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If journalists can’t see it or say it, liberal democracy is doomed.
You had to hear it to believe it. Four brilliant minds earnestly canvassing the havoc a Donald Trump presidency could wreak on America’s standing as a democracy. He could appoint toadies in key government jobs and co-opt the military. He might fire civil servants who don’t agree with him and bring the Department of Justice to heel. He could even dangle pardons and openly defy court orders.
“Once he does all those things,” one commentator intoned solemnly, “America … looks the same today for the most part, but it is no longer a liberal democracy with the rule of law.”
Well, they got that right. But here’s the problem: such breathless predictions weren’t made years ago, before Trump first occupied the Oval Office. They were made last week by leading lights in the US think-tank firmament, who seemed to have missed the memo the rest of the world got last year: the United States is no longer the world’s oldest democracy but an anocratic or “hybrid” regime akin to Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.
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About the Author
Dr Leslie Cannold is an ethicist, educator and author. She has chapters in Destroying the Joint and The Australian Book of Atheism, and her books include The Abortion Myth, What, No Baby? and the historical novel The Book of Rachael.