I found this Atlantic article very disturbing, especially where Hamid claims that American liberal democracy is somehow “nimble”.
The very fact of Donald Trump’s victory is proof that American democracy was more nimble that many assumed.
This is a patently ridiculous statement– Trump’s victory is proof that an unqualified, incompetent, compromised and very possibly unstable candidate could leverage Citizens United and the RNC rules to capture a party nomination by force. If anything it represents the abject failure of American liberal democracy in the 21st century. The media did not do their job, the GOP did not do its job, the system simply didn’t work as intended. Not WAI.
This is my reveal from the election– liberal democracy is a Terrible Lie. Liberal democracy worked in America as long as there was rough demographic parity between the two camps. But there is nothing for Jefferson’s Noble Yeomen Farmers in the future but economic, scientific, cultural and academic pain. The promise of liberal democracy, “that all men are created equal” is simply untrue. Liberals have long believed that environmental disadvantages could be leveled by laws and civil welfare– conservatives believed that “attitude” and personal initiative could level environmental disadvantages– both are dead wrong. Because its not possible to level the genes (yet).
Going forward the critical discriminator isn’t race, gender or ethnicity– its educational attainment. This is why conservative pundits are talking about trying to impose quotas of conservative professors in universities or creating an alternative to academe.
Or if liberal democracy isnt dead, its at least gravely wounded. Can it recover?
The greatest fear of the Founders, their bête noir, was a demogogue seizing power. Perhaps Hamid needs a American History or American Government class. I don’t see any other way to read Trump’s election than as a profound failure of what the Founders built. It remains to be seen how antifragile the American representative republic is going forward– can it self repair or will it self destruct?
Because the dis-equilibriation of red/blue America is going to become more severe going forward. If we cant put out a trash fire in our own back yard how do we sell liberal democracy to the rest of the world?
I think we cant– we begin the slow fall to a liberal supermajority or charge into another civil war. Because there is nothing liberal democracy has to offer the side that is losing the demographic battle.