It is my pleasure to welcome you to this blog about the issues and challenges confronting democracy at home and abroad. I plan to address these issues frequently and concisely, and in a civil tone.
But civility does not require passivity or tedious neutrality. Globally, democracy is facing a deepening recession that Russia and China are eagerly exploiting and accelerating for geopolitical advantage. At home, we have a President who has shown repeated and diverse forms of contempt for democratic norms, and who is now browbeating most Congressional members of his party to fall meekly into line behind him, lest they face a primary challenge from puritanical “true believers”.
Our democracy is suffering from crippling polarization and now tactics of political intimidation reminiscent of Senator Joe McCarthy, with the same political fear and indulgence that gave McCarthy free rein to roll out his demagogic campaign of anti-communist scare tactics until his fraud and bullying were finally exposed and confronted. I had hoped that Senator Jeff Flake’s eloquent and courageous speech last week might begin to turn the tide against this growing danger to our democracy, but it is clear that we are now in for a much longer and harder struggle. I hope you will join me here in thinking about how we can make America think again, and how we can renew democracy at home and abroad.