!(https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmXgZaducdv5by5d58yBPRMddNQp1QFnzwZ2UuzeUFFLw2/image.png) I see many people condemning Pelosi's symbolic gesture. But was it really such a bad move? Trump's speech was anti-democratically triumphalist. Symbolic gestures have value, and symbolically rejecting Trump's speech has value. If we preserve democracy in the US, if we walk ourselves back from the brink of authoritarianism (which could finally come from either party), we may look back on Pelosi's action with approval, as a symbolic rejection of the path we're on. Should democracy wither or be strangled, and our leaders merely sit mute for fear of causing offense? Make no mistake, Trump is authoritarian. Fortunately, so far, he is a weak one. I don't predict that the US democracy will die if he's re-elected (fortunately he's old), but he has clearly revealed a lack of democratic commitment of a large portion of the American public. That lack of commitment does not exist only on the right, by any means, nor does Trump's support come only from the right. The dangerous support for Trump comes from authoritarian populists who take delight in shows of strength and politicians who are willing to tear up democratic norms to preserve their own positions and their sides strength. And while we may have a peaceful transfer of power between parties this year, or in 2024, the fragility has, been revealed, and there are plenty of Democrats eager to respond in kind, justifying it to themselves by saying Republicans started it or as a matter of survival. The essential danger is the loss of belief in a loyal opposition, the growing belief that opposition is in itself disloyal. This is most obviously expressed in a man like Trump, but the Democrats share the blame. When they called Mitt Romney a fascist, they were attempting to delegitimize him, to depict his opposition to the Democrat's vision as beyond the pale of legitimate debate, akin to totalitarianism and genocide. When both sides have delegitimized each other, we no longer have the cultural underpinnings to sustain democracy.