How to think about the threat to American democracy

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AMERICANS ARE anxious about the stability of their democracy. Roughly 40% of the politically active say that members of the other tribe are evil; 60% believe they are a threat to the country. More than 80% think the system needs “major changes” or “complete reform”. Jeremiads from pundits about the decay of political life no longer seem to match the gravity of the threat. Some scholars have gone so far as to warn of the risk of civil war.

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All this became dangerously real in the attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol a year ago, which injured 140 police officers, in an attempt to prevent the certification of their champion’s defeat. After a fleeting moment of clarity, the majority of Republican lawmakers reverted to making excuses for Donald…

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