This has been an ugly, demoralizing, horrifying campaign year. Democracy, among other things, relies on certain amorphous beliefs about what it is and why it is, as Churchill famously said, the worst possible system except for all others that have been tried. Those beliefs are badly damaged.
Most of the blame for this, according to me at least, lies on one side, the side of Trump and Trumpism. But other elements of the party that nominated Mr. Trump, the party that also nominated Abraham Lincoln, are engaging in some of the kinds of tactics that undermine the norms of democracy that have enabled the United States to function as a proper democracy, at least since a number of states decided to break up the country rather than endure the presidency of the afore-mentioned Mr. Lincoln.
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Please read this piece by Paul Waldman of the Washington Post. He enumerates some of the trends and possibilities that may be undermining the American experiment in peaceful self-government: that elements of the FBI are trying to affect the election; that elements of the party that currently controls the House of Representatives are studying efforts to immediately take steps to impeach Hillary Clinton from the presidency, should she win — to mention just two of the most disturbing trends Waldman discusses.
There isn’t much there that you haven’t heard before, but he puts them together, disturbingly but responsibly. Waldman is a strong liberal, so some may not be willing to consider the case he makes.
I generally try to stay calm when people make claims such as those that Waldman makes, basically that elements of the Grand Old Party are organizing for sedition. I’m calm now. I’m doing my breathing. But I’m pretty worried.