Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Is Democracy dying?

In danger, maybe.

Catherine Rampell writes about public opinions of Democracy in the Washington Post article, Trump’s good political timing: Younger Americans are shunning democracy. (The column also appears as today's editorial in the Daily Star.)

Maybe Donald Trump didn’t create an appetite for authoritarianism. Maybe an appetite for authoritarianism created Donald Trump.

Rampell gets it. Scriber has been making this point for quite a while: the real story is not so much Trump as it is his supporters.

Many of us in the media have portrayed Trump as a uniquely dangerous threat to democracy, an aspiring strongman with little regard for checks on executive power by other branches of government, the media or the Constitution. And many of us are shocked that Trump, through charisma alone, has managed to sell so many voters on this vision of an all-powerful presidency.

But truth is, voters didn’t require much convincing.

Check out Rampell's column for the evidence of alarming trends. She concludes:

... it isn’t only the young who’ve become more accepting of anti-democratic values. The data shows this evolution in every age group, on both left and right.

Maybe it’s been too long since democracy faced a truly existential threat, and so Americans have come to take it for granted. But these days it may be dangerous to assume democracy will always be the only game in town.

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