Charleston

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