Much ink has been spilt since Donald Trump’s election regarding the legitimacy of the U.S. government system, the fortitude of the rule of law, and the viability of American democracy. What do the 2018 election results tell us about those big, scary issues?
“November 8, 2016, 4pm. My boss swings by my desk. She’s smiling, putting her coat on, talking of champagne with neighbors. She leaves, I check Facebook. Lots of selfies. One from Liv- white pantsuit, red ‘I voted’ sticker, red lipstick to match. It’s all planned. I close it. I flash back to 2004, downtown Hilton, DNC headquarters. A young democrat plays a hopeful melody on the lobby piano while we all get drunk in the ballroom bracing for victory, which never comes.”
An intellectual experiment. Let’s play the role of electoral fraudster. Come, and conspire for a moment, and let us see whether we might realize benefit from subverting the integrity of American democracy.
…And whether we’ve now been presented with evidence that this is actually happening.
Americans constantly re-elect a congress they despise, and they hold other contradictory views too. We are still deeply uncomfortable with this whole democracy thing.
Because of neglect of the role of the broader role of citizenship, Americans can blame themselves for the unenlightened bitterness and abject stagnation of politics. We can do better, but it will require a renewed interest in achieving common things instead of individual victories. It will require taking our job as participants in a democracy more seriously.
As my isolation from the chattering classes continues, I’m inclined to go into hypotheticals and counter-factuals. One such hypothetical I returned to over the past few days is the following: What would a saner...
This piece by Rebecca Solnit serves as the best example, but there are countless others as well. In short, many self-proclaimed liberals can’t stand that (1) their guy might be just as morally dubious...