Sunday, January 28, 2018

How wobbly is American democracy?


Steven Levistky and Daniel Ziblatt put on their David Brooks hats in the New York Times Sunday review and ask, “How wobbly is our democracy?” 
  
The writers note that as time passes in many democracies, opposing parties become more tribal and start taking it personally.  They give the history of the coup in Chile in 1973.

And they think we've been unraveling ourselves for a long time, although we recover. They talk about two unwritten norms: mutual toleration, and forbearance.  


One problem is that the people “in the middle” tend to be less combative and less interested in running for office.  They tend to see the people at the extremes as personal “losers”.  Political culture has become unacceptable as a self-fulfilling prophecy, because many of us deserted it.


The writers are authors of a book “How Democracies Die” .

Update:  Feb. 2

Ezra Klein notes that racial inequality got built into the American idea of bipartisanship, here. 

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