Trump has changed the narrative. Gas lighting WORKS! This becomes reality when the public is more interested in being entertained than figuring it out. The words are very nice, EVERYBODY agrees they are desirable things but they are not much fun, nor are they entertaining. Therefore ............
After four years of growing acceptance the words have become some kind of very strange joke. Some of us don't like that but, obviously, there are huge swaths of citizenry that don't feel that way and somehow find it all hilarious.
Sorry for the negativity. Losing a bit of faith these days.
I suspect the cure is to have a real leader step forward. I think Biden is going to make a run at it but I am not convinced he can pull it off. I am voting for him and hoping that he can because he is the only game in town right now. My hope is that there are a lot of us that feel that way and are going to vote.
Are honesty, morality, and integrity a necessary part of a democratic form of government?
Yes. As someone once said, our Constitution was made for a moral people. It is wholly unsuited for the government of any other.
jgw went a couple of steps ahead into "how do we increase honesty, morality, and integrity", but I would like to linger in the nebulozone awhile and ponder how much we have had those virtues in the past, what conditions cultivate their rise, and why are we in such an apparent deficit regarding them today?
I heard Al Gore's concession speech from the 2000 election last week, and he seemed to be steeped in such virtues. So they're not gone, but in the struggle to "win", I think they are less powerful than lies, deceit, and gaslighting (as jgw points out). There are two sides to that formula - one is the leadership that practices the art of the con, the other is the rube class.
I would say that in this regard, Trump and Biden are Night and Day. What drives a person to value "winning" (even when nothing of real value is gained) above honesty, morality, and integrity?
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. R. Buckminster Fuller