If you’ve been following the news lately, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that we’re watching the slow-motion breakdown of American self-government.

I don’t mean anything as dramatic and clear-cut as the seizure of authoritarian power by Donald Trump (although he’s evidently trying). I’m talking about something a little subtler, but potentially just as destabilizing and perilous for America’s future.

Donald Trump’s antics — doing everything he can to steal the presidential election in the name of preventing his victorious opponent, Joe Biden, from stealing it — are a big part of this. But Trump is just an expression of something far more widespread in American society. While most Republican officeholders respond passively to Trump’s ignorant, hateful nonsense, millions of Republican voters cheer it on, taking their cues from him and media personalities who amplify or encourage his acting out.

Why is it happening? As you’d expect in a nation of 330 million people, there are many causes.

Some of it is an expression of assiduously cultivated partisan hatred of Democrats. Some of it is a consequence of a widespread collapse of trust in public institutions and a resulting turn to folk conspiracies as an alternative way of making sense …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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