Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How to Save American Democracy

1/29/2019--Although we may think that this is the question everyone is asking, it isn't.

The question we are actually asking is how I can win.

The answer to that question will not save American democracy. Democrats today just want to win Congress and the Presidency. They have no intention of healing the wounds that brought Donald Trump the Presidency. Defeating Trump will not save American democracy. To do that, Americans must learn to trust each other again.

Saving democracy requires work on two-levels: philosophical and practical.

On the practical level, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt explain in How Democracies Die that you have to restore tolerance and forbearance to save democracy. Tolerance means accepting that the other guy sometimes wins gets to govern. Forbearance means you do not do everything in your power legally to frustrate that.

Republicans long ago gave up tolerance and forbearance. They all voted against Clinton's first budget in 1993. Democrats were slower to give these norms up, but they are gone now.

The two worst examples of the lack of tolerance and forbearance are manipulating the Electoral College and packing the US Supreme Court. The Electoral College manipulation was tried and fortunately it failed. The idea was to have Republican States keep winner take all Presidential election but have States like Pennsylvania move to congressional district election. If this had succeeded, Republican minority Presidential rule would be made permanent.

This was a real conspiracy and I don't understand why all Republicans did not oppose it. Some did, which is why it failed.

Court packing is the next threat and I judge its chances to be 50/50. We have to take a stand against it now. It would end all semblance of the rule of law.

But that is why Court-packing is not unthinkable. We don't believe there is a rule of law. We believe with President Trump that there are Obama judges and Trump judges.

So we have to proceed to restore the rule of law as well as oppose Court packing. I will speak in a few weeks in Memphis on these points.

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