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  1. 22 Jan '18 21:38
    Book review

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2018/01/16/new-book-if-our-democracy-dying-president-trump-not-only-culprit/1023861001/

    Partial quote:

    "The process of norm erosion started decades ago — long before Trump descended an escalator to announce his presidential candidacy," they write.


    At the root, they say, is racism, particularly racism inspired by passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, which empowered black Americans to vote. Couple that with the passage the same year of landmark immigration reform, which empowered non-white Americans and created an animus among white Americans that has triggered a series of moves to counter diversity and preserve white influence.

    President Richard Nixon's so-called Southern strategy aimed at exploiting the anger white Southerners felt at changes in their states. That helped turn the South from a Democratic stronghold to a place where the statewide election of a Democrat, such as Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama, becomes a national story.

    End quote
  2. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    22 Jan '18 21:59
    Originally posted by @js357
    Book review

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2018/01/16/new-book-if-our-democracy-dying-president-trump-not-only-culprit/1023861001/

    Partial quote:

    "The process of norm erosion started decades ago — long before Trump descended an escalator to announce his presidential candidacy," they write.


    At the root, they say, is racism, particularl ...[text shortened]... ection of a Democrat, such as Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama, becomes a national story.

    End quote
    jeezus racism again
  3. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    22 Jan '18 22:02
    Originally posted by @js357
    Book review

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2018/01/16/new-book-if-our-democracy-dying-president-trump-not-only-culprit/1023861001/

    Partial quote:

    "The process of norm erosion started decades ago — long before Trump descended an escalator to announce his presidential candidacy," they write.


    At the root, they say, is racism, particularl ...[text shortened]... ection of a Democrat, such as Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama, becomes a national story.

    End quote
    The New York Times review makes this interesting point:

    Norms are what have sustained American democracy “in ways we have come to take for granted.” They identify two in particular: “mutual toleration,” or the understanding among competing parties and politicians that they are legitimate rivals rather than existential enemies; and “forbearance,” or the understanding among politicians that just because they technically have the power to do something doesn’t mean they ought to use it. The erosion of these two norms can lead to a partisan death spiral. The authors argue that Trump has tried to eviscerate both.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/books/review-trumpocracy-david-frum-how-democracies-die-steven-levitsky-daniel-ziblatt.html

    We have seen this before Trump in, for example, the Republicans' willingness to filibuster anything and everything in the Senate (thus imposing an at least extraconstitutional and probably unconstitutional 3/5 requirement in that body to pass legislation) whereas the tactic had been rarely used in the past.

    I don't really think that Trump himself is much a threat to our democracy; he is too much of a clown (and largely perceived as such) to be awarded such a standing. There are numerous threats to our democracy such as voter suppression, gerrymandering, campaign contribution bribes, etc. etc. etc. but I have a fair degree of confidence that these can be overcome.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    22 Jan '18 22:02
    Originally posted by @wajoma
    jeezus racism again
    Ignoring the effects of racism in American history is beyond ignorant.
  5. 22 Jan '18 22:07
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Ignoring the effects of racism in American history is beyond ignorant.
    Are you sure you know what the word "ignorant" means?
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    22 Jan '18 22:12
    Originally posted by @mott-the-hoople
    Are you sure you know what the word "ignorant" means?
    Sure:

    lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
  7. 22 Jan '18 22:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    The New York Times review makes this interesting point:

    Norms are what have sustained American democracy “in ways we have come to take for granted.” They identify two in particular: “mutual toleration,” or the understanding among competing parties and politicians that they are legitimate rivals rather than existential enemies; and “forbearance,” or t ...[text shortened]... bution bribes, etc. etc. etc. but I have a fair degree of confidence that these can be overcome.
    The mutual toleration and forbearance issues are discussed in this transcript of an interview.

    https://www.npr.org/2018/01/22/579670528/how-democracies-die-authors-say-trump-is-a-symptom-of-deeper-problems?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=freshair

    Quote

    LEVISKY: The rules themselves, particularly in a very simple, short Constitution like that of the United States, can never get a - can never fully guide behavior. And so our behavior needs to be guided by informal rules, by norms. And we focus on two of them in particular - what we call mutual toleration, which is really, really fundamental in any democracy, which is simply that among the major parties, there's an acceptance that their rivals are legitimate, that we may disagree with the other side. We may really dislike the other side. But at the end of the day, we recognize publicly - and we tell this to our followers - that the other side is equally patriotic, and that it can govern legitimately. That's one.

    The other one is what we call forbearance, which is restraint in the exercise of power. And that's a little bit counterintuitive. We don't usually think about forbearance in politics, but it's absolutely central. Think about what the president can do under the Constitution. The president can pardon anybody he wants at any time. The president can pack the Supreme Court. If the president has a majority in Congress - which many presidents do - and the president doesn't like the makeup of the Supreme Court, he could pass a law expanding the court to 11 or 13 and fill with allies - again, he needs a legislative majority - but can do it. FDR tried.

    Unquote

    I do not see respect for these two principles as valued on this forum. Rather, those who do show respect, are attacked.
  8. 22 Jan '18 23:20
    Originally posted by @wajoma
    jeezus racism again
    Racist
  9. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    23 Jan '18 23:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Ignoring the effects of racism in American history is beyond ignorant.
    Flinging the overused, battered cliche'd race card around (ala' D64) detracts from actual cases of racism.

    Now that's ignorant. ('beyond ignorant' being an emotive, over wrought, OTT turn of phrase)
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    28 Jan '18 19:04
    Originally posted by @js357
    The mutual toleration and forbearance issues are discussed in this transcript of an interview.

    https://www.npr.org/2018/01/22/579670528/how-democracies-die-authors-say-trump-is-a-symptom-of-deeper-problems?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=freshair

    Quote

    LEVISKY: The rules themselves, particularly in a very simple, short Constitution like that of the Unit ...[text shortened]... r these two principles as valued on this forum. Rather, those who do show respect, are attacked.
    Levitsky and Ziblatt expand on these points in a NYT opinion piece here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/opinion/sunday/democracy-polarization.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-0&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

    They make the salient point that the extreme political polarization we now face in the US has distinct roots:

    People don’t fear and loathe one another over taxes or health care. As political scientists have shown, the roots of today’s polarization are racial and cultural. Whereas 50 years ago both parties were overwhelmingly white and equally religious, advances in civil rights, decades of immigration and the migration of religious conservatives to the Republican Party have given rise to two fundamentally different parties: one that is ethnically diverse and increasingly secular and one that is overwhelmingly white and predominantly Christian.

    White Christians are not just any group: They are a once-dominant majority in decline. When a dominant group’s social status is threatened, racial and cultural differences can be perceived as existential and irreconcilable. The resulting polarization preceded (indeed, made possible) the Trump presidency, and it is likely to persist after it.


    These are excellent, though depressing, observations.